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Documents 2015/04

Improved treatment of insurance in the Norwegian national accounts

Content

Insurance is an industry given special attention in the national accounts due to the very nature of its activities.

Insurance is an industry given special attention in the national accounts due to the very nature of its activities. In particular the method for estimating the value of output of insurance services is a challenging task.

This report documents new methods for estimating output in the insurance industry in the Norwegian national accounts. The background is new international recommendations as given in world-wide System of National Accounts (SNA2008) and the European System of Accounts (ESA2010), but also action points given in the report of the Eurostat GNI visit to Norway in 2009 – 2010 have been addressed. Finally, the life insurance reform in Norway in 2008, changing the system for reports from insurance companies to the authorities, has been taken into account.

For non-life insurance the methods employed for output at both current and constant prices have been changed. Following the new international recommendations adjusted claims due is used in the calculation of the current price figures, while a new volume indicator based on number of insurance contracts is constructed for the constant price estimations of output. The results show a more smooth development in non-life insurance output compared to previous figures in the Norwegian national accounts.

For life insurance the new reporting system that came into force in 2008 has made it possible to extract the value of the insurance service directly from the accounting based reports. Also, the imputed interest accruing to the insurance policy holders is extracted directly from the reports of the life insurance companies.

The new methods for estimating output value of insurance services are introduced in the Norwegian national accounts as part of the 2014 main revision and the results are published initially in November 2014.

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