Lit­tle known Shen­zhen-HK in­sur­ance ‘con­nect’

China Daily (USA) - - BUSINESS - By CHAIHUA in Shen­zhen, Guang­dong grace@chi­nadai­

Denizens of Shen­zhen, a city neigh­bor­ingHong Kong, were the first among the main­lan­ders to spark an in­sur­ance bo­nanza in the spe­cial ad­min­is­tra­tive re­gion. But grad­u­ally, they found new busi­ness op­por­tu­ni­ties in pro­mot­ing Hong Kong in­sur­ance prod­ucts to fel­low main­lan­ders.

Lyu Wei from Shen­zhen works in the fi­nan­cial ser­vices in­dus­try. In the sec­ond half of 2014, he tookupa part-time job of in­tro­duc­ing Hong Kong in­sur­ance prod­ucts to main­land buy­ers. Now, he leads a team of 20 peo­ple and serves more than 200 clients from Guang­dong, Sichuan, Shang­hai and even Bei­jing.

Since main­land agents and bro­kers need au­tho­riza­tion of Hong Kong com­pa­nies to sell the lat­ter’s in­sur­ance prod­ucts, Lyu has teamed up with aHong Kon­gin­sur­ance­broking­com­pany. He is also con­stantly ex­pand­ing his net­work of con­tacts in the main­land so he could find more buy­ers on Hong in­sur­ance prod­ucts.

He said his firm only in­tro­duces clients to in­sur­ers and pro­vides con­sul­ta­tion ser­vices. Pol­icy buy­ers among his clients sign in­sur­ance con­tracts throughHongKong part­ners.

His team also rec­om­mends cus­tom­ized pack­ages of in­sur­ance prod­ucts to clients.

“Hong Kong’s in­sur­ance prod­ucts are very diver­si­fied,” he said. “We can com­pare prod­ucts of dif­fer­ent com­pa­nies and rec­om­mend a pack­age that suits a client.” Kong’s LyuWei,

Once buy­ers se­lect a prod­uct, he ar­ranges for pa­per­work through his bro­ker part­ner in Hong Kong. He or his team mem­ber­sac­com­pany buy­ers to com­plete the whole pro­cess.

Some­times, they also help make ar­range­ments for travel, food and ac­com­mo­da­tion in both Shen­zhen and Hong Kong. Time per­mit­ting, clients are even of­fered a tour of HongKong. In ad­di­tion, af­ter­sales ser­vices in­clude help in claim set­tle­ments and pol­icy re­newals.

All these ser­vices are free of cost, and are said to be bankrolled by com­mis­sions from in­sur­ers that also sup­port agent-driven bro­ker firms.

In ad­di­tion to in­di­vid­ual ser­vices, some firms in Shen­zhen have web­sites that com­pare dif­fer­ent Hong Kong in­sur­ance prod­ucts. Sites such as Gx­i­ spe­cial­ize in of­fer­ing on­line con­sul­ta­tion ser­vices.

The rush for Hong Kong in­sur­ance has spawned some il­le­gal main­land firms that ac­cept unau­tho­rized busi­ness from Hong Kong bro­kers. Some of them even give false as­sur­ances to prospec­tive cus­tomers that in­sur­ance con­tracts could be signed on the main­land it­self with­out hav­ing to travel toHong Kong.

Reg­u­la­tions stip­u­late that pol­icy buy­ers need to be phys­i­cally present in Hong Kong at the time of sign­ing the in­sur­ance con­tract.

Sa­muel Yung, hon­orary pres­i­dent of the As­so­ci­a­tion of Reg­is­tered Fi­nan­cial Con­sul­tants ofHongKong andMa­cao, said hopes of high prof­its have driven some third-party as­set man­age­ment com­pa­nies into il­le­git­i­mate in­sur­ance-re­lated busi­ness.

This leads to many prob­lems, and could de­stroy the devel­op­ment of Hong Kong’s in­sur­ance in­dus­try. Main­land reg­u­la­tors should in­ten­sify ac­tion against such il­le­gal ser­vices, he said.

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