As a result, policyholders can expect an overall interest rate of 4.2 percent, as allianz lebensversicherungs-AG announced in stuttgart on wednesday. That is still more than some of our competitors. In previous years, the largest german insurer had to cut its overall interest rate as well.
Recently, competitors such as ergo, alte leipziger and DEVK have also started to make cuts. Ergo lebensversicherung, part of the world’s largest life insurer munich, cut its overall interest rate by 0.6 percentage points to 3.55 percent the day before.
The background to this is the low interest rates on the capital markets, which have been exerting a strong downward pressure on yields for a long time. The euro debt crisis and the fall in the value of government bonds issued by southern european countries are weighing on many financial groups. In addition, the industry must comply with stricter equity regulations.
Insurers are currently reacting to interest rates that have been low for years, as a spokeswoman for the german insurance association (GDV) said. In the number of contracts for life insurance, the association expects a consolidation this year. In addition to allianz and ergo, there are a good 90 life insurers in germany, according to the spokeswoman.
"We can only credit our customers with earnings that we actually generate," said alf neumann, head of allianz life products. The company is therefore looking to change its investment behavior, among other things. "We are changing our investment behavior and are not currently investing in government bonds," said neumann. "Instead, we are investing more heavily in infrastructure projects and corporate bonds, for example."
No one needs to worry about the security of life insurance, stresses allianz life chief markus faulhaber. However, returns achieved in the past could no longer be taken as a yardstick for future interest rate contracts.