Singapore life insurance industry sees 23% rise in new sales for 2021

Notably, single-premium products saw a significant increase. ST PHOTO: SAMUEL ANG

SINGAPORE (THE BUSINESS TIMES) - Singapore's life insurance industry posted a total of $5.4 billion in weighted new business premiums in 2021, up 23 per cent from the total amount achieved in 2020.

Notably, single-premium products saw a significant increase, surging 41 per cent year on year in weighted premiums to $2.6 billion, from $1.8 billion recorded in 2020.

This was mainly due to the high volume of new business obtained in the first half of 2021, amid a recovery in Singapore's economy, the Life Insurance Association Singapore (LIA) said in a press statement on Monday (Feb 14).

Single-premium par and non-par products comprised 83 per cent ($2.2 billion) of all single-premium purchases, while single-premium linked products ($433.7 million) made up the remaining 17 per cent.

LIA also noted that the number of new policies purchased online without financial advisory doubled to 591,282 in 2021, compared with 206,679 in 2020.

These policies raked in a total of $189 million in weighted premiums for the year, rising 6 per cent year on year. New micro-insurance products and complementary products covering Covid-19 side effects had contributed to the large increase in policy count.

As at end-December 2021, about 32,000 more Singaporeans and permanent residents were covered by Integrated Shield plans (IP) and riders, which provide coverage on top of Medishield Life.

Total new business premiums for individual health insurance stood at $360.2 million, with IP and IP rider premiums accounting for 83 per cent and other medical plans and riders comprising the remaining 17 per cent.

There was also a 3 per cent increase in the uptake of retirement policies during the period, with 40,395 policies purchased as at Dec 31, 2021. That being said, the slight rebound is still short of the 51,040 policies purchased in 2019 during pre-Covid-19 times.

Employment in the life insurance industry slid marginally to 8,675 employees compared with the 8,768 recorded in the year-ago period. Some 14,960 representatives held exclusive contracts with companies that operate a tied-agency force, LIA said.

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