Private insurers beat LIC in new premium collection in the April to December period
Even as private insurers posted a healthy growth in the first three quarters of the financial year, the industry has been pulled down by sluggishness in Life Insurance Corporation of India, the largest player in the market.
The industry's first year premiums grew 2.41 percent year-on-year at Rs 1.41 lakh crore in the April 1-December 31 period. Private insurers grew faster than Life Insurance Corporation of India (LIC), according to data from the Life Insurance Council.
LIC saw a 5.65 percent year-on-year (YoY) decline in new premiums during the same period. Private life insurers posted a 23.3 percent growth in their premium in the April 1 to December 31 period at Rs 47,443.78 crore. LIC, on the other hand, collected new premiums of Rs 94,140.79 crore in the same period.
Among insurers, LIC held almost 66.5 percent market share while the private life insurers held the rest. With respect to the listed insurers, HDFC Life saw a 40.68 percent YoY growth in new premiums in the first nine months of FY19 at Rs 9,939.74 crore. ICICI Prudential Life saw a 4.07 percent YoY growth in new premiums at Rs 6,827.84 crore.
SBI Life Insurance collected new premiums of Rs 9,469.50 crore in the period, showing a 31.53 percent YoY growth.
The fourth quarter is considered the most important in the financial year for life insurance companies. This is because customers buy products for tax saving purposes.
A report by Kotak Institutional Equities said individual APE (annualised premium equivalent) growth for private sector life insurance companies jumped to 14 percent in December 2018, after being flat in November, translating into a year-to-date growth of 11 percent.However, it said that the net mutual fund equity inflows were at the lowest levels in recent months, likely raising concerns on sustenance of this improvement.