The annualised premium equivalent (APE) of life insurance companies grew 10% year-on-year to `5,741 crore in October.
The annualised premium equivalent (APE) of life insurance companies grew 10% year-on-year to `5,741 crore in October. While private players witnessed higher growth at 18%, state-owned Life Insurance Corporation of India (LIC) saw a growth of just 3% (Y-o-Y) to `2,770 crore in October, data from Kotak Institutional Equities showed.
The first year premiums for the life insurance industry for October stood at Rs 15,480.47 crore, a gain by 11.58% compared to the previous financial year. In September, the industry had seen first year premiums down by 16.28% to Rs 17,490.68 crore, show the data the Irdai.
Participants in the industry say LIC is facing challenges in the group insurance segment in the current financial year. Irdai data show that in the current fiscal till October, LIC received first year premiums of Rs 73,637.64 crore, against Rs 77,977.72 crore in the previous financial year, a negative growth of around 5.57%. The decline in premium is higher in the group insurance business for LIC.
“Private sector individual APE saw growth at 17% Y-o-Y in October 2018. Most large players saw strong growth, with HDFC Life growing by 36% and Max Life up 27% Y-o-Y; SBI Life was moderate at 16%. However, ICICI Life reported a big decline (down 17% Y-o-Y) likely due to its focus on the lower-ticket business. With shifting focus to protection and other high-margin policies, VNB growth of large players will remain strong; nevertheless, APE growth for ICICI Life will remain a monitorable over the next few months,” Kotak Institutional Equities said in a report.
On the other hand, the industry witnessed APE at 8% and private players at 13% for the period of April to October. APE is the sum of annualised first year premiums on regular premium policies, and 10% of single premiums, written by insurance companies during any period from both retail and group policyholders.
Players like Birla Sun Life Insurance, Bharti AXA, HDFC Life and India First continued to see their APE growth in positive during October.
The data from Irdai also show first year premiums of life insurance companies in the current fiscal surged by 2.41% at Rs 1.08 lakh crore, against Rs 1.05 crore in the corresponding period of the previous financial year.