Life insurance sector hits $2b weighted new business premiums

PHOTO: Life insurance sector hits $2b weighted new business premiums

SINGAPORE - The life insurance sector posted strong results for the first nine months of 2013, hitting $2 billion in weighted new business premiums, a 27 per cent increase over the same period the previous year.

Sales of annual premium products were particularly strong, totaling $1.5 billion for the first three quarters of 2013, up by a sizeable 31 per cent over the same period in 2012.

Sales of single premium products also increased by 17 per cent to reach $0.5 billion of weighted single premiums. Of this amount, 16 per cent comprised CPF-funded sales.

"We've seen three straight quarters of growth this year," said Dr Khoo Kah Siang, President, Life Insurance Association.  "Growth in both annual premium and single premium products is indicative of encouraging market sentiment and strong consumer confidence in life insurance," he added.

The total sum assured for new business increased by four per cent to reach $59.1 billion for the first nine months of 2013.

New health insurance premiums shot up by a strong 132 per cent in the first nine months to $320 million compared to the same period last year. The bulk of this - 94 per cent - went to Integrated Shield Plans and riders.

Sharp increases in new health premiums continued as batches of integrated shield plans reach their policy anniversary dates to be renewed at revised prices*.

As of September 30 a total of 2.66 million lives were covered with paid up premiums amounting to $1.3 billion.

Up to the end of September 2013, the life insurance industry paid out a total of $5.86 billion to policyholders and beneficiaries.

Of this, $399 million was in respect of death, critical illness or disability claims, whilst the remaining $5.46 billion was for policies that matured.