16 October 2023 2 min read

📊 Inflation and actuarial rate : Impact on Life segment, French and MENA markets

Reinsurance Tutorials #4 - Season 3


Hi everybody 👋


Today, and for the fourth Reinsurance Tutorials video of the season, we will talk about "Inflation and actuarial rate : Impact on Life segment, French and MENA markets"


This subject will be addressed by CCR Re experts Perrine Carolo and Bertrand Petras.


Let’s start! 


[Perrine Carolo] : Hello I am Perrine Carolo, Underwriter & Actuary - Life & Health in France and Europe.

[Bertrand Petras] : Hi, I am Bertrand Petras, Vice President Life & Health Middle East / North Africa.

[Perrine] : Today we will talk about inflation and actuarial rate.


What is their impact on Life Segment, French and MENA market?


[Bertrand] : Let’s start with a quick reminder of what the actuarial rate is. It is a rate used by insurers to calculate the future value of sums insured. Indeed, if you had to pay 100 € a year from now, you wouldn’t need 100 € right away, as you could invest that money over the year and earn interest. So maybe you would only need 98 € today. The rate used to calculate the present value of the future asset is the actuarial rate.

The actuarial rate has a strong impact on long term risks, but much less on the short-tail business.


[Perrine] : In France, this rate is strictly regulated by law, with capped rates. Rates are capped to guarantee that the insurers will set aside a sufficient amount of reserve for future claims they may face. With a capped rate, they cannot underestimate the future value of the sums insured.

[Bertrand] :
In the Middle East: rates are not as regulated as in mature markets. The situation depends on the country. where there are strong Regulators and Central Banks such as in KSA, Qatar or UAE, they could act on the evolution of rates to limit their impact while in some other regional countries, less regulated, the effect is stronger.


[Perrine] : There are a few factors explaining the rise of actuarial rates, such as monetary policies, and one of them is inflation.

After years around 2%, inflation in France has stabilised at around 10% in 2022. Its impact on life insurance is limited. Amounts insured on life products (except health) depend mainly on salaries, on which inflation has, for now, a limited impact. However, some annuities are revalued on the basis of indices that increase in an inflation context, such as the AGIRC ARRCO index.


[Bertrand] : The effects are also limited in the Middle East Life Insurance market. The impact is much more variable depending on the country and monetary policy. Inflation has usually been quite high in recent years, but has been even higher in 2022 (around 8%).

Let’s now analyse the impact of the evolution of actuarial rate and inflation for insurance companies and the insured people.

For insurance companies:

  • On long-tail life products: sums insured usually depend on salary, which are less affected by inflation, but very sensitive to the evolution of the actuarial rate. An increase of the actuarial rate can reduce the reserves and provide better results
  • On short-tail products: the impact of inflation is limited on Life but can be strong on health products, where the increase in the actuarial rate is not significant. In the Middle East in particular, strong effects on health insurance premiums are observed.


[Perrine] : For insured people:


  • The main effect is an increase in premiums of short-tail products, especially health products.
  • For the specific case of France, these increases take place in the context of the “100% health reform”, which has already led to increasing health product premiums. For long-tail products such as disability, the effects should be limited on premiums, especially as the pension reform should have no impact on the duration of disability compensations.


[Bertrand] : This video comes to its end.


[Perrine] : Thanks a lot for watching it, goodbye.


[Bertrand] : Thanks, and goodbye.




Bye for now 👋

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