General insurance companies continued their positive performance and posted a growth of 25 per cent (year-on-year) in gross direct premium for December. Officials in the insurance industry said they are hopeful that the industry will cross Rs 1 lakh crore mark in new premium during January. The data from the General Insurance Council show that up to December gross direct premium underwritten by the industry stood at Rs 91,517.92 crore, compared with Rs 69,875.97 crore in December 2015, a growth of 31 per cent.
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In December, the general insurance industry saw gross premium income at Rs 9,747.84 crore against Rs 7,777.32 crore in the year-ago period.
While private insurers registered gross premium income at Rs 4,206.91 crore, up by 33.93 per cent compared to last year, public sector insurance companies witnessed growth of 15.35 per cent at Rs 4,647.09 crore last month.
Private sector insurers reported higher growth compared to public sector insurers largely due to a strong growth in the crop insurance segment. According to senior officials, the general insurance sector have already received Rs 10,000-12,000 crore from crop insurance and premiums are likely to touch Rs 18,000-20,000 crore by the end of the current financial year.
Data from the General Insurance Council show that specialised players such as ECGC and AIC saw strong growth in December.
The general insurance sector in the last few months saw sustained growth and higher participation from private players as against public sector insurers.
“It has been few months that private insurers have managed to register higher growth then public sector insurers because of third party motor insurance which is a big part of new premiums, and also due to crop insurance. However, despite positive growth, many companies are making underwriting losses in the motor segment,” said a top insurance player. Apart from general insurance, stand alone health insurance companies also reported surge in their premium income by 48.26 per cent in December. Two specialised players — ECGC and AIC — saw combined growth of 45.17 per cent in December.