Chinese insurance brands are most valuable with Ping An top

By Kate Birch
While the world’s top 100 insurance brands have declined 6% in brand value due to fallout from the pandemic, China’s insurers top Brand Finance rank...

It’s not been a good year for insurance companies, with the total value of the world’s top 100 most valuable insurance brands declining by 6%, according to Brand Finance, the world's leading independent brand valuation consultancy. 

That’s a loss of nearly US$30 billion, decreasing from US$462.4bn in 2020 to US$433.0bn in 2021 and hardly surprising considering the sector has had to negotiate the fallout from the COVID-19 pandemic. 

“As predicted, insurance brands have taken a hit this year as they negotiate the fallout from the pandemic,” says Declan Ahern, Director, Brand Finance, “from the near standstill of the global economy and prolonged low interest rates to slowing development across the sector in general.”

They have however, according to Ahearn, fared better than initial predictions at the outbreak of last year “demonstrating the resilience of the world’s top insurance brands”.

China dominates top 10 ranking

And China comes out strong in Brand Finance’s Insurance 2021 report, with the 12 Chinese brands ranked accounting for 30% of total brand value as brands leverage significant volume premium of the Chinese market. 

“With access to a market as immense as China, this offers these brands huge potential to leverage a significant volume premium over many other markets,” says Brand Finance. 

In fact, China has five insurance brands in the top 10, compared to the US with just two (GEICO and Progressive, both of which saw a 7% uplift in brand value over the last year), with Ping An, China Life, CPIC, AIA and PICC in the top 10 rankings. 


Ping An continues brand value reign

Chinese conglomerate Ping An continues its reign as the world’s most valuable insurance brand for the fifth consecutive year. That’s despite its 26% drop in brand value to US$44.8bn over the last year, which according to Brand Finance is “largely attributable to the temporary drop in future earnings and revenue outlook, compared to the previous year”. 

So what is Ping An getting right? Throughout the pandemic, the insurance giant has continued to strengthen its technological capabilities and provide high-quality products and services to clients and this was seen in the first quarter of 2021 financial results where Ping An achieved operating profit attributable to shareholders of the parent company that was up 8.9% YOY. 

Also, the Group promoted annuity products, improved its protection product portfolio by developing new 'product + service' packages for healthy business development. New business value of the life and health insurance business rose by 15.4% YOY and operating profit rose steadily by 4.2% YOY. Ping An's retail customers also continued to increase, so that by the end of March, it had grown 1.0% in the year-to-date to more than 220 million, including 84.57 million, or 38.3%, who hold multiple contracts with different Group subsidiaries.

What has been particularly fruitful for Ping An throughout the pandemic has been the continued and growing success of its Good Doctor app, the world’s leading online healthcare platform, which has posted growth in both revenue and user traffic over the last year. In fact, the app has been paramount in helping combat the repercussions of the pandemic via increasing the speed of diagnoses and providing faster treatment services. 

According to Ping An, "While pursuing steady progress by continuously advancing our 'finance + technology' and the 'finance + ecosystem' strategies, Ping An adheres to the philosophy of 'expertise makes life simple, technology makes financial services heartwarming, and healthcare makes life better'. In the future, Ping An will seize the development opportunities of fintech and healthtech, support the development of smart cities, fulfill social responsibilities and protect society and people's livelihoods."

China Life and CPIC fast-growing

For the first time in the rankings, insurance company China Life overtook Allianz to claim second spot in the Brand Finance Insurance rankings, following only a slight 4% decrease in brand value to US$22.6bn compared to Allianz’s huge 19% decrease to US$20.2bn. 

The life insurance giant recently announced its 2021 first-quarter net profits, which jumped by 67.3% to US$4.41bn compared to the corresponding quarter in 2020. 

And Chinese insurer Chinese Pacific Insurance Company (CPIC), whose brand value is up 10% to US$15.3 bn, is once again the fastest-growing brand in the top 10, ranked fifth, as it continues to focus on expansion into new markets and has further been implementing plans to onboard high-quality investors globally by floating on the LSE as part of the London-Shanghai Stock connect scheme. 

The other Chinese insurers feature in the top include AIA (6th), which reported a 22% decrease in brand value to US$14.1bn, and PICC (9th) with a 20% decrease to US$8.8bn.


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