A total of 465,689 insurance policies were sold online in Taiwan in the first quarter, down 25 percent from a year earlier, as demand for international travel insurance and interest-sensitive annuities fell due to border controls and falling returns respectively, Financial Supervisory Commission (FSC) data showed.
Property insurers sold 437,772 policies online, down 20 percent from a year earlier, while life insurers reported 61 percent less in sold policies at 27,917, the data showed.
Life insurer’s interest-sensitive annuities took a hit from reduced declared interest rates, which decide the monthly bonus that policyholders could earn, the commission said in a statement.
Photo courtesy of Chung Kuo Insurance Co
A total of 821 interest-sensitive annuities were sold during the January-to-March period, with first-year premiums of NT$145 million (US$5.23 million), both halved from a year earlier, the data showed.
Travel insurance products also lost momentum due to ongoing border controls amid the COVID-19 pandemic, with 13,136 policies sold last quarter, down 44 percent from a year earlier. Their first-year premiums were NT$3.29 million, also down 68 percent year-on-year, the data showed.
Customers still purchased travel insurance for their domestic trips, but sales were lower due to cheaper insurance charges, the commission said.
As a result, life insurers saw their combined first-year premiums fall by 46 percent year-on-year to NT$158 million in the first three months, the data showed.
On the other hand, property insurers’ first-year premiums rose 19 percent annually to NT$466 million, as their losses from travel insurance sales were offset by double-digit percentage growth in sales of scooter insurance, the data showed.
About 215,000 scooter insurance policies were sold, with premiums totaling NT$183 million in the first quarter, nearly double that of a year earlier, as more scooter owners preferred buying the compulsory insurance and additional coverage online for discounts, the commission said.
Overall first-year premiums of all online insurance policies declined 9 percent to NT$624 million in the first three months, it said.
Online sales of insurance might pick up this quarter, as insurance companies began selling virus and medical insurance against COVID-19 online from this month, which could attract customers, the commission said.
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