The Hong Kong Insurance Authority (IA) has released provisional statistics on the Hong Kong insurance industry for the first half of 2019, with total gross premiums of HK$295.8 billion (US$37.7 billion), or a 16.6% increase year-on-year.
In a statement on its website, the IA said that the total amount of premiums for long-term business in the first half of 2019 was HK$265.3 billion, or 17.5% higher than the same period last year. Revenue premiums of individual life and annuity (non-linked) business were HK$232 billion (up by 20.5%) while those of individual life and annuity (linked) business amounted to HK$13.8 billion (down 19.4%). Contributions of retirement scheme business reached HK$16.5 billion (up 22.4%).
New business premiums, excluding retirement scheme business, were HK$99.9 billion, or 18.7% higher than last year. Mainland visitors contributed 26.4% of new business premiums.
Meanwhile, the general insurance sector brought in gross premiums of HK$30.5 billion, or 9.4% higher year-on-year. Underwriting performance also improved, with a profit of HK$432 million, an increase of 41.2%.
Multiple business lines saw growth in premiums, with accident and health business bringing in HK$9.7 billion (up 9.5%) in the first half. General liability business’s gross premiums increased to HK$5.7 billion (up 15.6%), due to strong performance by the employees’ compensation business. With several new insurers receiving authorisation recently, marine business also showed strong growth, with gross premiums increasing 23.6% to HK$1.7 billion.
Reinsurance inward business brought in gross premiums of HK$7.2 billion, or 4.6% higher than last year. However, underwriting performance worsened, with losses mounting from HK$38 million last year to HK$126 million this year. While most lines of business showed deterioration, property damage business remained profitable with HK$326 million in profits due to an improved claims experience, the IA said.