MUMBAI: The life insurance sector saw premium collections grow by double digits in the June quarter, driven mainly by companies sharpened focus on singlepremium products.
In the quarter to June 30, the collections grew by 10.78% from a year ago to ₹33,166 crore, according to data released by the Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority (IRDA). Life Insurance Corporations premiums grew by 6.20% while the private sector collectively logged 21.57% growth.
HDFC Standard Life, the largest private-sector life insurer by market capitalisation, reported 66.41% growth in income from selling new policies to ₹2,677 crore.
“The growth is fuelled primarily through the single-premium business, which is growing at a much faster rate,” said Joydeep Roy, partner, KPMG. “The individual regular premium insurance business is now barely 29% of the market, with the private sector selling more such products than LIC. This means that people at the lower end of the spectrum are not getting covered and the earnings of agents and distributors are diminishing.”
Among private players, HDFC Life, Birla Sunlife, Tata AIA and Max Life reported healthy growth. With 11.63% market share, ICICI Prudential Life beat SBI Life to become the largest player in individual regular new premium income, IRDA data showed.
In regular individual business, LIC had a market share of 44.73% compared with the private sectors 55.27%.
The first quarter is generally a lean season for life insurance. On the weighted retail premium basis, larger listed players SBI Life, ICICI Prudential Life and HDFC Life reported tepid growth of 8%, 13% and -1% year-on-year, respectively.
LICs new business weighted received premium (WRP) declined 3.5% YoY – its market share, thus, shrank 467 basis point on a month-on-month basis to 47.8%.
“While the year has started on a softer note for private players (FY19YTD growth of 9% YoY), we expect growth to recover to 16% in FY19 driving their WRP market share to 53%,” said Motilal Oswal in a report.