BERLIN/FRANKFURT, Nov 14 (Reuters) - Germany's insurance industry expects overall premiums to rise by 1.5 percent to 180.7 billion euros ($229.7 billion) this year, a satisfactory result given the challenges of the euro debt crisis, the head of industry trade body GDV said on Wednesday.
"We are cautiously optimistic that we will be able to build on this in 2013," GDV President Rolf-Peter Hoenen said in the text of a speech at the trade body's annual news conference.
Developments varied across different types of insurance, with life insurance premiums expected to fall by 0.7 percent to 86.2 billion euros, mainly due to weaker sales of single-premium policies.
Property-casualty premiums are expected to see their strongest growth since 1994 this year, rising by 3.7 percent to 58.7 billion euros.
That rise is bolstered by a 5.1 percent rise in car insurance premiums, which are expected to reach 22 billion euros this year, although GDV said damage claims payments are also up and the segment is expected to post an underwriting loss for the year, as it has done every year since 2008. ($1 = 0.7867 euros) (Reporting by Jonathan Gould and Klaus Lauer)