Hong Kong: Gross premiums up 16.6% y-o-y to HK$295.8 bn in 1H2019

| 02 Sep 2019

The Hong Kong insurance industry recorded total gross premiums reaching HK$295.8 billion (US$37.7 billion), indicating an increase of 16.6% y-o-y for the first half of 2019, according to Insurance Authority (IA)'s provisional statistics.

Long term business

The total amount of revenue premiums of long term in-force business was $265.3 billion in the first half of 2019 (increased by 17.5%). Revenue premiums of Individual Life and Annuity (Non-Linked) business were $232 billion (increased by 20.5%) while those of Individual Life and Annuity (Linked) business amounted to $13.8 billion (decreased by 19.4%). Contributions of Retirement Scheme business reached $16.5 billion (increased by 22.4%).

On new business, new office premiums (excluding Retirement Scheme business) of long term business were $99.9 billion (increased by 18.7%), including $93.8 billion from Individual Life and Annuity (Non-Linked) business (increased by 25%) and $5.8 billion from Linked business (decreased by 33.5%).

New office premiums in respect of policies issued to Mainland visitors totalled $26.3 billion (increased by 17.9%), accounting for 26.4% of the total new office premiums for individual business. Among these new policies, about 97% were medical or protective in nature, such as critical illness, medical, whole life, term life and annuity products. In terms of premium payment pattern, about 99% of the policies were paid at regular intervals, i.e. non-single premiums.

General business

The gross and net premiums of general insurance business recorded in the first half of 2019 were $30.5 billion (increased by 9.4%) and $21 billion (increased by 8.5%) respectively. Overall underwriting performance recorded a profit of $432 million (increased by 41.2%).

On direct business, gross and net premiums reached $23.3 billion (increased by 11%) and $16.3 billion (increased by 10.2%) respectively. Premium growth was noted in multiple business lines. Accident and Health business (comprising Medical business) continued to be one of the major contributors of the premium growth, with gross premiums reaching $9.7 billion (increased by 9.5%) in the first half of 2019. Meanwhile, the gross premiums of General Liability business increased to $5.7 billion (increased by 15.6%), mainly contributed by Employees’ Compensation business. Driven by several newly authorized insurers, Ships business also showed strong growth, where gross premiums increased to $1.7 billion (increased by 23.6%).

Direct business generated an underwriting profit of $558 million (increased by 62%). The increase in underwriting profit was mainly attributable to the lower underwriting loss for Ships business, which reduced from $144 million to $41 million, as a result of improved claims experience. Favorable claims experience was also observed for Pecuniary Loss business, the underwriting profit of which increased to $198 million (increased by 48.2%). Although Motor Vehicle business still suffered from an underwriting loss, the loss reduced from $164 million to $109 million.

 Further details are available at the IA website (www.ia.org.hk).

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