General insurance industry records marginal slowdown in 2016

The underwriting profit for the general insurance industry fell slightly to S$257.6 million for the year ended Dec 31.
The underwriting profit for the general insurance industry fell slightly to S$257.6 million for the year ended Dec 31. PHOTO: BLOOMBERG

SINGAPORE - Total gross premiums in Singapore's general insurance industry rose 0.6 per cent to S$3.7 billion for the 12 months ended Dec 31 last year, marginally slower than the 1.1 per cent growth registered in 2015.

According to the General Insurance Association of Singapore (GIA), underwriting profit for the overall industry last year fell slightly to S$257.6 million. The association attributed the performance to Singapore's economic maturity and intense competition in the general insurance sector.

Overall results showed that the performance of the various general insurance classes of business was varied in 2016.

Motor, health, fire, personal accident and marine cargo & hull segments posted rises in gross premiums. In contrast, work injury and compensation registered a decline in gross premiums.

GIA's president, Mr A K Cher, said, "The general insurance industry was challenged by both domestic and external headwinds in the past year. Against the many uncertainties, the industry still managed to deliver a fair performance."

He added that GIA members recognise the need to continue to improve processes and become more efficient to sustain its relevance in Singapore.

The association sees a growing role to help members explore emerging digital technologies and look towards collaborating with Insurtech (a term coined for the use of innovative technology to disrupt the insurance industry) and disruptive innovators to adapt to this changing environment.

GIA launched a Fraud Management System on Jan 9 to help members detect fraudulent trends more effectively in motor claims. This will be extended to better manage travel insurance claims in the coming months.