Panama’s insurance market posted growth of 8.5% in 2010, on the back of 9.5% growth in 2009, according to the latest figures from the regulator, the Insurance and Reinsurance Superintendency. It is now the largest market in Central America, with premium income of US$919 million last year.
In a recently released special report from rating agency A.M. Best, Panama's insurance market is expected to continue growing strongly as economic and regulatory factors combine to provide a positive outlook for insurers. A.M. Best said that the expansion of the Panama Canal, increased construction and tourism should buoy the economy, whilst reform in financial and tax legislation should streamline the operating environment for insurance companies. The report added that a stalled new insurance bill might finally become law in 2011, making it easier for insurers to sell products directly to the public without going through brokers and also improving the regulatory structure.
The largest three insurers accounted for almost half of the market in 2010 with written premiums of US$449 million. These were Compañía Internacional de Seguros, ASSA Compañía de Seguros and Aseguradora Mundial, which is controlled by Spain's Mapfre.