The life insurance sector, led by public sector behemoth Life Insurance Corporation (LIC), has recorded a significant growth of 26 per cent in total new premium at Rs 1,75,021 crore in 2016-17. In 2015-16, the sector, with 24 players, had mobilised new premium of Rs 1,38,760 crore, according data from the Life Insurance Council, representative body of life insurance firms.
LIC, with large contributions from individual single premium, individual non-single premium and group single premium, has ended the year with Rs 1,24,396.27 crore of total new premium, against Rs 97,777.47 crore in 2015-16, clocking a growth of 27.22 per cent. The corporation has gathered the highest premiums in individual single premium category at Rs 23,412.55 crore, compared with Rs 12,708 crore in the previous year, showing a growth of 84 per cent.
LIC’s market share in terms of number of policies is 76.09 per cent, garnering over 20 million new policies this year, against 74.72 per cent last year, LIC said. “Our pension and group schemes department has shown splendid performance with Rs 78,805.56 crore in new business premium, securing 80.96 per cent of the market share as against 80.73 per cent last year.”
In group single premium, the life insurance giant has collected a premium of Rs 74,763.78 (Rs 61,269.66) in 2016-17, while in individual non-single premium, it has collected Rs 22,178.15 (Rs 20,129.24) during the year. SBI Life, with a total new premium of Rs 10,145.76 crore (42.76 per cent), has emerged as the largest private sector player in the sector, followed by HDFC Life (Rs 8,696.21 crore), ICICI Prudential Life (Rs 7,863.40 crore), Max Life (Rs 3,667.38 crore), Bajaj Alliance (Rs 3,290.98 crore). However, if the merger of HDFC Life and Max Life, as planned in August 2016, had happened, the merged entity would have become the number one private company in the sector. The merger of two life insurers is yet to be cleared by the Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India.
However, the sector has seen a negative growth by one per cent in the number of policies sold. Riding over individual single premium and individual non-single premium, the entire sector has been able to sell 2,64,566 policies during 2016-17, compared with 267,400 policies in 2015-16. Continuing the earlier trend, group single premium, with a growth of 23 per cent, has remained the biggest grosser of the sector at Rs 88,559.24 crore, followed by individual non-single premium (Rs 50,500.44 crore), individual single premium (Rs 27,179.02 crore), group non-single premium (Rs 8,783.19 crore).
Apart from SBI Life and HDFC Life, other bancassurance players who have scored over Rs 1,000 crore of premiums include Kotak Mahindra Life Insurance (Rs 2,849.74 crore), India First Life Insurance (Rs 1,670.85 crore) and PNB Metlife (Rs 1,150 crore) during the reporting year.