Life insurance business grew 10% in first half

The life insurance industry saw weighted new business premiums jumping 10 per cent in the first six months of this year over the same period last year.
The life insurance industry saw weighted new business premiums jumping 10 per cent in the first six months of this year over the same period last year.PHOTO: ST FILE

SINGAPORE - The life insurance industry achieved robust sales in the first six months of the year, with weighted new business premiums jumping 10 per cent to $1.68 billion from the same period last year.

The Life Insurance Association Singapore (LIA) also noted that 5 per cent of the total weighted new premiums during this period came from retirement plans.

There was an uptake of 10,680 policies designed to provide regular payouts to policyholders during retirement, with approximately $84 million of weighted new premiums recorded over the half year.

LIA president Patrick Teow said, "While we tirelessly work towards narrowing Singapore's protection gap, helping Singaporeans to be better prepared for retirement is also a priority. We see a steady take-up of products designed to provide regular payouts from retirement age. This shows that people are appreciating the importance of preparing ahead for their future years."

Both single and annual premium products showed an increase in uptake. During the six months ended Jun 30, there was a 10 per cent increase to $547.3 million in weighted single premiums and a 11 per cent increase to $1.13 billion in weighted annual premiums

Health insurance premiums totalled $154 million, of which Integrated Shield Plans (IP) premiums and IP riders accounted for 90 per cent or $139 million. The remaining 10 per cent ($15 million) came from other medical plans and riders. About 2.92 million lives - approximately one in two individuals here - were insured as at the end of June.

The industry recorded a sum assured for new business of $55.9 billion, 10 per cent more than the corresponding period in 2016.

The LIA said that this is a positive development in the context of economic uncertainties, an ageing population and a soft labour market.

lornatan@sph.com.sg