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China's premium insurance income hits 561.7 bln yuan in 1st half
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China saw its premium income rise to 561.79 billion yuan (80.3 billion U.S. dollars) in the first half of this year, up 51 percent over the same period last year.

Property insurance premium income was 129.93 billion yuan in the first half of the year, said the China Insurance Regulatory Commission (CIRC) on Wednesday.

Premium income from people-related insurance, including life accident insurance and other health insurance, hit 431.86 billion yuan, a year-on-year increase of 64 percent.

Wu Dingfu, chairman of the CIRC, attributed the surging premium income of people-related insurance to hot sales of investment-oriented insurance products.

Premium income of investment-oriented insurance products accounted for 79 percent of the people-related insurance's total premium income, up 0.9 percentage point over the same period last year, said Wu.

The premium income from China Life Insurance (Group) Company (China Life), the country's leading insurer, stood at 195.46 billion yuan in the first six months, accounting for 35 percent of the country's total.

Its premium income was up 46.81 percent in the first half from the same period last year.

China Life's asset hit 1.2 trillion yuan by June, accounting for 40 percent of the total assets of the country's insurance industry.

China Life ranked the 159th among the 2008 Fortune 500 list of top global companies, said the U.S. Fortune magazine earlier. It ranked 192nd in 2007.

Yang Chao, Chairman of the company, said that China Life is going to enhance management and upgrade risk evaluation ability and monitoring mechanism, in order to become one of the world top financial and insurance groups.

Meanwhile, the country's insurers paid more indemnity in the first half due to huge losses caused by devastating disasters. Compensation totaled 154.39 billion yuan in the first six months, up 33.4 percent over the same period last year.

Total assets of China's insurance industry topped 3.02 trillion yuan by June, against 2.9 trillion yuan by the end of last year.

(Xinhua News Agency July 17, 2008)

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