Insurers to boost presence in China


Major Japanese nonlife insurers are keen to boost their presence in the Chinese automobile coverage market following recent deregulatory action in the country.

From this month, Beijing started allowing non-Chinese insurers to sell compulsory auto insurance policies.

In the Chinese market, Japanese nonlife insurers’ operations have so far been limited to sales to Japanese firms in the country.

They are now set to fully start offering policies to Chinese consumers, taking advantage of the deregulation.

Japanese insurers are planning to launch compulsory vehicle insurance policies as soon as preparations are made. In China, compulsory policies are usually sold in a package with voluntary auto coverage, an official at a major Japanese nonlife insurer said.

Sompo Japan Insurance Inc. plans to start online automobile insurance sales in China by the end of next March, targeting wealthy individuals. Tokio Marine & Nichido Fire Insurance Co. aims to launch auto insurance policies for individuals within 2012.

Aioi Nissay Dowa Insurance Co. has already teamed up with a Chinese partner to sell its products to owners of automobiles made by Toyota Motor Corp., a major shareholder of the insurer.

While China’s nonlife insurance market has reached over ¥5 trillion, the combined share of non-Chinese insurers stands at only 1 percent.