China's first online only insurer, ZhongAn Online, has posted a 106.6% surge in total premiums to CNY5,148.2m ($754m) for the first half of this year, on the back of rapid growth in emerging ecosystems.
The company's insurance products served more than 300m policyholders, while the number of policies per policyholder was 8.4 and the premium contribution per policyholder was approximately CNY17.
From January to June this year, the three ecosystems of healthcare, consumer finance and automobile, contributed combined premium of CNY3,504.1m, accounting for 68% of the company’s total premium income and representing growth of 402% year on year.
Mr Jeffrey Chen, CEO of ZhongAn Online, said that the company will continue to proactively explore partnerships and investment opportunities in China and internationally to develop and market its technology businesses through ZhongAn Technology and ZhongAn International.
The company saw net losses of CNY666.8m for 1H2018, an increase of 132% compared to CNY286.8m for the same period last year, despite an improved combined ratio.
In the first half of 2018, the company's combined ratio decreased by 9.1% to 124.0% compared with the whole year of 2017.
Mr Francis Tang, CFO of ZhongAn Online, explained the improvement in the combined ratio was supported by four key factors:
Firstly, the company's increasing focus on emerging ecosystems -- healthcare, consumer finance and automobile -- has continuously helped optimise its client acquisition, products and risk control, etc.
Secondly, the narrowed loss ratio was achieved through accumulating user data at partnering ecosystem platforms.
Thirdly, ZhongAn Online has continued to optimise its product mix by decreasing the proportion of less profitable products.
Lastly, the application of cloud computing, big data and artificial intelligence technologies has boosted efficiency in underwriting and claims processing.