As a result of the coronavirus pandemic affecting the economy, most life insurers in South Korea have reported a steep plunge in their net profits.
According to a report from The Korea Times, the country’s largest insurer, Samsung Life Insurance, saw its first-quarter net profit decrease by 45.4% to KRW256.5bn ($208m). This was attributed to widening losses in its variable insurance business as the coronavirus shock led to the local stock market collapse.

Concurrently, other major life players also reported unsatisfactory earnings during the first three months of 2020.While the Shinhan Life Insurance affiliate reported a 26.3% drop in profit to KRW39.7bn, Orange Life Insurance saw its net profit reduce by 25.9% to KRW59.5bn.

The fall in profits was found to be more serious for KB Life Insurance whose net profit only reached KRW5.9bn which was a 35.2% decrease from 2019.However, insurers Hanwha Life Insurance and Mirae Asset Life Insurance managed to defend its profits against coronavirus-related shocks.The life insurance arm of Hanwha Group reported a KRW47.8bn first-quarter net profit, a slight increase of 2.7% from the previous year.

Meanwhile, Mirae Asset Life Insurance saw a 25.3% rise in net profit to KRW30.3bn due to its term insurance business which is said to guarantee high returns and therefore offset operating loss caused by the ongoing pandemic.

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