New data compiled by Hong Kong’s Insurance Authority (IA) shows that gross premiums grew 2.5% year-on-year in 2020 to reach a total of $581.3 billion.
The financial regulator based its insurance business statistics on audited returns and actuarial information submitted by individual insurers.
In-force long term business accounted for the majority of premiums, increasing by 2% to $521.5 billion last year.
Of this total, Individual Life business contributed $458.6 billion, or 87.9% of the total, while in-force office premiums for Individual Annuity business were $47.8 billion, which was a decrease of 15.3%.
The office premiums of new Individual Life business were $119.6 billion in 2020, representing a 20.9% decrease, and the office premiums of new Individual Annuity business were $13.3 billion, which was a 36.3% decrease.
Turning to general business, the IA found that total gross and net premiums in 2020 were $59.9 billion and $40.5 billion respectively, representing an increase of 8% and 7.3%.
Underwriting profit similarly improved from $869 million in 2019 to $2.3 billion in 2020.
Benefiting from rates hardening and reinsurance inward business, the IA reported that Property Damage business premiums increased by 17.6% to $12.1 billion and General Liability business increased by 10.4% to $13.8 billion.
These outcomes were partially offset by Accident & Health business, where gross premiums dropped 3.5% to $17.7 billion as a result of reduced outbound travel.
Additionally, the underwriting profit of direct business surged from $488 million in 2019 to $1.9 billion in 2020, mainly due to lower reported claims amidst subdued economic activities caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Accident & Health business also registered a hike of underwriting profit from $295 million to $1.1 billion, and Employees’ Compensation business turned from underwriting loss of $260 million to a profit of $409 million.
Furthermore, the IA’s data showed that the underwriting loss of direct Motor Vehicle business narrowed from $514 million to $242 million, and the underwriting profit of Reinsurance Inward business went up from $381 million to $480 million.