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China mulls opening auto insurance market


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China Said to Mull Insurance Market Easing for Foreign Firms


By Bloomberg News


Aug. 5 (Bloomberg) -- China’s insurance regulator is considering opening the market for mandatory liability insurance for automobiles to foreign firms, said three people with knowledge of the matter.


The China Insurance Regulatory Commission may allow foreign firms to offer the product, said the people, who declined to be identified because the decision isn’t final. Foreign insurers have effectively been shut out of the broader auto insurance market as drivers tend to choose the same insurer for both optional and compulsory coverage.


Almost six years after the insurance market was opened under World Trade Organization commitments, the share of overseas firms including American Insurance Group Inc. is 4 percent. China Life Insurance Co., the world’s biggest life insurer, more than quadrupled revenue in the period in a market that’s expanded an average 30 percent a year during the past three decades to $164 billion.

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