India: Life insurers post increase in new premiums

| 26 Apr 2022

In March 2022, total new-business premiums (NBP) in the country grew 37% year-on-year to IDR596 billion (US$7.8 billion) from IDR434 billion.

Private life insurers’ NBP grew 13% year-on-year, while LIC’s NBP grew by 51% year-on-year, according to a recent research report released by Anand Rathi.

As at the end of March 2022, the private sector’s annual-premium equivalent (APE) grew 11% annually, while that for LIC, the sole public entity, grew 51% year-on-year. The total APE was IDR211 billion, up from IDR162 billion in the previous year.

In March this year, LIC’s market share by NBP grew to 71% (from 64% the month prior, 47% in December 2021). By APE, LIC’s market share for March 2022 increased to 55% (up from 47% the previous month, and 35% from December 2021).

In the private sector, in terms of APE, SBI Life had the largest market share of 17.3%, followed by HDFC Life’s 14.0% and I-Pru’s 11.0%.

In terms of NBP, HDFC Life, with an 18.3% market share, occupied top spot, while SBI Life, with 16.5%, held the second position. Coming in third was I-Pru with 12.7%, according to the Anand Rathi report.

In another report, the country’s life insurance sector has been growing substantially at a compounded annualised growth rate (CAGR) of more than 11% over the past few years, which is substantially faster than the average global growth rate.

The report by CareEdge showed that the prime drivers of this growth include a substantial increase in group insurance products coupled with innovations, customisation, and the development of strong distribution channels in the individual insurance segment.

The gap between India’s insurance density and penetration levels and the average for Asian economies indicates a substantial growth opportunity.

India’s life insurance sector has a top-heavy market structure, with the top five players holding over 85% market share, and the remaining companies making up a long tail. This, along with public sector banks being required to reduce their stakes in some insurance companies due to their mergers, is likely to trigger consolidation in the segment, according to Outlook.