Governments are expressly encouraging Insurance Institutions to improve and upgrade online insurance services based on developed Internet technology.
In China, providing online insurance services to the customer is subject to the supervision of the insurance authority, China Banking and Insurance Regulatory Commission (“CBIRC”).
- 1. Obligations and requirements in order to provide InsurTech-service
Firstly, if an entity operates and develops the insurance business including sales, underwriting, settlement of claims, surrender, complaints handling, and customer services, such an entity shall obtain an insurance license issued by CBIRC.
Secondly, if an entity will not engage in the above mentioned insurance business, such an entity (usually refers to a third-party platform) is allowed to provide auxiliary services of network technical support for insurance consumers and Insurance Institutions (defined as below), provided that the Insurance Institutions the entity cooperated with shall be obligated to disclose such entity’s name and other necessary information as required by CBIRC.
Such third-party platforms are strictly prohibited to provide any insurance sales service, namely, comparing prices of different insurance products. In practice, making profits from “inducing” the insured to purchase insurance products will be determined as providing insurance sales services rather than auxiliary services by CBIRC. For example, the leading third-party insurance platform-Weease Broker, was imposed by CBIRC in 2018 a fine of RMB0.5 million (the highest amount of fine can be imposed to an insurance broker to China) for marketing insurance products through “Win Bao Xian” APP, one of the most popular online insurance platforms in China while without relevant insurance licenses.
- Obligations and requirements in order to engage in insurance business
At present, only insurance companies, insurance broker companies, insurance agency companies and insurance surveyors and loss adjusters companies (collectively as “Insurance Institutions”) incorporated in China with the insurance license issued by CIRC are allowed to engage in internet insurance business as described above.
In China, insurance services, as an important financial services sectors, are highly regulated.
Up to the first part of 2018, the total internet insurance premium income has been around 20 $billion.
Norah Yinuo Zhang