Easy navigate through German insurance market data

The german insurance association (GDV) publishes yearly figures about the German insurance market. The structure they use may not be intuitive nor logically coherent. This post will provide guidance to easily navigate through the jungle of data being provided

Market data sources

Data sets are mainly provided by the German Insurance Association (GDV) and by the Private Health Insurance Assocation (PKV). At MHBC will mainly use the data sets from GDV, since they include most relevant data concerning the private health insurance anyway and also other sources.

GDV provides data tables in PDF and CSV formats, whereas the table structures are so heterogeneous that automated proccessing ist not easy at all. Hence, navigating through the data being provided is not easy and the vast number of available data tables create the demand of an easy way to navigate through them.

Therefore this post provides a strutured view for easy navigation. All other posts at MHBC will refer to this structure.


In general, the data is structured by lines of businesses (LOB), further on by product types and sometimes further on in sub product types. Unfortunately, the world isn't structured as this. Other dimensions besides the LOB are for example the  policy holder or premium payer.

Line of business (LOB) or class of business (COB)

To classify the different insurance lines several terms are used interchangable, for example line of business, class of business etc. At MHBC we will use the term LOB.

According to GDV top level lines of businesses are:

  1. Life insurance (Life)
  2. Health insurance (Health)
  3. Property and casualty insurance (PnC or P&C)
  4. Reinsurance (Re)

Policy holder (PH) or premium payer (PP)

The publications and even the GDV are using different semantics. When a premium is paied by an employer for a pension fund of one of their employees then the premium payer is corporate (a commercial one) but for a private policy holder. Nevertheless, in this case the premium paid is rather associated with a private insurance than a commercial. A better quality of differentiation therefore reveals when the question is: for whom the risk (policy) is taken (issued): a private person or a commercial? So when MHBC writes about "private" or "commercial" we answer this question and may sometimes use "policy holder" or "premium payer" eventhough these terms are - in our opinion - not clearly defined.

The top level policy holder groups are:

  1. Private (human beings)
  2. Commercial (business entities)

The commercial group is broken down further by small and medium sized enterprises (SME) and industrial. A crystal clear defintion is not available to differnciate these two subgroups. For further information see our post "Qualities of commercial insurance to differenciate between SME and industrial insurance business" (coming soon).


GDV that also uses and refers to other data sources, e.g. BaFin (Federal Financial
Supervisory Authority of Germany), and mainly uses the following metrics:

  1. Number: this could be the number of market players, the number of contracts or claims etc.
  2. Premium volume: most of the time using gross written premiums in Euros when premiums mentioned with regards to the primary insurance sector

GDV data structures - an overview

In the following this post focusses on the first 3 top level LOB according to GDV, since reinsurance is not further broken down.

For simplicity reasons, Life is broken down only to the next level and this is sufficient for the majority of relevant topics. Health ist broken down up to level 3. P&C is broken down into levels 1 to 5. And eventhough GDV does't publish data further broken down by policy holder, we at MHBC are able to provide this data based on interviews conducted with GDV personnel. Therefore P&C can be broken down into level 1 to 5 including the differenciation along the policy holder dimension. Please don't hesitate to contact us for further information.

Data structure insurance market data levels 1 and 2

Data structure, levels 1 and 2 (w/o reinsurance)

Data structure Health

Data structure Health, levels 1 to 3

Data structure P&C

Data structure P&C, levels 1 to 5

Subscribe to MHBC Strategic Advisory

Don’t miss out on the latest issues. Sign up now to get access to the library of members-only issues.