General insurance companies posted a 12.8% year-on-year growth in their gross direct premium underwritten at Rs 81,824.66 crore for the first six months of the current financial year, against Rs 72,546.43 crore in the year-ago period. Sources in the industry say segments such as health, motor third party and personal accident cover contributed to their growth, though insurances for engineering and fire segments were yet to pick up. Among four PSU insurers, Oriental Insurance registered the highest growth of 15.65%, data from Irdai showed. However, other public sector insurers like United Indian Insurance and National Insurance saw negative growth. New India Assurance Company, the largest public sector general insurace company, continued its dominant position with a market share of 14.37% and growth of 8.8% in premiums during the six-month period. All the four public sector insurers have a combined market share of 39.55%. \u201cGrowth in health insurance has remained strong and we are witnessing public sector insurers have increased the price in the loss-making group insurance plans. Even growth has been positive on aviation and personal accident policies. However, growth from traditional lines of business such as engineering and fire insurance has been lower at single digit,\u201d a senior official in the industry said. Currently, health and motor insurance constitute around 60% of the new business premiums. Private players Bharti AXA General Insurance, SBI General Insurance and Tata AIG General Insurance, among others, saw high double-digit growth during April-September. ICICI Lombard General Insurance, which accounts for an 8.93% of the general insurance market, posted a 12.49% growth in gross direct premium underwritten at Rs 7,304.54 crore, against Rs 6,493.72 crore in the corresponding period a year ago.