China’s insurance market creates new opportunities for foreigners

Despite the fact the market is expected to develop, the share of foreign insurers is low

China’s insurance market

China’s insurance market creates new opportunities for foreigners. Source: flickr.com

According to GlobalData, the Chinese life insurance market to grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 9.6% from $316.6 billion in 2018 to $484 billion in 2023.

The report says in the first half of 2019, foreign insurers reported 44.8% year-on-year growth in premium income to $25.9 billion. That’s  6% in the overall Chinese insurance industry and 8.1% in the life insurance market in 2018.

From 1 January 2020, the China Banking and Insurance Regulatory Commission (CBIRC) will increase the foreign ownership limit in the life insurance industry from 51% to 100%. It is expected to improve the environment for further foreign investment.

Increased foreign participation is likely to bring more benefits for mainland consumers. The Chinese life insurance industry is a lucrative market for foreign insurers but there are sizable entry barriers. The removal of limits on foreign ownership can lead to the overall development of the life insurance industry. Large foreign insurers are expected to apply for new licenses while existing foreign life insurers are expected to increase their stake in the operating joint ventures
Ashish Raj, Senior Insurance Analyst at GlobalData

CBIRC relieved the requirements of at least 30 years of operating experience for any foreign insurer before entering the market. It also relaxed the mandatory condition for foreign insurers to establish a representative office in China for at least two years before applying for authorization.

However, the process of authorization and licensing is complex, tedious and takes a long time.

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