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‘Spillover’ insurance policy sales surge in first quarter

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  • By Kao Shih-ching / Staff reporter

Sales of spillover insurance policies in the first quarter grew 242 percent from the same period last year to NT$3.25 billion (US$110.24 million), with “walker-type” policies posting the fastest growth, Financial Supervisory Commission data showed on Thursday.

The policies are named after the spillover effect, when events in one sector affect another, such as when policyholders are granted a premium reduction or bonus after improving their health.

In the first quarter, 219,101 spillover insurance policies were sold, up 85 percent from a year earlier, commission data showed.

Among them, 51,775 “walker policies,” which give a bonus for adhering to a walking regimen, were sold in the first quarter, up 207 percent from a year earlier, generating premiums of NT$1.77 billion, the data showed.

Walker policies continued to dominate the market with a market share of 53 percent, ahead of a 21 percent market share for health check policies, the data showed.

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Health check policies, which reward policyholders for presenting good health examination results, reported premiums of NT$697 million, the data showed.

Cathay Life Insurance Co (國泰人壽), Nan Shan Life Insurance Co (南山人壽) and Shin Kong Life Insurance Co (新光人壽) were the three largest providers of spillover insurance products, the commission said.

Separately, local life insurance companies’ combined pretax profit in the first quarter dropped 25 percent from a year earlier to NT$128.8 billion due to a 9 percent decrease in investment gains, commission data showed.

While life insurers made foreign exchange gains of NT$23.2 billion in the first quarter, their investment gains fell to NT$354.4 billion from NT$389.9 billion a year earlier, pressued by falling equity and bond values ​​amid market fluctuations, the commission said.

The combined book value of life insurers fell 8.4 percent year-on-year to NT$2.19 trillion as of the end of last month, the data showed.

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