Hong Kong insurance premiums up 5.2% in 2018

General insurance business showed improved performance in several major lines

Hong Kong insurance premiums up 5.2% in 2018

Insurance News

By Gabriel Olano

Hong Kong’s Insurance Authority (IA) has released insurance business statistics for 2018, with total gross premiums reaching HK$514.5 billion in 2018, indicating a year-on-year increase of 5.2%.

These statistics take into account audited returns and actuarial information submitted by insurers, the IA said. The growth is lower than the provisional statistics released by the regulator in March.

For long-term business, total office premiums were HK$461.4 billion in 2018, up by 4.7% year-on-year. The individual life category remained the dominant line of business, making up HK$426.3 billion or 92.4% of total long term business, the IA said. The respective number of policies in 2018 stood at 13.2 million, carrying net liabilities of HK$1,947.8 billion.

Meanwhile, the total gross and net premiums of general insurance business stood at HK$53.1 billion (up 10%) and HK$34.7 billion (up 5%), respectively. The overall retention slightly decreased from 68.5% to 65.4%.

According to the IA, the growth in gross premium was mainly driven by an increase in general liability business followed by accident & health business. General liability premiums were at HK$13.1 billion (increased by 22.3%) and accident & health premiums were at HK$17.1 billion (increased by 9.2%).

The general insurance business returned to profitability with an underwriting profit of HK$583 million in 2018 compared with a loss of HK$827 million in 2017. The overall net claims incurred ratio decreased from 63.8% in 2017 to 62.3% in 2018.

“The overall claims position for general insurance business slightly improved as compared with 2017 despite the impact of Typhoon Mangkhut in 2018,” the IA said in its report. “In 2017, the impact of Typhoon Hato on property damage business resulted in a loss of HK$1.2 billion, which was the largest contributor of underwriting loss for 2017. However, in 2018, property damage business resumed profitability with an underwriting profit of HK$199 million.”

Motor insurance and employee’s compensation insurance showed signs of recovery, with the former’s underwriting loss reduced from HK$521 million to HK$441 million, while the latter saw its losses decrease from HK$584 million to HK$150 million.

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