Life policy issuances shrink 11% in April-December; premium collection by general insurers rises 24%.
The life insurance industry’s premium collection continued its downward trend, as policy issuances declined in the first nine months of the current financial year.
During the April-December period, the number of policies issued by the 23 life insurance players declined 11.21 per cent, resulting in a fall of around 17 per cent in the premium collection, which stood at Rs 71,953.5 crore, compared with Rs 86,698.8 crore in the year-ago period.
According to data collected by the Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority, the life insurance industry sold about 27.24 million policies, compared with 30.68 million policies in the year-ago period. This was largely due to private players, which saw the number of policies issued declining from 7.9 million to 5.6 million, a fall of 30 per cent.
The largest life insurer, Life Insurance Corporation (LIC) of India, too, saw policy issuances decline 4.62 per cent to 21.67 million. During the April-December period, LIC’s premium collection fell 15.66 per cent, while its private peers saw their collection fall 20.34 per cent. While LIC collected Rs 52,053.4 crore by writing new policies, private insurers collected Rs 19,900.1 crore.
Considering the choppy equity market and the high-inflationary scenario, sales of unit-linked policies are unlikely to pick up in the current financial year. Experts fear the growth of the life insurance industry is likely to remain subdued over the next 6-12 months.
The general insurance industry continued its steady growth, as gross written premium rose 24 per cent in first three quarters of 2011-12, compared to the year-ago period.
According to data collected by insurers, the general insurance industry collected premium worth Rs 42,023.3 crore by writing new policies during the April-December period, against Rs 33,889.2 crore last year.
While private insurers registered a growth of 26.73 per cent in premium collection at Rs 17,525.3 crore, the collection by the four state-owned general insurance companies was 22.1 per cent higher at Rs 24,498.1 crore.