Insurers in Hong Kong saw premiums increase more than 9% year-over-year to surpass HK$580bn ($75bn) in 2019, despite the damage caused by protests in the city-state in the second half of last year, data from the Hong Kong Insurance Authority revealed.
Total revenue premiums of long term in-force business were HK$524.6bn in 2019, up by 9.7% year-on-year. This was made up of HK$457.1bn of individual life and annuity (non-linked) business (up by 15.3%), HK$27.7bn of individual life and annuity (linked) business (down by 20.5%), and HK$33.8bn of retirement scheme business (down by 19%).
Overall underwriting profit in Hong Kong's general insurance sector rose by 93.3% to reach HK$1.1bn ($141.6m), propelled by property damage business resulting from the absence of any major typhoons, the regulator said.
The current market volatility and uncertainty further showcase the importance of insurance as a resilient investment tool"
For Hong Kong's general insurance market, gross and net premiums were at HK$55.7bn (up by 3.9%) and HK$37.7bn (up by 6.8%), respectively.
Edward Moncreiffe, CEO of HSBC Life Hong Kong, commenting on the Hong Kong insurance market results, said: "According to the provisional statistics of the Hong Kong insurance industry released by the Insurance Authority, in the second half of 2019, HSBC Life ranked first by market share in Annualised New Premiums (ANP). For the full year of 2019, the bank channel remained the dominant sales channel in the Hong Kong life market, contributing 48% of total ANP written in HK.
"Despite very challenging conditions in the second half of last year in Hong Kong, HSBC Life reported a record-high ANP. This demonstrates the unique edges of our bancassurance model by offering holistic protection and financial solutions. The current market volatility and uncertainty further showcase the importance of insurance as a resilient investment tool."
As of December 31, 2019, the gross and net claims incurred by Hong Kong's authorised insurers due to the recent social unrest was at HK$1.3bn and HK$411m respectively.