Muted growth for life insurance

Updated: Nov 10 2012, 08:05am hrs
In the first half of 2012-13, the first year premium contracted as state-owned Life Insurance Corporation reported de-growth of almost 25% in the group business. The company commands around 80% of the market size in this segment. The total premium, including renewal premium, collected by private life insurers contracted 9% in September this year. Large private insurers like HDFC Standard Life and ICICI Prudential reported marginal declines after strong performances in the past few months.

Bank-linked life insurance companies have been able to adapt better to the new regulations and the year-to-date performance clearly indicates that bank-promoted life insurers continue to gain significant market share. However, agency-driven insurers are reporting contraction in their annual premium equivalent and many insurers have downsized their fleet-on-the-street.

Moreover, the unit-linked insurance policies (Ulips), which have reported high growth in the past, have stabilised at about 25-30% of premium collection. A Kotak Institutional Equities research note says that large players are increasingly more assertive on unit-linked business, though the share of Ulip business in the first half of this financial year is not yet known. The average ticket size of insurance has increased in the past six months.