Singapore: Uptake of life insurance grows 29% in first quarter

| 12 May 2021

The Life Insurance Association, Singapore (LIA Singapore) yesterday announced a set of industry results for the period January 2021 to March 2021 (1Q2021).

Singapore’s life insurance industry recorded a total of S$1.25bn in weighted new business premiums for 1Q2021, a positive 29% growth compared to 1Q2020, which was prior to the COVID-19 circuit breaker measures.

LIA Singapore president Khor Hock Seng said, ““Despite the headwinds induced by COVID-19, the life insurance industry has seen continuous and promising growth. While the pandemic continues to pose challenges for our customers and organisations, it also prompted many to reconsider and better plan for their long-term financial and healthcare needs.

“Life insurers in Singapore will be pro-active in supporting the community to better meet their protection needs, working closely with the government and relevant stakeholders to best manage the situation and fall-out caused by COVID-19.”

By the numbers

The number of new policies purchased online continued to increase to 88,565 in 1Q2021 compared to 4,662 in 1Q2020. This has been made possible as member companies press on to digitalise their processes from end to end.

Single-premium products recorded an 85% quarter-on-quarter increase in weighted premiums amounting to S$541.6m in total for 1Q2021:

  • Single-premium par and non-par products comprised 80% of all single-premium purchases; single-premium linked products made up the remaining 20%.
  • CPFIS-included products comprised 10%; and cash-funded products accounted for the remaining 90%.

Annual premium products recorded an increased uptake of 5% from the same period last year, amounting to S$708.2m in total weighted annual premiums.

Twenty thousand more Singaporeans and Permanent Residents were covered by Integrated Shield Plans (IPs) and riders as at 31 March 2021. In total, 2.82m lives – approximately 69% of Singapore residents – are protected by IPs and riders, which provide coverage on top of MediShield Life.

Total new business premiums for individual health insurance for 1Q2021 amounted to S$96.3m. Overall, IPs and IP rider premiums accounted for 84% (S$81.3m) and the remaining 16% (S$15.0m) comprised other medical plans and riders.

In terms of policy count, there was a 2% dip in the uptake of retirement policies in 1Q2021 compared to the same period last year. A total of 11,457 retirement policies were purchased as at 31 March 2021.

Accounting for approximately eight per cent of total weighted premiums for 1Q2021, retirement policies totalled S$97.8m in weighted premiums for the quarter.

Looking forward

Mr Khor also highlighted that life insurers have identified two key priorities for the year ahead – increasing the adoption of sustainable investing and future-proofing Singapore’s workforce.

“As a strategic partner of the Green Finance Industry Taskforce, the LIA will initially focus on capacity building for the insurance industry, in close collaboration with other insurance sectors,” he said.

“With the digitalisation of insurance well underway, our imperative is to enable our workforce to adapt to these new digital tools. Working through the LIA as an industry, the Institute of Banking and Finance has customised training for our staff in growth mindset, design thinking and innovation, to equip them to embrace the evolving nature of their jobs.”


Asia's life insurance industry celebrates wide spectrum of awards finalists

Singapore: Life insurers assert medical claims are major cause of higher costs

Singapore: Associations call for greater clarity to combat rising claims costs

P.S: Join 10,000+ financial advisers, leaders, and senior executives on our complimentary VIP Weekly Newsletter

For the full suite of stories and updates, always check in to our Facebook / LinkedIn. Click the following if you want to improve your sales, learn how to be a better leader, or you just need some motivation to kick start your engine.

Do you have a new product or programme to share? Or perhaps you are keen to explore any collaborations with us or our partners?  Reach out to us at