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From La Prensa:

Insurance industry sees sustained growth

The insurance industry pushed upward in in July, registering a growth rate much higher than during the first few months of the year.

The volume of new premiums that month totaled $78 million, an increase of 22 percent compared to July 2008, according to information collected by the Superintendency of

The sector had remained at an average rate of growth that hovered under 10 percent until the close of the first semester.

Also in July, figures demonstrated a 143.3 percent rise in the purchase of individual life premiums (first year), a category that drove activity in the sector that month, similar to May reports, when these policies soared 459 percent and the industry grew 11 percent.

According to market sources, a single insurance company is responsible for the popularity of these first-year life insurance premiums by placing a nontraditional product on the market.

Despite the economic slowdown, the industry is reporting good results and have shown an encouraging 7.82 percent drop in claims.

Panama Kevin