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May 2021

China: Online life business grows by 13.6% in 2020

Source: Asia Insurance Review | Apr 2021

Online life insurance business maintained steady growth in 2020, with a total of CNY211.1bn ($32.6bn) in premiums, a year-on-year increase of 13.6% compared to 2019, according to data released by the Insurance Association of China (IAC) based on 2020 internet life insurance business information submitted by life insurance companies with online operations.
The pace of growth was almost double the 6.9% increase in premiums produced by life insurers from all channels.
The IAC’s report, ‘Analysis of the Operations of the Internet Life Insurance Market in 2020’, shows that 61 life companies were engaged in internet insurance business, one less than in 2019, accounting for 70% of the total number of life insurance member companies of the IAC. 
Chinese-funded life insurers still dominated online business, with a market share of 84.2% in terms of premiums generated online, an increase of four percentage points from 2019, while foreign-funded life ventures had a combined market share of 15.8%.
According to the data, 60 life insurance companies conducted business through third-party channels. Among them, 52 adopted the ‘two-pronged’ model of selling through their own official website as well as third-party platforms. One life insurer operated online solely through its own website.
In 2020, third-party platforms produced insurance premiums of CNY178.7bn, an increase of 10.3% year-on-year, accounting for 84.7% of total online premiums. The life insurers generated CNY32.4bn in premiums from their own websites, an increase of 36.1% year-on-year, accounting for 15.3 % of total online premiums. A 
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