Italian insurance market looks healthy, attracts foreign investors and insurers

Italian Insurance IndustryDespite the growing economic crisis in Italy, the nation’s auto insurance industry is showing promising signs of expansion. The industry is beginning to attract the attention of foreign insurers, consumers, and independent agents due largely to its strong presence on the Internet. Insurance sold through banks in Italy is also on the rise, imbuing the industry with tentative hope for future growth and solvency.

According to the Institute for the Supervision of Insurance (ISVAP), one of Italy’s regulatory authorities, online sales of auto insurance rose by 7% in the first quarter of 2010. The trend has been continuing since then and has extended to other venues as well. The agency says that insurance policies sold in banks and post offices – common practice in Italy – have grown by 10% for the first time in 10 years. The policies sold at these venues are non-life policies that often cover property and other aspects of business. The agency is now considering allowing banks and post offices to begin selling auto policies in light of recent growth.

The growth is also attracting foreign investors and insurance companies. AXA, a French insurance organization, is now looking to partner with Italian banks to bring more policies to the nation. AXA already has ties with a few Italian financial institutes, but has yet to begin selling auto insurance policies in the country. Company officials expect to begin selling such policies in 2012.

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