Private insurance companies led the growth of new business premium, as the life insurance industry saw a rise of around 15.55% in the current financial year compared to the previous year.
For the first 10 months of this fiscal, private players saw growth of around 17%, and surge in premium was largely due to participation in traditional plans and to some extent into unit-linked insurance plans (Ulips) of insurance companies.
According to data from the Life Insurance Council, total new business premium of private insurance companies stood at Rs 29,535.92 crore in the current financial year as against Rs 25,282.24 crore in the previous financial year.
Private players like ICICI Prudential Life Insurance, Kotak Mahindra Old Mutual Life Insurance and SBI Life saw growth of 30-47% in the current fiscal.
On the other hand, Life Insurance Corporation of India (LIC) saw increase of new premium by 14.99% from April to January. Market participants say that in the last two months there has been revival of business for LIC largely due to the launch of some products. In January, LIC collected premium of Rs 6,720.28 crore.
Arijit Basu, chief executive officer and managing director at SBI Life, said, “Typically, business picks up in the last quarter of any financial year and we have continued to deliver a strong show in the current fiscal. Our business came from a mix of Ulips and traditional products.”
In the current financial year, SBI Life saw growth of 33% in premiums.
Many players believe that the worst for life insurance companies is behind and in the current financial year, they will grow by 15-17%.
“Despite volatility in equity markets and a weak business environment, we hope to get decent growth in the current financial year. In the last two years, there were many changes in regulations which had negatively impacted the industry. But now, with clearance of polices by the regulator and a favourable environment, we expect more number of people to buy the life insurance polices,” said a senior member of a top life insurance company.