New business premiums for Singapore life insurers hit record high in 2013

Life insurers here have posted a record-high level of new business premiums. -- ST PHOTO: SAMUEL HE
Life insurers here have posted a record-high level of new business premiums. -- ST PHOTO: SAMUEL HE

Life insurers here have posted a record-high level of new business premiums.

The Life Insurance Association (LIA) said on Wednesday that weighted new business premiums hit $2.8 billion last year, a 28 per cent increase over the previous year's record.

Much of the growth came from sales of annual premium products, such as savings or investment-linked plans.

Such sales rose by 31 per cent compared to the previous year to $2.1 billion.

New health insurance premiums, meanwhile, jumped 145 per cent to $456 million last year.

LIA said 94 per cent of the new health premiums was due to people taking up Integrated Shield Plans and riders, or health plans on top of the government MediShield insrance scheme.

MediShield enhanced its coverage last year and participating Integrated Shield insurers also increased their benefits in response, at higher premiums.

With the government embarking on more enhancements to Medishield Life to cover all Singaporeans, LIA expects the industry to also be affected.

The president of LIA, Dr Khoo Kah Siang, said: "The life insurance industry will continue to support government initiatives so every Singaporean can continue to enjoy affordable healthcare services."