State-owned insurance behemoth Life Insurance Corporation (LIC) of India clocked 12.42 per cent growth in 2019-20 (FY20) in total premium income at Rs 3.79 trillion, compared to Rs 3.37 trillion in 2018-19 (FY19). The insurer’s new business premium (NBP) was up 25.17 per cent in FY20 to Rs 1.77 trillion.
However, in the first quarter (Q1) of 2020-21 (FY21), LIC’s NBP contracted 18.45 per cent to Rs 36,530 crore, against Rs 44,794 crore in the corresponding quarter a year ago.
In the pension and superannuation business, it earned NBP to the tune of Rs 1.29 trillion in FY20, compared to Rs 90,848.86 crore a year ago. Total income of the insurer grew 9.83 per cent to Rs 6.15 trillion in FY20, from Rs 5.60 trillion. Total assets grew to Rs 31.96 trillion, from Rs 31.11 trillion — up 2.71 per cent.
Policy payouts by the Corporation grew 1.31 per cent to Rs 2.54 trillion in FY20, compared to Rs 2.50 trillion in FY19. It said digital transactions for its policies grew 36 per cent. To attract millennials, the Corporation last year improved its customer service experience and upgraded its online services. Of the 21.8-million new policies it sold in FY20, nearly 50 per cent were to millennial customers.
As far as death claims due to Covid-19 are concerned, the Corporation settled 561 claims amounting to Rs 26.74 crore. “Death claims arising due to Covid-19 are treated on a par with other causes of death, and payments are being made on urgent basis,” it said.
While Q1FY21 was rough for life insurers because NBP contracted 18.64 per cent to Rs 49,335 crore, against Rs 60,637 crore in Q1FY20 due to the lockdown, it is expected that the sector will post steady growth in NBP by the end of the third quarter, assuming the economy bounces back. In fact, in the fortnight ended July 15, LIC saw 46 per cent growth in NBP over last year.
At the end of Q1, the insurer issued 2 million new policies and captured a market share of 74 per cent in terms of premium in the life insurance market. At the end of FY20, it had a market share of 75.9 per cent in policies and 68.74 per cent in first-year premium.
The government in the Budget this year announced LIC would be listed. The Department of Investment and Public Asset Management, the nodal agency for conducting divestments, screened 11 companies to play the pre-initial public offering (IPO) transaction advisor’s role for the proposed IPO.
Citibank, CLSA, and Credit Suisse were among the foreign investment banks that applied for the role. Over half a dozen domestic firms, including Axis Capital, SBI Cards, and Edelweiss, are also in the fray. Deloitte India Touche Tohmatsu was the only non-investment bank to apply.