ECONOMY

Two Factors That Aided Life Insurers In August

New business premiums of India’s life insurers rose in August as the number of policies sold increased and on higher group policy renewals.

New business premium, or a measure of revenue, increased 42.2% over the preceding month to Rs 27,820.7 crore in August, data released by the Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India showed. Year-on-year, it rose 15.5%.

When compared to the pre-pandemic level two years back in August 2019, the industry’s new business premium jumped 43.3%.

  • The number of policies sold during the reported month rose 13.1% over July, with group single policies registering a jump of 33.8%.

  • Year-on-year, the total number of policies sold were up 26.6%.

“The traditional savings business (especially non-participation policies, or the policies where insurer does not share profits with policyholders) continues to do well; unit-linked product sales have also picked up, while protection continues to struggle given the supply-side issues, conservative underwriting by insurers and demand impact by multiple price increases in the past 12 months,” Nomura said.

Nirmal Bang expects non-par savings and protection sales to grow at a higher rate.

  • Life Insurance Corp.’s new business premium surged 67.1% over the previous month to Rs 18,960.8 crore in August. Year-on-year, its premium rose 13.9%.

  • Group single premiums for the nation’s largest life insurer jumped 90% month-on-month, its group yearly renewable premiums witnessed a 154.8% increase.

  • Private life insurers’ new business premiums rose 6.8% over the preceding month to Rs 8,860 crore in August. Year-on-year, it grew 19.2%.

  • Group single premiums of private insurers saw a 6.3% rise, while their group yearly renewable premiums increased 12.1% month-on-month.

On a two-year basis, the industry’s retail weighted received premium—a measure of total premium collected through individual retail policies—saw a YTD compounded annual growth rate at 2.4%, according to Emkay Global. That, the brokerage said in a note, was driven by a 5.3% annualised growth rate of the private insurers. LIC, however, witnessed a contraction of 1.8% during the period.

In these two years, private insurers, according to Emkay, have increased their market share in retail weighted received premium to 61.4% from 58.0%. “The developments in FY22 validate the long-term trend of a gradual shift of the retail life insurance market toward private players.”

How India’s listed private life insurers fared in August…

HDFC Life

  • Its new business premium fell 14.7% over the preceding month to Rs 1,790.5 crore in August.

  • Year-on-year, too, the premium declined 12.7%.

  • The drop was due to a fall in group single premiums.

SBI Life

  • The company’s new business premium rose 29.8% over July to Rs 2,237.8 crore in August.

  • On an annual basis, the premium rose 19.4%.

ICICI Prudential Life

  • Its new business premium rose 14.1% over the preceding month to Rs 1,276.4 crore in August.

  • The premium jumped 44.8% over a year earlier.

  • The strong year-on-year growth, according to Nirmal Bang, was “on the back of aggressive focus on non-par savings along with a favourable environment for linked products”.

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