General insurance companies reported a growth of 16% in gross direct premium in April 2017. According to senior officials in the industry, health and motor insurance led the growth. Data from the Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India (Irdai) showed that in April, gross direct premium underwritten by the industry was Rs 12,206.42 crore compared to Rs 10,528.72 crore a year ago.
In April, private sector insurers grew at 26.43% and received Rs 5,828.06 crore in gross direct premium, while public sector insurers saw lower growth at just 6.04%, receiving Rs 5,815.84 crore in gross direct premium. Among the public sector insurers, New India Assurance and National Insurance reported a growth of over 12%, Oriental Insurance surged by just 1.34%, while, United India Insurance saw a decline of 4.90%.
All the four public sector insurers have a combined market share of 47.65%, while 18 private sector insurers have market share of 47.75%. Among the private players, ICICI Lombard leads at market share of 9.81%, followed by HDFC Ergo at 6.23% and Bajaj Allianz at 6.21%, show the data from Irdai.
In the last financial year, the general insurance industry had seen a record growth of around 32%, largely due to the success of crop insurance, and the industry participants are hopeful that even in this year industry would register growth of 20%. “We have seen muted growth in the industry in April, but we are confident that in the next few months – when there will be renewal for crop insurance – industry will see higher growth,” said a top insurance official.
According to the senior officials, general insurance sector have received around Rs 22,000 crore from crop insurance and this financial year industry players are hopeful that the number will be around Rs 35,000 crore from crop insurance. Apart from general insurance, stand alone health insurance companies also saw surge in their premium income by 48.97% in April.
“We believe in the next few years, crop insurance will emerge as one of the important category for general insurers. Along with crop insurance, motor and health will continue to remain in focus for general insurance industry,” said a senior official of a leading public sector insurance company.