The China Insurance Regulatory Commission (CIRC) Wednesday announced the industry reported a 39.1 percent growth in received premiums in 2008, the highest annual rise since 2002.
The insurance industry in total received 978.41 billion yuan ($143.88 billion) in premiums, CIRC official Wu Xiaojun said.
The insurance market had maintained stable and relatively rapid growth in the past year, as the industry strengthened supervision and risk control to cope with the impact of the global financial crisis, said Wu.
Life insurance saw significant growth last year, up 49.2 percent to 665.84 billion yuan, while health insurance premiums rose 52.4 percent to 58.55 billion yuan.
But analysts said the growth rate might fall in 2009, as the slump in stocks and the property market cut savings and reduced demand.
Major natural disasters and the shrinking capital market last year had also considerably damaged profits of the industry, Wu said.
China Life, the country's biggest life insurer, has estimated that its 2008 unaudited net profit fell more than 50 percent from a year earlier.