Enriching Lives

A History of Insurance in Hong Kong, 1841–2010


Feng Bang-yan and Nyaw Mee-Kau

ISBN : 978-988-8028-70-2

Economics, Finance, Business, Management

December 2010

256 pages, 8″ x 8″

  • HK$400.00

Insurance is one of Hong Kong’s oldest industries. In the nineteenth century the lucrative trade between China and Europe carried many risks—piracy, warfare, fire, loss of goods, and other mishaps. Dozens of different insurance firms—some home-grown, others imported—established themselves in the colony to protect ships and their cargoes. With the diversification of Hong Kong’s economy into manufacturing and services, and the development of life and health insurance policies, Hong Kong became a global centre of insurance. The industry continues to transform itself today through changing practices and new lines of business. This is the first comprehensive history of Hong Kong’s insurance industry, and argues its central importance in the economy. Typhoons, shipwrecks, fires, wars, political turbulence and unexpected events of all kinds provide a dramatic background to a fascinating survey. The book is richly illustrated with photographs and documents.

Feng Bangyan is professor of the College of Economics, Jinan University. Nyaw Mee Kau is a former vice president of Lingnan University.

“The book will help students better understand the development of the industry and the important role it plays in Hong Kong, as well as build up their knowledge and sense of belonging in the industry. It will be of interest to people from the field of insurance and finance, people who are interested in Hong Kong history, as well as the general public.” —Chan Kin-por, Legislative Councillor—Functional Constituency (Insurance)

“The history of Hong Kong insurance is the story of modern Hong Kong. This book shows how the development of insurance has from the start been intertwined with the growth of Hong Kong’s economy and society. It will appeal to general readers, scholars, and specialists alike.” —John M. Carroll, Professor, Department of History, University of Hong Kong