Life insurance: Private players gain, aided by increasing ticket sizes

October 15, 2021 1:00 AM

Developments in FY22 validate long-term trend of a gradual shift of the retail life insurance market toward private players

This indicates that the share of Ulips and non-par savings has increased in the individual business.

The life insurance industry reported strong growth in September 2021, with the retail weighted received premium (RWRP) growing 30% year-on-year (y-o-y). The strong growth in Sep’21 lifted the YTD FY22 RWRP growth which stood at 19.6% vs. 16.7% as of August 2021.

LIC’s RWRP growth bounced back to 22% in Sep ’21, helping its YTDFY22 growth to reach 3.7%. Private players maintained growth momentum and posted RWRP growth of 35% y-o-y in Sep’21, pushing up YTD FY22 growth to 32% y-o-y. On a two-year basis, the industry’s RWRP saw a CAGR of 5.2% for YTD FY22, up from 2.4% as of Aug’21, driven by an 8.1% CAGR for the private sector and 0.9% for LIC.

In these two years, private players have increased their market share in RWRP to 62.2% from 59%. Overall, developments in FY22 validate the long-term trend of a gradual shift of the retail life insurance market toward private players, with a strong brand and distribution reach.

Private players gain momentum
Growth for private players seems to be largely driven by an increase in ticket sizes, as the new retail policy count grew by a meagre 3.4% y-o-y. The increased ticket size likely reflects the changes in the product mix toward ULIPs and non-par-saving products. LIC bounced back with 22% y-o-y growth in RWRP in Sep’21, which lifted YTD RWRP growth to 3.7% y-o-y.

The individual policy count for LIC grew 19.7% y-o-y for YTD FY22. Poor sales of high-ticket annuity products and less focus on Ulips seem to be hurting LIC’s growth. These factors corroborate the long-term trend of a gradual shift of the retail life insurance market toward large private players that have a strong brand and a wide bancassurance network.

HDFC Life reports modest growth
For YTD FY22, HDFC Life reported RWRP growth of 22% y-o-y and WRP growth of 24% y-o-y. These growth rates appear moderate in comparison with the top peers, but this comes on 2% y-o-y growth in RWRP in Sep’20 for YTD FY21. The 2-year RWRP CAGR was strong at 11.6%. RWRP growth seems to be largely driven by ticket size growth as the individual policy count was down 8% y-o-y. This indicates that the share of Ulips and non-par savings has increased in the individual business.

Edited extracts from Emkay insurance sector report

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