However, gross premiums underwritten by general insurance players saw fall of 4.24% in the first three months of current financial year.
Gross direct premiums underwritten by non-life insurance industry saw a growth of 7.83% to Rs 13,961.25 crore in June as against Rs 12,947.89 crore in same month last year. Players in the industry say that growth in June is due to the pick-up in the health insurance segment, but motor insurance remains under pressure.
However, gross premiums underwritten by general insurance players saw fall of 4.24% in the first three months of current financial year. The data from Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India (Irdai) shows that general insurance companies collected premiums of Rs 39,329.62 crore in this fiscal till June as compared to Rs 41,072.14 crore in last financial year.
Pushan Mahapatra, managing director & chief executive officer, SBI General Insurance said, “For us every month is better than the previous month. As country goes for unlock, I can reach to large number of people through my various distribution network. For us in June, segments such as health, fire and crop insurance did very well and we hope to do well going forward”. SBI General Insurance saw its gross premiums at `635.99 crore in June compared to Rs 331.06 crore in same month last year, a growth of 92.10%.
Among the 25 general insurers like United India Insurance, Kotak Mahindra General Insurance and ICICI Lombard General Insurance, among others, saw strong growth in June. However, Bajaj Allianz General Insurance and Tata AIG General Insurance saw negative growth in their gross direct premiums in June, shows the data from Irdai. The New India Assurance continued to remain a market leader with a share of 19.11% in the current financial year till June.
Despite witnessing better growth in June compared to April and May this year, industry players are skeptical about growth of motor insurance. “In last three months, motor insurance has hurt the industry as new vehicle sales are much lower than what it was in the same period last year,” said a senior official from a leading insurance company.
Currently, motor insurance constitutes around 25-28% of market share of new premiums in non-life industry and weak auto sales numbers would further impact motor insurance business in the months to come. Insurance players are confident that business in health insurance will pick-up going forward as investors will understand the importance of health insurance due to the ongoing novel coronavirus. Health insurance has a market share of around 35% in the non-life insurance industry.
According to the insurance regulator, standalone health insurance companies saw gross premiums at Rs 1,311.30 crore in June compared to Rs 920.28 crore in same month last year, a growth of 42.5%.