Brazil’s insurers expect to post 12.5% premium growth for this year – 7.6% real growth discounting inflation – with 265bn reais (US$30bn) in accumulated premiums up to September.

Total premiums comprised 52bn reais in P&C; 91.5bn reais in personal insurance; 15.7bn in savings bonds; and 106bn reais in complementary health insurance, the local confederation of insurers CNseg said on its website.

For 2016, CNseg projects nominal growth in premiums of 10.33% – real growth of 6.8%. “The crisis hits us, but we remain quite optimistic,” Jayme Garfinkel, interim president of CNseg, was quoted as saying by insurance news outlet Sonhoseguro.

Up to September, insurers had paid claims and funds withdrawals for around 82bn reais in insurance and pensions, and an additional 89bn reais in expenses related to complementary health coverage.

The optimism of the sector comes from the potential awaiting to be tapped, CNseg said.

“Every day the newspapers advertise the sector by telling people about the tragedy of Mariana [Samarco dam burst disaster], for instance. That kind of news makes people take out protection,” Garfinkel was quoted as saying.

Some companies already have products for times of crisis such as six-month car insurance policies, launched by BB Mapfre.