Chinese insurers' premium income rises despite economic slowdown

Major insurers' metrics remain healthy, with strong performance likely to continue until year-end

Chinese insurers' premium income rises despite economic slowdown

Insurance News

By Gabriel Olano

China’s top insurers have reported rising premium incomes for the third quarter, amid a slowdown of the economy.

The big four Chinese insurers all posted premium growth, despite China recording its slowest quarterly economic growth in a decade, Caixin reported. According to the insurers and market analysts, high renewal rates are behind the growth, due to more Chinese consumers becoming more familiar with insurance.

Among the big four, Ping An Insurance had the highest premium growth at 17.8%, followed by New China Life Insurance at 12.4%. China Pacific Insurance was third at 5.6%, and China Life, whose profits were hit hard by the sliding domestic stock market, was last at 3.8%.

In the first nine months of 2018, China Life’s renewal premiums grew 28.7% to RMB316 billion (US$45.9 billion). It did not provide data for renewal premiums for the third quarter.

“We can expect surging growth in the fourth quarter as the companies continue to boost businesses of new contracts,” Liu Xinqi, an analyst from Guotai Junan Securities, told Caixin.

All of the big four have robust comprehensive solvency margin ratios, which is an important measure of an insurer’s ability to pay back liabilities. China Pacific Insurance leads the pack at 308%, followed by New China Life (273%) and China Life (262%). Ping An’s solvency ratios are at 228% for life insurance and 219% for property and casualty. The market’s insurance regulations stipulate a minimum of 100%.

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