For the first time since September 2010, the life insurance industry managed to arrest the slide in premium collection in April-May.
Data collected by the Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority showed 23 life insurance companies, led by private insurers, collected Rs 12,428.9 crore in the first two months of this financial year by writing new policies, 1.4 per cent more than the Rs 12,253 crore collected in the same period last year.
Private life insurers reported a nearly eight per cent rise in premium collection at Rs 3,214 crore, compared to Rs 2,980 crore. Life Insurance Corporation of India (LIC), the country’s largest life insurer, reported a marginal decline in premium collection at Rs 9,215 crore, compared to Rs 9,273 crore (see table).
But policy issuance continued to remain southbound, as it fell six per cent in April-May.
While lack of products continued to remain a key factor behind the decline in policy issuance, the volatile equity market also took its toll. The worst sufferers were private sector life insurers. The number of policies issued by these was down nearly 15 per cent in the first two months of 2012-13.
For LIC, too, policy issuance was down nearly four per cent.
In 2011-12, premium collection by the life insurance industry was down 9.2 per cent at Rs 1,14,232.74 crore, compared with Rs 1,25,826.02 crore in the previous financial year.
General insurers rise 18%
The general insurance industry continued to clock steady growth in the first couple of months, as gross written premium grew by 18.3 per cent compared to the year before.
Premium collection stood at Rs 11,387 crore in April-May, compared with Rs 9,628 crore in the same period last year. While private insurers registered 15.8 per cent growth at Rs 4,864 crore, the four state-owned general insurance companies’ collection was 20.19 per cent higher at Rs 6,523.52 crore.