Due largely to lower life annuity sales, total premiums in the Chilean insurance market fell 12.3% for the first half of 2009 when compared to the first half of 2008. Total premiums for the first half of 2009 were US$ 2.89 billion.

Life insurance premiums decreased by 16.5% (US$ 1.87 billion), with life annuity sales contracting by 37.9% (US$ 631 million).

The downturn was not limited to the life sector, however, as the national and global economic downturn resulted in a 3.7% decrease in P&C premiums (US$ 1.02 billion), pulled down in part by a 32.4% decrease in engineering premiums.

In a sign of the times, theft premiums rose 19.2%.

Mikel Uriarte, the Chairman of Chile’s insurance company association, did reportedly comment that he expects to see improvement in the life insurance and other areas in the rest of 2009 and into 2010.