News Life and Health 01 Mar 2018

South Korea:Life performance drives insurance sector's 2017 profits

| 01 Mar 2018

Insurance companies' preliminary net income for 2017 surged to KRW7.83 trillion (US$7.23 billion), a jump of 33% over KRW1.94 trillion in 2016, according to the Financial Supervisory Service.

Net income of life insurance companies soared by 63.4% to KRW3.95 trillion while nonlife insurers saw their net gains rise by 11.8% to KRW3.88 trillion.

For life insurance companies, a stock market rally, growing dividend income and higher interest rates contributed to increased overall income. Meanwhile, nonlife insurers’ earnings improved due to a better loss ratio in motor insurance. Furthermore, their investment income expanded due to interest rate increases in 2017.

Premium income for the overall insurance market reached KRW191.25 trillion in 2017, down by 2.1% from 2016. Of this total, KRW113.94 trillion came from life insurance companies, whose sales of savings-type insurance policies and retirement pension plans decreased by 12.3% and 4.5%, respectively. In addition, growth in the sales of protection-type insurance products slowed down to 3.1%. For non-life insurers, premium income increased by 2.4% to KRW77.31 trillion last year.

Aggregate assets in the insurance industry at the end of 2017 stood at KRW1,109.96 trillion, up by 7.3% from a year earlier. Shareholders’ equity increased over the year by 9.5% to KRW107.52 trillion at 31 December 2017.


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