Global Insights , China Context





True value of insurance broker license





In the Internet medicine area, health insurance plays an important part and is therefore the preferred way for many start-ups in this field to generate profits. With policy support increasingly favoring commercial medical and health insurance, a business license for life insurance has naturally become sought-after by all players in the competition for insurance licenses. However, it could be very difficult to obtain an insurance license given the stringent regulation over the insurance industry. So what does it mean to have each type of insurance licenses? What is its true value? Who indeed holds a health insurance license? and how difficult is it to also have a life insurance license issued by the China Insurance Regulatory Commission?

Some start-ups actually hold an insurance broker license rather than an insurance license. They are not entitled to underwrite insurance products and only have the permit for agency sales of such products or to give advice on and purchase insurance products and relevant services on behalf of their clients. Revenues earned by insurance brokers in China include commissions charged to insurers in addition to fees charged to clients for consultation services. On 2 November 2015, the China Insurance Regulatory Commission issued a national broker license to, making it the first Internet insurance start-up with such a license. Despite a clear business model, competition remains fierce among over 210,000 sideline insurance agencies across China operating as of the end of 2014.


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