Life insurance industry notches up steady third quarter growth

Life Insurance Association president Khoo Kah Siang.
Life Insurance Association president Khoo Kah Siang. PHOTO: GREAT EASTERN

SINGAPORE - The life insurance industry achieved a 15 per cent increase in weighted new business premiums to $813 million for the three months ended Sept 30, partly owing to a significant uptake in savings-type products through banking channels.

During the same period, annual premiums products jumped 21 per cent to $541.9 million while single premium investment linked insurance products (ILPs) grew 13 per cent to $60.6 million, from the corresponding quarter last year.

According to the Life Insurance Association (LIA), the sales of annual premium products are also higher when compared to the second quarter of this year.

The association attributed the performance to new product launches, sales and marketing initiatives and an increased take-up in savings-oriented products through bancassurance.

For the nine months ended Sept 30, the industry saw a steady 7 per cent growth to $2.17 billion of weighted new business premiums from a year ago.

This was boosted by higher sales in both single premium investment linked insurance plans (ILPs) - which rose 29 per cent to $182.9 million - and annual premium products which increased 9 per cent to $1.51 billion during the same period.

Looking ahead, LIA president Khoo Kah Siang said the life insurance industry will continue to work hand in hand with regulators to ensure a smooth transition and implementation of all fair dealing initiatives and integrated shield plans, including the introduction of standard ward B1 plans next year.

"The industry is also committed to ensuring that the evolving needs of consumers are met through a wide range of products," he added.

As at Sept 30, 2015, insurers paid out a total of $4.51 billion to policyholders and beneficiaries. Of this amount, $3.94 billion was for policies that matured and the remaining $565 million was for death, critical illness or disability claims.

lornatan@sph.com.sg