Insurance premium growth rate falls 50% in 2017-18: Irdai data

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Insurance premium growth saw a decline in 2017-18. According to the data released by the Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India (Irdai), the 34-odd general insurers have grown 16.9 per cent in FY18 in terms of gross direct premium collected, while life insurers’ premiums rose 10.8 per cent. In 2017-18, general insurers collected Rs 1,333.5 billion in premium revenue, compared to Rs 1,140.2 billion collected in 2016-17. Life insurers collected Rs 1,938.6 billion in premium revenue in 2017-18, against Rs 1,750.2 billion in 2016-17.

General insurers had posted a growth rate of 32 per cent in 2016-17, while for life insurers, the figure stood at 26.3 per cent. The data showed that premium growth in 2017-18 is nearly half of what was registered at the end of March 31, 2017. Gross direct premium revenue for standalone private health insurers rose to Rs 82.9 billion in 2017-18, from Rs 58.6 billion in 2016-17. The premium collection grew 41.6 per cent on a year-on-year basis for 2017-18.

 Public general insurance companies, including New India Assurance, United India Insurance, National Insurance Company and Oriental Insurance, have grown slower this financial year than in the previous one. During 2017-18, these companies experienced a premium growth of 12.8 per cent compared to a growth of 24.46 per cent during 2016-17.

New India Assurance’s premiums grew 25.85 per cent in 2016-17, and slowed down to 18.74 per cent in 2017-18. United India’s premium growth slowed to 7.7 per cent in 2017-18 from 26.53 per cent in 2016-17, while Oriental Insurance’s premium growth in 2016-17 was 29.79 per cent compared to 6.6 per cent in 2017-18. National Insurance saw its premium growth slowing down from 2016-17 by 120 basis points in 2017-18 to 15.7 per cent.

In life insurance, private insurers collected around Rs 593.14 billion in premium revenue during 2017-8 across both individual and group products, against Rs 506.3 billion in 2016-17. The annual premium growth for private life insurers stood at 17.16 per cent for 2017-18.

During 2017-18, the Life Insurance Corporation of India collected Rs 1,345.5 billion in premium revenue, against Rs 1,244 billion in 2016-17, registering an annual growth rate of 8.16 per cent. The premium revenue for individual non-single life insurance covers grew by 38.5 per cent to Rs 52.2 billion for the year ended March 31. Group non-single life insurance premium revenue fell for both LIC and private life insurers. For private players, premium growth fell 85.4 per cent from Rs 47.4 billion in 2016-17 to Rs 6.92 billion in 2017-18, whereas premiums in this category for LIC fell from Rs 40.41 billion in 2016-17 to Rs 20.8 billion in 2017-18.  

Overall group non-single premium revenue have fallen by 68.4 per cent across all life insurance companies between 2016-17 and 2017-18.

Winners and losers

The fastest growing general insurer in 2017-18 is Aditya Birla Health Insurance Company, which registered an annual premium growth rate of 346.78 per cent, followed by Kotak Mahindra General Insurance with a premium growth rate of 126 per cent for 2017-18.

The Export Credit Guarantee Corporation’s premium growth slowed down by 2.15 per cent, followed by Shriram General Insurance Company, which saw a slowdown of 0.08 per cent for 2017-18.