Samsung Fire & Marine urged to lower premiums

The company’s high profits have angered consumers that feel they are paying too much for motor insurance

Samsung Fire & Marine urged to lower premiums

Insurance News

By Gabriel Olano

Samsung Fire & Marine Insurance is under pressure to reduce its motor insurance premiums due to a huge profit margin for the first quarter of 2017.

According to the General Insurance Association of Korea (GIAK), 11 motor insurers recorded a KRW90.7 billion ($80.86 million) profit in the first quarter of the year, an impressive turnaround from the KRW57.6 billion in operating losses during the same period last year.

The strongest performer was Samsung Fire & Marine, which posted KRW45.8 billion in profits. Five other motor insurers were in the black: Hyundai Marine, Dongbu Fire, AXA General Insurance, Hanwha General Insurance, and The K Non-Life Insurance. However, the profits of these five firms combined were less than Samsung’s.

Analysts say that improved loss ratio in motor insurance led to more profits. Financial Supervisory Service data indicates that domestic insurers’ motor insurance loss ratios improved to 78% in the first quarter of 2017, compared to 82.2% a year ago.

Due to the insurer’s very strong performance, some consumers are unhappy, as they feel that the premiums they pay are quite high.

“I thought Samsung Fire was doing the right thing after they made a premium cut last year,” a Samsung Fire motor insurance holder told the Korea Times. “But I think the downtick is way too small. I am angry because the firm seems to pocket the high premiums I paid.”

A representative of the insurer disagreed, saying: “The improved profits do not necessarily mean the company’s car insurance premiums are high. The increase in premium revenue came as the market has been expanded and various riders were added. Compared to other non-life insurers, Samsung Fire’s car insurance premiums are not that high.”

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