Year End 2008
According to the Provisional Statistics on Hong Kong Insurance Business for 2008 recently published by the Hong Kong Insurance Authority (IA), gross premiums for general insurance business increased by 11.3% to HK$27 billion and net premiums were up 12.3% to HK$19.2 billion, compared with 2007. However, the underwriting profit of general business shrank from HK$2.4 billion to HK$1.5 billion.
With respect to long term business, the total revenue premiums for long term in-force business was HK$166 billion in 2008, 5.7% lower than in 2007. Specifically, the revenue premiums for individual life and annuity (non-linked) business grew by 9% whereas individual life and annuity (linked) business dropped sharply by 24%.
Statistics also show that gross premiums for direct business and reinsurance inward business increased by 11.6% to HK$21.6 billion and 10.4% to HK$5.4 billion respectively.
In addition, according to the IA's records as at 31 December 2008, there were a total of 175 authorised insurers, 59,678 appointed insurance agents (including their responsible officers and technical representatives) and 7,760 authorised insurance brokers (including their chief executives and technical representatives) operating in Hong Kong.
First Half 2009
The IA also recently released latest figures for the Hong Kong insurance industry for the first half of 2009.
In the first half of 2009, general insurance business recorded a moderate 1.8% growth in gross premiums to HK$14.5 billion and a 2.4% increase in net premiums to HK$10.5 billion. Overall underwriting performance also improved from a profit of HK$826 million to HK$1.29 billion.
Premiums for both direct business and reinsurance inward business also improved slightly.
However, total revenue premiums for long term in-force business experienced a fall of 18.6% to HK$74.8 billion in the first half of 2009. In particular, the revenue premiums for individual life and annuity (linked) business dipped by 51.7% to HK$17.3 billion.
Notably, office premiums for new policies issued to visitors from mainland China totalled HK$1.2 billion, representing 6.4% of total office premiums for individual business in the first half of 2009.