Tough times in Korean marine insurance

Korean marine insurance last year was a struggle as local shipping firms slumped amid the global downturn. Samsung Fire & Marine in particular struggled, according to a report in The Korea Times. The General Insurance Association of Korea said yesterday that direct premiums written by domestic non-life insurers totalled KRW608bn last year, down 14.26% year on year.

Total direct premiums in marine insurance shrank by 19.88% yoy in Q1 2016, 14.33yoy in Q2 and 14.18% yoy in Q3.

Samsung Fire & Marine saw direct premiums fall by 38.65% in 2016 to KRW99bn. Its marine insurance business has shrunk since 2014 when the direct premiums written peaked at KRW202.47bn. it fell to KRW161.2bn in 2015.

Hyundai Marine Insurance overtook Samsung Fire and Marine that year, booking premiums of KRW186.25bn. Samsung Fire said that it intended the business contraction. “Based on accumulated data, we are slashing the number of contracts with high loss ratios and filling the portfolio with contracts with lower risks,” a Samsung Fire official said, adding that “although our marine insurance sales decreased, our profitability improved,” although specific figures were not provided to back up this claim.