Singapore's life insurance industry recorded a total of S$1.21 billion (US$868 million) in weighted new business premiums for 1Q2022, a slight 2% dip compared to 1Q2021, according to The Life Insurance Association, Singapore (LIA).
Mr Khor Hock Seng, President, LIA Singapore, said, “Life insurance was one of the few sectors that grew over the past two years as consumers increasingly recognised the importance of life insurance as a crucial component to financial planning and protection. As the country steadily emerges from the pandemic’s headwinds, life insurers have noted the sustained popularity of single-premium products for their relatively attractive yields.”
Single-premium products recorded a 21% quarter-on-quarter increase in weighted premiums amounting to S$655.4 million in total for 1Q2022.
Meanwhile, sales of annual premium products recorded a reduction of 20% from the same period last year, amounting to S$555.1 million in total weighted annual premiums.
The online purchase of policies grew significantly, with the number of new policies bought online rising to 214,372 in 1Q2022 compared to 88,565 in 1Q2021.
These are purchases transacted online by customers without financial advisory. Specifically, micro-insurance products sold by an insurer had contributed to the large increase in the policy count observed.
These online purchases totalled S$27 million in weighted premiums, accounting for 2% of the total weighted premiums for 1Q2022.
For the health insurance segment, 40,000 more Singaporeans and permanent residents were covered by Integrated Shield Plans (IPs) as of 31 March 2022. In total, 2.86 million lives – approximately 70% of Singapore residents – are protected by IPs, which provide coverage on top of MediShield Life.
Total new business premiums for individual health insurance for 1Q2022 amounted to S$82.9 million. Overall, IPs and IP rider premiums accounted for 83% (S$69.1 million) and the remaining 17% (S$13.8 million) comprised other medical plans and riders.
Between 1 January 2022 and 31 March 2022, the life insurance industry paid out S$2.29 billion to policyholders and beneficiaries. Of this amount, S$1.92 billion was for policies that matured. The remaining S$364 million was for death, critical illness or disability claims.