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Industry changes will test German insurers: Study

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LONDON—While German insurers have benefited from a generally benign market environment, ratings agency Standard & Poor's Corp. believes changes in the industry will test the future credit strength of many industry players.

The analysis is contained in a new report titled "Insurance Industry Risk Analysis: Clear Skies Belie A Brewing Storm As German Insurers Need To Prepare For Regulatory Reform & A Cyclical Downturn," which was published Friday by Standard & Poor's Ratings Services in London.

"We consider the key risks to the market's credit quality to be more long-term, but they are already starting to cloud the horizon," said Standard & Poor's credit analyst Karin Clemens in a news release.

"Competitive pressures have increased again in a market that is still overcrowded and where significant segments are mature. The product and distribution landscape, particularly in the life insurance market, is shifting rapidly, and claims trends in property/casualty are deteriorating," she added.

The market is also subject to numerous reforms, some of which are expected to significantly increase operational and compliance risks, S&P said.