The local insurance market enjoyed a year-on-year growth of 65 per cent in gross premium for the first nine months of the year, which totalled MOP10.9 billion (US$1.36 billion). The notable increase is driven by the life insurance sector expanding by more than 82 per cent year-on-year, according to the latest statistics of insurance operations by the Monetary Authority of Macau (AMCM).
During the first three quarters of the year, the life insurance segment generated MOP9.17 billion in gross premiums from the local market, up MOP4.13 billion from the same period of last year.
The total claims of the sector, compared with the strong growth in gross premium amount, is up some 22 per cent year-on-year to MOP1.95 billion from MOP1.58 billion one year ago, of which maturity values to policy holders, death and dividends to policyholders accounted for 31.7 per cent, 27 per cent and 23.6 per cent of the total, respectively.
The non-life insurance market also registered a year-on-year growth of 8.33 per cent in gross premium during the three quarters, totalling MOP1.71 billion from MOP1.58 billion one year ago. Total claims in the sector, meanwhile, rose 14 per cent year-on-year to MOP552 million.
In terms of type, most of the sector’s gross premiums were generated by insurance for property risks, accounting for nearly 40 per cent of the total, followed by employees’ compensation, occupying about 22 per cent of the total.
China Life leads life insurance market
According to AMCM, China Life Insurance (Overseas) Co. Ltd. raked in some MOP5.5 billion in gross premiums for the first nine months, which means nearly 60 per cent of the total of the life insurance market for the same period.
On a year-on-year comparison, the company’s gross premiums surged almost 180 per cent year-on-year from MOP1.97 billion. Meanwhile, the company’s total claims only accounted for some 23 per cent of the total, amounting to MOP448 million.
The second biggest player in the market for the period was AIA International Ltd, of which gross premiums reached MOP1.97 billion in the nine months but the company’s claims reached some MOP883.6 million, accounting for 45.4 per cent of the total.
On the other hand, the non-life insurance market was dominated by China Taiping Insurance (Macau) Company, of which gross premiums totalled MOP488.9 million for the three quarters, accounting for 28.5 per cent of the total. Nevertheless, the company disbursed some MOP129 million in claims, meaning 23 per cent of the sector total.
Manulife: Double-digit growth for past 5 years
Meanwhile, Manulife (International) Ltd. saw its life insurance businesses in the local market jump 18 per cent year-on-year, generating MOP213.5 million in gross premium for the first nine months of the year, according to AMCM.
“In fact, our Macau operations have been posting double-digit growth for the past five years. Macau is one of our focused markets and we have put in different resources and introduced different products to develop the local market,” the company’s vice president and chief agency officer, Kareen Chow, told reporters at a Manulife event yesterday.
According to Ms. Chow, who is also the general manager of the company’s Macau Operations, growth was attributable to the increased number of the company’s agents. As at the end of September this year, more than 300 agents were working for the insurer.
“We believe our business in the market will continue expanding for the future,” the general manager said.
In 2013, the insurer posted a loss of MOP26.6 million in the city, according to the Official Gazette. But the company had already turned the loss into profit in 2014, taking in some MOP39 million.