China's Internet insurance market 'set to be promising': report

China's Internet insurance market is predicted to see further growth given the country's large population of netizens and their high acceptance of seeking protection online.

China’s Internet insurance market is predicted to see further growth given the country’s large population of netizens and their high acceptance of seeking protection online, a new industry report said.

The study, done by WeSure Internet Insurance Ltd, an insurance agency platform affiliated to the Internet giant Tencent Holdings Ltd, and Tencent’s Customer Research & User Experience Design Center, covers 24,195 valid online questionnaires, with respondents spanning five cities of different sizes.

Among those surveyed, 63.1 percent indicated that they have private insurance plans, either bought by themselves or by their family members, and the group was featured as married, well-educated white-collar workers above the age of 30.

And 27.7 percent claimed that they have experience making insurance purchases through the Internet.

Based on the proportion, the world’s second largest economy is now estimated to have around 220 million insurance policy-holders who have bought insurance plans online, as data from the China Internet Network Information Center showed the number of netizens had hit 802 million as of the end of June in 2018.

China has seen explosive growth in its Internet insurance industry during the past few years, with the number of insurance policies sold online surging 18-fold from 2012 to 2016, statistics from the Insurance Association of China indicated.

As for the reasons for buying insurance, 92.7 percent of respondents cited “protection” as the most important consideration, followed by its functions of being an alternative for making compulsory savings and making financial investments, the report said.

Also, the study found that the top three popular insurance types which are relatively complicated in contract terms and protection were long-term accidental insurance, long-term critical disease insurance and life insurance.

Among those complex plans, the online purchase rate of one-year non-life insurance plans covering risks from critical diseases and other medical expenses was high, the study added.

Different age groups were found to turn to insurance for help out of differentiated concerns, with diseases the top concern for Internet users aged around 50.

Respondents aged 18-35 tended to be more worried about accidents than other groups, and worries about old-age care reached its peak for people aged around 55 years.

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