Coronavirus has caused a decline in life insurance business for Chinese insurer Ping An but a tenfold increase in registrations for its online health consultation service, reported the Financial Times.
The warning from one of the world’s largest insurers by assets and the second-largest shareholder in HSBC Bank bodes poorly for the performance of China’s life insurance industry this year.
“Obviously, with the virus it’s more difficult for [agents] to do face-to-face business,” said James Garner, Ping An’s chief capital markets officer. “Sales and productivity [in life insurance] have seen a marked decline.”
Garner warned that the life insurance business would be adversely affected by the virus outbreak in the first half of the year but did not give guidance on the scale of lost business. He also said he expected a rapid turnaround once the epidemic ended.