Total gross insurance premiums in Hong Kong registered a 12.3% hike YoY to HK$148.8bn ($18.90bn) in the first quarter of 2019, according to the jurisdiction's Insurance Authority (IA) latest figures.
Long-term business had total premiums of HK$132.2bn in that first quarter, up by 13% YoY. Revenue premiums of individual life and annuity (non-linked) business reached HK$115.9bn, up 16.2%, while those of individual life and annuity (linked) business amounted to HK$6.6bn (down by 21.7%). Contributions to retirement schemes totalled HK$8.1bn, an 11.3% increase.
The insurance industry in Hong Kong also received a boost from China. Mainlanders spent HK$12.77bn ($1.63bn) on life and medical insurance products in Hong Kong during the first quarter, reflecting a rise of 8% from a year earlier.
Mainlanders like to buy insurance products in Hong Kong as they want to find better protection for their families. They are mainly buying medical and critical illness products"
This accounted for 26.4% of the total new office premiums for individual business, the IA said. Among these new policies, around 96% were medical or protective in nature, such as critical illness, medical, whole life, term life, and annuity products. In terms of premium payment pattern, about 99% of the policies were paid at regular intervals, i.e. non-single premiums.
Regulations prohibit Hong Kong insurance salesmen from marketing policies on the mainland, but the policies can be bought by mainland residents while visiting Hong Kong.
"Mainlanders like to buy insurance products in Hong Kong as they want to find better protection for their families. They are mainly buying medical and critical illness products," Derek Yung, chief executive of Hong Kong at Prudential told SCMP.
The Insurance Authority is lobbying to gain approval for Hong Kong insurance companies to set up services centres in mainland cities in the Greater Bay Area in an effort to provide better after sales services for mainland customers.