Insurers paid record claims in Aug
Updated: 2012-09-24 16:45
By Hu Yuanyuan (chinadaily.com.cn)
China's property and casualty insurers paid 24.7 billion yuan ($3.90 billion) in August, reaching a record high this year, data from the industry regulator showed over the weekend.
Due to the frequency of natural disasters last month, the country's non-life insurers paid 24.7 billion yuan in claims, up 30.6 percent year-on-year. Compared with July, they paid 1.5 billion more.
According to the China Insurance Regulatory Commission, the country's premium income reached 1,072.7 billion yuan in the first eight months, an increase of 6.52 percent year-on-year, among which premium income from life insurers dropped 2.91 percent to 719.1 billion yuan, while premium income from non-life insurers climbed 14.72 percent to 353.5 billion yuan.
Due to the economic slowdown, the prospects for the business performance of Chinese insurers in the second half of the year is not so rosy, industry analysts said. Insurers are trying their best to tap niche markets.
Sino-US United MetLife Insurance Co Ltd, for instance, said recently it will strengthen its exploration of the group insurance market for China's small and medium enterprises.
Given the huge number of SMEs but relatively low penetration of the market, MetLife will boost efforts to tap the sector via group insurance products according to Bob Pei, CEO of MetLife China.
With the increasing concerns about affordable healthcare, the insurer launched its group medical products to help employers address the needs of their workforce. According to Pei, SMEs are one of the key markets for the group medical products.
In terms of premium income, MeLife ranked second among joint venture and foreign insurers last year.