Hong Kong premiums up 12.5% for first nine months of 2019

Industry records excellent performance, but negative effects of civil unrest are beginning to show

Hong Kong premiums up 12.5% for first nine months of 2019

Insurance News

By Gabriel Olano

The Hong Kong insurance industry recorded gross premiums of HK$436.9 billion (US$55.8 billion) for the first three quarters of 2019, up 12.5% from the same period last year.

The figures were revealed by the Insurance Authority (IA) in a statement that laid out provisional statistics for the period from January to September.

According to the IA, total revenue premiums of long term in-force business were HK$392.5 billion in the first three quarters of 2019, which increased by 12.9% year-on-year. Revenue premiums of individual life and annuity (non-linked) business were HK$341.7 billion, up 19.3%, while those of individual life and annuity (linked) business amounted to HK$20.5 billion, down 20.5%. Contributions of retirement scheme business were at HK$25.7 billion, a decrease of 18.5%.

Meanwhile, new office premiums of policies issued to mainland Chinese citizens totalled HK$36 billion (up 5.5%), making up 25.8% of the total for individual business. However, volume in the third quarter was noticeably reduced by 28.8% to HK$9.7 billion from HK$13.6 billion in the second quarter of 2019, which the IA attributed to the protests and political turmoil in the city.

For the general insurance segment, gross and net premiums were at HK$44.4 billion (increased by 9.5% year-on-year) and HK$30.3 billion (increased by 8.1%), respectively. Overall underwriting performance improved by a whopping 883.9%, bringing in a profit of HK$856 million. According to the IA, this was mainly driven by the property damage business, but the recent social events are likely to bring about a negative outlook going forward.

On direct business, gross and net premiums were HK$33.9 billion (increased by 11.1%) and HK$23.9 billion (increased by 10.5%) respectively. Accident and health business was a key contributor, with gross premiums of HK$14 billion (increased by 10.1%). Meanwhile, the general liability business also showed improvement, with gross premiums of HK$8.5 billion (increased by 14.2%), mainly derived from employees’ compensation business. With a few newly authorized insurers, gross premiums of marine business went up to HK$1.9 billion (increased by 23.4%).

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