Across all categories of insurance products sold online, accident and health insurance grew most rapidly in the first half of this year, with premium income from this class of business reaching CNY7.29bn ($1.05bn), according to data released by the Insurance Association of China (IAC).
The figure accounted for 22% of the total online premium income generated in the first half of this year. The growth rate for online sales of accident and health insurance exceeded 79% during the period.
Since Shanghai-based ZhongAn Online P&C Insurance launched high-end health insurance plans in 2016, various insurance companies have marketed similar mid-to high-end products, reports China Daily. This has led to the rapid growth of sales of accident and health insurance policies online, the IAC said.
A survey of the customers of online insurance products conducted by the association and iResearch Consulting Group earlier this year found that mid-to high-end health insurance penetration was 49.4% in China.
Total online insurance generated premium income of CNY32.64bn in the first half of this year, up by 37% year-on-year.
Four online-only property insurance companies, namely ZhongAn Online P&C Insurance, Tk.cn, Anxin Property & Casualty Insurance, and 1an.com, grew rapidly in the first half. Their total premium income rose almost 95% year-on-year to CNY7.81bn.
Sixteen foreign insurers, including Cathay Insurance, AXA Tianping P&C Insurance and American International Group also recorded rapid growth of premium income from online property insurance. Their combined premiums grew 125% year-on-year to CNY1.72bn, accounting for 5.26% of the overall online property insurance business. Their contribution rose by 2.04 percentage points year-on-year, according to the IAC.
IAC data showed sales channels of insurance agencies and third-party online platforms notched up accumulated premium income of CNY17.81bn, contributing 54.58% of the total. Accumulated premium income via insurers' own websites and apps stood at CNY1.42bn and CNY11.8bn respectively.