Hong Kong: Insurance Market Grows 12% Q1 2024

According to the Hong Kong Insurance Authority, provisional statistics for the first quarter of 2024, show a rise of total gross premiums by 12.2% to $165.1 billion over the corresponding period in 2023.

Long term business

Total revenue premiums of in-force long term business were $144.3 billion in the first quarter of 2024 (increased by 14%), mainly comprising $130.3 billion of Individual Life and Annuity (Non-Linked) business (increased by 18.8%), $5 billion of Individual Life and Annuity (Linked) business (decreased by 22.5%), and $6.8 billion of Retirement Scheme business (decreased by 18%). During the same period, total claims and benefits paid to policy holders amounted to $101.8 billion1 (increased by 29.6%).

New office premiums (excluding Retirement Scheme business) of long term business were $65.3 billion (increased by 39%), made up of $63.3 billion from Individual Life and Annuity (Non-Linked) business (increased by 45.5%) and $1.8 billion from Individual Life and Annuity (Linked) business (decreased by 46%). Around 22,600 Qualifying Deferred Annuity Policies were issued, attracting $1.4 billion in terms of premiums that represent 2.2% of the total for individual businesses.

New business premiums derived from Mainland visitors was $15.6 billion, accounting for 24% of total new office premiums for individual businesses, compared with 35.3% recorded in the last quarter in 2023. As before, around 97% of the policies were settled at regular intervals (i.e. non-single premium). Whole life, critical illness and endowment insurance accounted for 59%, 30% and 3% of the policies respectively.

General business

In the first quarter of 2024, the gross and net premiums of general insurance business were $20.8 billion (increased by 0.9%) and $13.1 billion (increased by 5.3%) respectively, against which total gross claims of $8.4 billion (increased by 12.1%) were paid. The overall underwriting profit doubled from $0.5 billion to $1 billion (increased by 102.3%).

On direct business, the gross and net premiums were $15.3 billion (increased by 2.6%) and $10.3 billion (increased by 2.4%) respectively. The gross premiums of Accident & Health business reached $6.9 billion (increased by 12.4%), driven by the surge in demand for travel insurance and group medical business. Property Damage business and Motor Vehicles business reported gross premiums of $1.7 billion (increased by 6.7%) and $1.4 billion (increased by 7.2%) respectively. The growth was partly offset by a shrinkage in gross premiums of Pecuniary Loss (comprising Mortgage Guarantee) business to $0.5 billion (decreased by 42.2%).

Direct business generated an overall underwriting profit of $0.6 billion (increased by 61.8%), with the net claims incurred ratio dipping from 60.5% to 58.8%, benefitting from the positive performance of Property Damage business, General Liability business and Pecuniary Loss business due to improved claims experience and release of reserves.

On reinsurance inward business, the gross and net premiums were $5.5 billion (decreased by 3.7%) and $2.8 billion (increased by 17.7%) respectively. The decline in gross premium mainly came from Property Damage business and Pecuniary Loss business impacted by tightened renewals and business reshuffling of the reinsurance market, partly offset by premium growth in Accident & Health business. As the net claims incurred ratio recovered from 52.9% to 47.8% caused by release of reserves, the overall underwriting profit jumped by 225.2% to $0.4 billion.

A summary of the provisional statistics is provided at Annex, and additional details can be obtained at the IA website.

1  Including lapse/surrender benefits of $39.1 billion, other claims and benefits of $62.7 billion.

UnitedHealthcare Global

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