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FINANCIAL SERVICES | Tony Chua, Hong Kong
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Gross insurance premiums surge 11% in 2010

General insurance business recorded 5.9% increase net premiums to $21.7bn.

The Office of the Commissioner of Insurance said on Monday total gross premiums of the Hong Kong insurance industry in 2010 increased by 11% to $205 billion, representing about 11.8% of Hong Kong's gross domestic product, compared with 11.3% in 2009.

General insurance business recorded increases in gross and net premiums of 8.7% to $31.1 billion and 5.9% to $21.7 billion in 2010 when compared with 2009.

Gross premiums of the accident and health business increased by 10.2% to $8.5 billion due to continuous expansion in medical business. Motor'vehicle business recorded a gross premium increase of 12.7% to $3.2 billion.

Pecuniary loss business reported an underwriting profit of $812 million in 2010 and became the largest contributor in 2010, driven by the buoyant property market for mortgage guarantee business and lower claims for credit business. Property damage business and accident and health business continued to register strong profit of $673 million and $464 million, according to a government.

For long-term insurance business, office premiums of new Individual Life business increased by 28.2% to $57.9 billion compared with 2009. Individual life (non-linked) and individual life (linked) business recorded 25.1% and 34.7% premium growth, to $38 billion and $19.9 billion.

Total office premiums of in-force long-term business increased by 11.4% to $173.9 billion in 2010. The individual life category remained the dominant line of business, making up $160.2 billion or 92.1% of the total business.

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