Koreans spent more than 10 percent of their annual income on insurance last year due to insufficient social welfare programs, a market researcher said Tuesday.
According to data by Swiss Re, the world's second-largest reinsurer based in Switzerland, Koreans paid an average of 3.03 million won (US$2,661) to cover insurance in 2011, becoming the 22nd largest spender in the world.
Switzerland topped the list by paying $8,012, followed by the Netherlands with $6,647 and Luxembourg with $5,974.
Korea's ratio of insurance premiums to gross domestic product stood at 11.4 percent last year, the fifth-highest in the world.
"The high expenditure on insurance services is attributed to the weak social safety net in the country after retirement," an official at a local insurance company said.
Korea's insurance market was worth 148 trillion won last year, the eighth-largest in the world and taking up 2.6 percent of the global industry, according to the data. (Yonhap)