The current largest insurers in the world including American Insurance Group (AIG) of United States, were founded in Shanghai in 1919.

Before 1949, China's insurance industry was controlled by maximum foreign companies operating in Shanghai. . Most other insurers were large foreign companies that left china entirely after 1949, though some retreated to Hong Kong.

From 1949 to 1976, the insurance industry in china essentially ceased to exist. Few Chinese owned personal property, and almost all businesses enterprises were government-owned and "self-insured."

Economic Reforms and China's Insurance Industry

In 1978, as part of the Deng Xiaoping-initiated economic reforms and opening up of door policies. China economy began to resume the insurance industry through the reestablishing the People's Insurance Company of China (PICC). PICC had monopoly position in China's emerging insurance market. In 1996, PICC was divided into three independent companies.

In 1998, the PICC group was disbanded and the 3 PICC companies were renamed

  • china Life Insurance
  • China Property Insurance (PICC),
  • china Reinsurance

In November of 1998, the State Council devolved supervision functions from the People's Bank of China to the newly established China Insurance Regulatory Commission (CIRC).

Economic reforms led foreign enterprises to play a role in the revival of China's insurance industry beginning in 1992. In September of 1992, the People's Bank of china granted AIG a permit to begin selling individual life and property insurance in Shanghai.

From 1992 to 2000, China gradually approved the re-entry of 16 additional leading foreign insurers. Economic reforms in china has increased the foreign participation in Insurance industry in China.

In 1980, when the insurance market was first reopened as part of the post financial reforms, insurance premiums totaled only RMB 640 million (US$ 77.4 million).

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