South Korea Insurance Report

Providing expert analysis, independent forecasts and competitive intelligence on the insurance industry.

Report includes: BMI Industry View, Industry SWOT Analysis, Industry Forecasts, BMI's Insurance Risk Reward Index and Company Profiles.

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South Korea Insurance Report
Product Price

BMI View: Both the life and the non-life segments of South Korea's sophisticated insurance sector should benefit from the ageing of the population. I n Q117, we have made downwards adjustments to our estimates of life and long-term insurance premiums in 2015 and subsequent years. This recognises a marginally less positive view of South Korea's economic prospects relative to Q416. We have also increased our projections of motor vehicle insurance, to take account of higher vehicle sales and, therefore, volumes for the insurers.

Headline Insurance Forecasts (South Korea 2013-2020)
2013 2014 2015 2016f 2017f 2018f 2019f 2020f
e/f = BMI estimate/forecast. Source: BMI, KIRI
Gross life premiums written, KRWbn 106,084.28 110,575.00 117,214.00 122,204.64 128,659.25 136,300.11 144,778.83 154,029.66
Gross life premiums written, KRW, % y-o-y -8.0 4.2 6.0 4.3 5.3 5.9 6.2 6.4
Gross life premiums written, USDbn 96.91 105.01 103.61 103.56 109.97 116.50 125.35 136.92
Gross life premiums written, USD, % y-o-y -5.3 8.4 -1.3 0.0 6.2 5.9 7.6 9.2
Gross non-life premiums written, KRWbn 71,420.76 76,575.00 80,257.00 87,004.07 93,348.77 100,862.29 109,195.01 118,274.74
Gross non-life premiums written, KRW, % y-o-y 4.2 7.2 4.8 8.4 7.3 8.0 8.3 8.3
Gross non-life premiums written, USDbn 65.25 72.72 70.94 73.73 79.79 86.21 94.54 105.13
Gross non-life premiums written, USD, % y-o-y 7.2 11.5 -2.4 3.9 8.2 8.0 9.7 11.2

Key Updates And Forecasts

  • South Korea is in many ways the archetypal North Asian insurance sector. Life insurance has long played a central role in the economy and society as a conduit for organised savings. This is in a country where the savings rate has typically been high and the provision of social security by the state has been limited. Two factors set the insurance sector apart from others. One is the fact that long-term savings and protection products are also a very important business for South Korea's non-life companies, which effectively operate as composites. The other is that many of the leading companies benefit from their association with the c haebol corporate groups which dominate South Korea's economy.

  • Recent results from the largest insurers confirm that they are benefiting from a number of factors. For instance, life insurance continues to be seen as an attractive opportunity relative to other savings and investments, given very low interest rates and the volatility of financial markets. Particular life insurers (and, indeed, non-life insurers) have had success in promoting long-term protection products. Over the long-term, demand for retirement income products will grow thanks to the ageing of the population.

  • The ageing of the population should also boost demand for long-term savings and protection products that are offered by the non-life insurers. Demographic changes should also support the development of health and personal accident insurance. This quarter, we have lowered our projections of sales of long-term products, to take account of a slightly less favourable view of South Korea's economy. Conversely, we have lifted projections of motor vehicle insurance premiums slightly.

BMI Industry View
Table: Headline Insurance Forecasts (South Korea 2013-2020)
Industry Forecast
Life Premiums Forecast
Table: Life Premiums (South Korea 2013-2020)
Table: Life Insurance Claims, South Korea
Non-Life Premiums Forecast
Table: Non-Life Premiums (South Korea 2013-2020)
Table: Non-Life Insurance Claims, South Korea
Non-Life Sub-Sector Forecast
Table: Non-Life Insurance Premiums by Product Line (South Korea 2013-2020)
Industry Risk Reward Ratings
Asia Pacific Industry Risk/Reward Index
Table: Asia Pacific Insurance Risk/Reward Index Q216
Market Overview
Life Market Overview
The Product Offering
Competitive Landscape
Table: Company Performance: Life Insurance Market (USDmn) 2009-2014
Table: Company Performance: Life Insurance Market (%) 2007-2012
Non-Life Market Overview
The Product Offering
The Competitive Landscape
Table: Company Performance: Non-Life Insurance Market (USDmn)
Table: Company Performance: Non-Life Insurance Market (%)
Company Profile
Hanwha Life
Samsung Life
Samsung Fire & Marine
Industry Forecast Methodology
Risk/Reward Index Methodology
Table: Indicators
Table: Weighting of Indicators

