(Yicai Global) Feb. 22 -- China's internet insurance has maintained rapid growth in recent years, and 217 million high-potential customers have fairly firm plans of buying insurance in the coming year, a report by internet giant Tencent Group Holding's insurance platform WeSure projects.
China's online insurance sector peaked in 2016 when the number of policies rose from 370 million in 2012 to 6.8 billion in 2016, a gain of 18 times in five years, per the report. The country's web-based policyholders now total 222 million, which leaves great space for growth when viewed against the 802 million current internet users nationwide.
About 75 percent of web users are receptive to the idea of internet insurance, and online sources have now become the second-largest sales channel for policies after in-person sales. Among respondents, 27.7 percent have bought insurance on the internet, and 27 percent have definite plans to obtain coverage in the coming year, the research shows.
Most high-potential customers are highly-educated, highly-paid and married, and value insurance's mandatory savings function over and aside that of providing protection. More people from small cities and lower-income families will become future internet customers, and they may harbor even greater expectations regarding insurance's investment and financial management functions, the report added.
WeSure, which debuted in November 2017, provides policy sales, inquiries and claims via Tencent's QQ and WeChat social networking apps.
Editor: Ben Armour