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ICMIF Introduces Mutual Insurance to China

Staff Writer | December 01, 2015

More than 120 officials from the China Insurance Regulatory Commission (CIRC) and potential mutual insurers assembled in Shanghai, China for the International Forum on Operations Experience of Mutual Insurance. The forum was held with the express desire of participants and organizers to understand the opportunity of growing a mutual insurance market in China.

The event opened with welcome speeches from Fan Liming, President of Shanghai University of Finance and Economics and Liang Tao, Vice Chairman, CIRC. Keynote speeches were then delivered by Jean-Louis Davet, member of the board of the International Cooperative and Mutual Insurance Federation (ICMIF) and CEO of a health mutual insurer MGEN (France) and Liz Green, senior vice president of ICMIF.

The speakers shared market data, case studies and reputation research all arguing that mutual insurance is the fastest growing part of the insurance industry and delivers diversity and innovation in markets all over the world. Key findings from ICMIF’s 2013 Mutual Market Share Research included:

  • Since the onset of the financial crisis, mutual and cooperative insurers have grown their premium income by 28 percent between 2007 and 2013, whilst the total insurance market only increased by 11 percent during the same period
  • 915 million people are served by mutual and cooperative insurers globally.

The forum finished with a panel session where six of the speakers answered questions from the delegates, many of which came from the applicants for the pilot mutual insurance licenses. ICMIF representatives Davet and Green shared insights and concrete examples of the way mutual insurers bring leading, innovative and robust solutions to the various insurance markets.

Green shared information with delegates on ICMIF’s 5-5-5 Mutual Microinsurance Strategy. She also explained about ICMIF Leadership+ training program and the AGILE insurance simulation tool. One of the host organizations, Shanghai University of Finances and Economics, requested a return visit by ICMIF to deliver a session for the university and show the relevant professors a demonstration of the AGILE insurance simulation. This would give the university a true differentiator for their courses

“This is indeed a historic moment for Chinese people, particularly the underserved, those without access to insurance provision,” says Green. “There is a huge appetite for delivering high quality, competitive mutual insurance products via digital platforms in China. I believe that they will grant at least a few pilot mutual licenses within the coming months, all in time for the G20 to be hosted here in 2016.” 

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