Life insurance industry grew 19% in Q1

Life Insurance Association Singapore Patrick Teow said the growth could be "attributed to the industry's agility in responding to consumers' fast-changing needs".
Life Insurance Association Singapore Patrick Teow said the growth could be "attributed to the industry's agility in responding to consumers' fast-changing needs". PHOTO: AIA SINGAPORE

SINGAPORE - Lifted by strong sales in the quarter ended March 31, the weighted new business premiums of Singapore's life insurance industry soared 19 per cent to S$811 million, compared to the corresponding period last year.

This is according to the Life Insurance Association Singapore (LIA) which announced its quarterly results on Monday (May 8).

LIA president, Mr Patrick Teow, said: "The continued healthy growth can be attributed to the industry's agility in responding to consumers' fast-changing needs.

"Life insurers are providing consumers more options in the form of new products and multiple channels to buy insurance policies from. This is also reflected in increased engagement through activities across the different distribution channels, including tied agents, banks and financial advisers."

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The results showed that there was an increase in uptake across both single and annual premiums.

During the same period, the industry posted a 30 per cent increase to S$281.3 million in weighted single premiums and a 14 per cent increase to S$529.7 million in weighted annual premiums.

The industry recorded a sum assured for new business totalling S$24.3 billion, a 10 per cent rise compared to the corresponding period in 2016 as the industry continues to better meet the protection needs of society.

In addition, about 20,000 Singapore residents bought additional health insurance coverage to complement MediShield Life in the first quarter of the year.

In all, new health insurance premiums totalled $66 million for the three months ended March 31, of which Integrated Shield Plans (IP) premiums and IP riders accounted for 90 per cent (S$59 million). The remaining S$7 million was contributed by other medical plans and riders.

As at March 31, 2.91 million lives (approximately one in two individuals in Singapore) are insured.