Insurance earnings rise as motor accident claims fall to five-year low in 2014

SINGAPORE - Motorists have been safer on the road, going by the number of accident reports filed to insurers last year.

According to the General Insurance Association yesterday, the number of motor accident claims filed last year fell to a five-year low of 148,792.

The figure was 3.2 per cent lower than the previous year's, and 5.5 per cent lower than the average of the previous four years.

The association attributed the results to better driving practices, more stringent enforcement measures and a slight drop in the overall vehicle population.

Partly because of of this, insurers reported higher profits. Despite gross premium sliding by 2 per cent to $1.19 billion last year, underwriting profits more than doubled to $149.5 million - continuing a four-year profitable trend.

The association, however, said the bigger profit last year was also on the back of adjustment to loss-reserving. This means a number of insurers had been too conservative in setting aside funds for claims in previous years, and had decided to book some of those reserves as profit last year.