The South Korea Insurance Report has been researched at source and features BMI Research's independent assessment and forecasts for the insurance sector. It examines industry developments, key growth drivers and risk management projections, including the macroeconomic situation, government policy, regulatory environment and the level of development and potential for growth, broken down by line. Leading insurers are profiled, covering premiums, products and services and competitive positioning.

BMI's South Korea Insurance Report provides professionals, consultancies, government departments, regulatory bodies and researchers with independent forecasts and regional competitive intelligence on the Korean insurance industry.

Key Benefits

  • Benchmark BMI's independent insurance industry forecasts for South Korea to test other views - a key input for successful budgeting and strategic business planning in South Korea's insurance market.
  • Target business opportunities and risks in South Korea through our reviews of latest industry trends, regulatory changes and major deals, investments and macroeconomic developments.
  • Exploit latest competitive intelligence on your competitors, partners and clients via our Company Profiles (inc. SWOTs, KPIs and latest activity).


BMI Industry View

Summary of BMI’s key industry forecasts and views, covering the Life and Non-Life segments, the evolving competitive landscape and business operational risks.

Industry SWOT Analysis

Analysis of the major Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats within the insurance sector and within the broader political, economic and business environment.

BMI Industry Forecasts

Historic data series (2005-2014) and forecasts to end-2019 for key industry indicators, supported by explicit assumptions, plus analysis of key risks to the main forecasts. Indicators include:

  • Life/non-life Premiums: Total premium growth (USDmn), premium growth (% y-o-y), penetration (% of GDP), density (USD per capita) for Life and Non-Life sectors, claims reinsurance, and assets and liabilities.
  • Non-life subsectors: Data on gross written premiums for all major Non-Life segments (motor, transport, property, personal accident, health, general liability and credit financial).

BMI’s Insurance Risk Reward Index

BMI’s Risk Reward Indices provide investors (Life and Non-Life) looking for opportunities in the region with a clear country-comparative assessment of a market’s risks and potential rewards. Each of the country markets are scored using a sophisticated model that includes more than 40 industry, economic and demographic data points to provide an indices of highest to lowest appeal to investors, with each position explained.

Company Profiles*

Examines the competitive positioning and short- to medium-term business strategies of key industry players. The latest financial and operating statistics and key company developments are also incorporated within the company profiles, enabling a full evaluation of recent company performance and future growth prospects.

Growth Drivers & Risk Management Projections

Key data and forecasts to end-2019 focusing on the growth drivers and downside risks to specific insurance lines including:

  • Population: Male/female, by age group, active/pensionable/youth population % of total, urban/rural population % of total.
  • Freight: Tonnage – air freight, rail freight, road freight, inland waterway.
  • Motor: Fleet size by type of vehicle % change y-o-y.
  • Epidemiology: Disease Adjusted Life Years and private health expenditure.

Market Overview & Rankings

Illustration of the insurance industry via rankings tables comparing gross written premiums by company (USDmn) and market share (%) for the top 20 players in both Life and Non-Life. This chapter also includes in-depth regional analysis of the market position, business strategies and investment potential of the leading insurance companies.


The insurance Reports draw on an extensive network of primary sources, such as multilateral organisations, government departments, industry associations, chambers and company reports.

*Company profiles are not available for every country. Those reports instead contain information on the current activities of prominent companies operating in the market.