Enthused by the good performance in the first half of the current fiscal, the non-life insurance industry is now hopeful closing the year with a Rs 1.2 lakh crore business. Gross direct premium underwritten by the industry stood at Rs 60,408 crore till September, up 28.6 per cent from Rs 46,966 crore a year ago, according to the General Insurance Council data. The industry closed last financial year with a premium income of Rs 96,400 crore. While the private sector players grew faster than their public sector peers with a growth of 32 per cent at Rs 25,284 crore during the first half, public sector companies registered a growth of 19 per cent to Rs 28,064 crore during the period. The remaining was contributed by specialised players like the five standalone health insurers (which grew 35 per cent at Rs 2,254 crore) and two state-run specialised players like EGCG and the Agricultural Insurance Company which clipped at 89 per cent during the reporting period at Rs 4,804 crore. The growth was mostly contributed by factors like jump in car sales in August and September, introduction of long-term two-wheeler insurance policy and almost no catastrophe in the country. The introduction of the Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana in July also helped push overall growth. "The industry has really done well in the first half and I hope that it will continue to do better if the economy fares better as growth as the insurance industry growth is directly related to the real economy," Irdai member (non-life) P J Joseph told PTI on the sidelines of an industry meet. The meet was organised by National Insurance Academy promoted by LIC and the four state-run general insurers, here today. Joseph, however, maintained that achievement of turnaround is a long-drawn affair for the industry as it will take some more time to achieve that level.
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