Growth eludes life insurers except some bank-promoted players

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New Delhi | October 29, 2014 5:33 PM

An ongoing churn in life insurance products has made growth elusive for insurers...

An ongoing churn in life insurance products has made growth elusive for insurers, including state-run behemoth LIC, as only bank-promoted insurers and a few others have managed to see premium growth in first half of current fiscal.

An analysis of data published by individual insurers and sector regulator IRDA shows that the growth has mostly come from ULIP products for most of the bank-supporter insurers such as ICICI Pru and HDFC Life, while Reliance Life and Bajaj Allianz Life are among the exceptions.

The individual premium growth is estimated at close to 25 per cent for private bank promoted or supported life insurers, while negative growth was seen by LIC and the overall industry in 1H-FY15.

The new business growth was close to 30 per cent for bank- supported insurers, as against a decline for LIC and the overall industry.

Reliance Life is among the few non-bank promoted life insurers to register growth, while the overall trend for the industry is expected to remain sluggish in current quarter due to product withdrawals last year.

“We (RLIC) are the only company to have registered growth in sales without support of bank.

RLIC is the only exception where channel sales have registered growth, in comparison to other insurers where Bancassurance (distribution through banking channels) has been driving growth.

“Importantly, this growth is in account of sale of traditional product – and not ulip which seems to be the flavor of the month- and higher ticket size,” Reliance Life Insurance CEO Anup Rau told PTI.

Those having seen growth in individual premiums in first half included ICICI Pru, HDFC Life, Max Life and Kotak Life.

New business growth was registered by ICICI Pru, HDFC Life, Max Life, Birla Sunlife and Exide Life.

SBI Life was a notable exception for not seeing a growth.

Reliance Life saw new business growth of 12 per cent and helped by a rally iin stock market, unit linked product sales contributed considerably to growth at some insurers, shows the data.

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