American International Assurance Co (AIA) plans to hire more sales agents to deepen its presence in Taiwan this year, AIA Taiwan branch chief executive officer Tan Kar-kor (陳家虎) said yesterday.
The hiring plan came after AIA Taiwan on April 30 raised its working capital by NT$530 million (US$27.89 million) to NT$2.62 billion, in line with its long-term commitment to the local market.
Tan declined to give exact numbers, but said that the company currently employs 650 sales agents and 250 telemarketers.
In addition, AIA Taiwan plans to set up offices in Taoyuan, Hsinchu and Greater Tainan so that it can better serve customers in those areas, Tan said.
The Hong Kong-based insurer currently has offices in Taipei, Greater Taichung and Greater Kaohsiung.
AIA Taiwan saw its first-year premiums rise 14.8 percent for the first three months of this year from the same period last year, bucking a 22.2 percent decline for the sector, Tan said.
He attributed the showing to the insurer’s sales of health insurance policies, which offer coverage for cancer, adding that an improving economic outlook this year is favorable for sales of both protection and investment-linked insurance policies.
The local life insurance industry saw total premiums contract 6.9 percent during the January-to-March period to NT$581.48 billion compared with a year earlier, the Life Insurance Association of the Republic of China (壽險公會) said.
Overall, protection policy premiums fell 13.4 percent to NT$501.78 billion last quarter, while sales of investment-linked products jumped 76.4 percent from a year earlier, the association’s data showed.
Two downward adjustments in assumed interest rates last year boosted sales of protection insurance policies, the association said, adding that the high comparison base accounted for the lackluster performance this year.