China: Number of life insurance agents hits 6.5 mln in 2016

The number of individual insurance sales agents increased by 1.85 million last year to 6.57 million at 31 December 2016, driven mainly by recruitment by listed life insurers, reported Beijing Business Today.

China Life increased its sales agents by 52.7% to 1.5 million last year, while Ping An expanded its sales force by 27.7% to 1.1 million last year. China Pacific enlarged its agency force by 35.5% to around 653,000. The fourth listed life insurer, New China, saw the number of its agents grow by 9% last year to 328,000 at 31 December 2016.

Together, the four listed life insurance companies accounted for 54% of the total number of insurance agents at the end of last year.The turnover rate of sales personnel in the Chinese insurance industry was 34.3% last year.

Meanwhile, the sales of online life insurance has slowed. The Insurance Association of China reported last week that online life insurance sales in China grew by 22.6% CNY179.67 billion (US$26 billion) last year, the slowest in recent years. In comparison, online life premiums soared by 315% to CNY146.56 billion in 2015; by 538% to CNY35.32 billion in 2014 and by 456% to CNY5.5 billion in 2013. 

The online sales figure represented 10.6% of total life insurance premiums which jumped by 31.7% to CNY 1.7 trillion last year.