The Indian life insurance industry posted a 14.5% on-year growth in new premiums to Rs 56,287.59 crore in the first six months of the current fiscal, compared with Rs 49,180.12 crore in the year-ago period. While private players continued to grow higher than the industry, state-owned LIC saw a muted growth in the six months to September.
The data from the Life Insurance Council shows that private insurance companies reported a 28.31% on-year growth in new premiums to Rs 17,125.81 crore in the first six months of the current financial year, against Rs 13,346.91 crore in the corresponding period in FY14. Market participants say the huge rise in growth for private players is primarily because of positive participation for unlit-linked insurance plan (Ulips).
LIC witnessed a 9.29% on-year growth in new premiums to Rs 39,161.78 crore in the first six months of the current fiscal, compared with Rs 35,833.21 crore in the corresponding period of the previous financial year. However, if one looks at number of policies sold, LIC stands at the top in the industry, selling more than 79.49 lakh policies in the six months ending September, while private insurance players sold 24.43 lakh policies in the same period.
Manoj Kumar Jain, CEO and whole time director at Shriram Life Insurance, said, “Though private players’ growth was largely led by Ulips, we grew because of few factors like enhancing distribution network and focussing more on micro finance institution (MFIs).” Shriram Life saw a growth of 36.35% in the first six months to September compared with the year-ago period.
HDFC Life, ICICI Prudential Life Insurance, SBI Life and Kotak Mahindra Life Insurance grew in the range of 26-52% for the reviewed period by selling more group single premium policies. “On one hand we are seeing private players focussing more on selling Ulips, but below average numbers from LIC is disappointing. Even if we look at the industry they are selling more individual single premium policies and group non-single premium policies. Next few months will be crucial for the industry to register a growth of 15-18% for the current financial year,” a CEO of a life insurance company said.