V Manickam, secretary general, Life Insurance
Council, the industry body for life insurers, said going by trends, the industry would have crossed an AUM of Rs 25 lakh crore in the last financial year.
Of the Rs 24.25 lakh crore as of December 31, 21 per cent or Rs 4.9 lakh crore went into equity investments, while the rest went into debt investments. In debt, Rs 13.75 lakh crore went into government securities, whereas Rs 4.5 lakh crore went into corporate debt, loans and others, including infrastructure debt.
A growth of Rs 60,000 crore in AUMs was seen in the June quarter, Rs 50,000 crore in the September quarter and Rs 60,000 crore in the December quarter. Manickam explained the last quarter was the busiest as it was the tax-saving season and the AUM could have seen a growth of Rs 70,000-80,000 crore in that quarter.
The last financial year had also seen a healthy growth in first-year insurance premiums. Life Insurance Corporation of India (LIC), the country's largest insurer, outperformed private life insurance companies in new premium growth during the April 1-February 29 period of FY16.
LIC collected first-year premiums of Rs 74,142 crore during this period, against Rs 62,635 crore a year ago, showing a growth of 18 per cent.
Private insurers collected premiums of Rs 33,026 crore in FY16, up from Rs 28,216 crore a year ago. The life insurance sector, as a whole, collected new premiums worth Rs 1.07 lakh crore during the period under review, 18 per cent more than Rs 90,580 crore in the year-ago period.
The fourth quarter was expected to push new business premium growth to as high as 20-22 per cent as most life insurers get 30-40 per cent of the full financial year's business in the past quarter. This is because not only do agents and sales managers get active to complete targets for the year, individuals also rush to buy insurance to save tax.