Life insurers in South Korea wrote KRW153trn ($136bn) worth of new insurance contracts in the first half of this year, down 11% from the corresponding period a year ago, according to the Korea Life Insurance Association (KLIA).
Even more striking, the 24 life insurers in operating in the market earned KRW2.75trn in new-business premiums in 1H2018, down by 46% from KRW5.11trn for the first six months of last year, reports The Korea Times citing the KLIA data.
Of the KRW2.75trn in initial premiums, KRW2.65trn or 96% was generated from the face-to-face sales. The figure is half the figure from the same period last year.
The decline in sales reflects the country's low birthrate and rapidly ageing population as well as changes in the life insurance product structure.
"No one is looking for long-term deposit products anymore. Life insurers also encourage their planners to sell variable insurance products, probably the only thing life insurance planners can sell at the moment. For this reason, they are in exodus to non-life insurance firms," an insurance planner said.
The KLIA said that 118,000 life insurance planners were registered with the agency as of 30 June, down nearly 40,000 from its 2013 figure of 153,000.