Taiwan Insurance Market and IT Overview

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4 January 2010


Taiwan is number one in the world in terms of insurance penetration. Although Taiwan's insurance industry is relatively developed, the insured amount per capita is not high, leaving significant room for growth. The premium income of Taiwan's insurance market grew from US$19.5 billion in 1999 to US$61 billion in 2008, representing a compound annual growth rate of 13.6%.

The insurance industry plays a significant role in Taiwan's economy, with the percentage of the industry's assets to the total assets of financial institutions currently exceeding 20%. In a new report, Taiwan Insurance Market and IT Overview, Celent examines the development, trends and overall outlook for Taiwan's insurance market.

After Taiwan's economy took off, people became more affluent. The Taiwanese like to save, and 10 years ago the savings rate was already about 25%. In recent years, due to increases in commodity prices, bearish stock prices, and no corresponding increase in wages, people have become more worried about their future. The financial crisis aggravated these worries. As a result, more and more people are unwilling to spend, and the savings rate has reached 30%. Suitable insurance products that can turn savings into funds for financial planning will bring opportunities for the development of Taiwan's insurance industry.

The scale of Taiwan's property/casualty insurance business is much smaller than that of the life business, and it is growing extremely slowly, experiencing a negative growth rate since 2005 and currently constituting about 1% of the GDP. However, the deregulation of premium rates represents an opportunity to develop low-cost distribution models such as direct marketing or online sales. In contrast, the percentage of the premium income from life insurance to the GDP is continuously growing, with a CAGR of 15% from 2000 to 2008.

"New products are constantly appearing in Taiwan's life insurance market," says Wenli Yuan, Celent senior analyst and author of the report. "Product innovation is an important factor that promotes the continuous development of the market."

"There are also opportunities for development in the areas of fire and earthquake insurance, due to the number of natural disasters in Taiwan, as well as annuity and health insurance," she adds.