After a stellar performance in November — following a poor show in October — the new business premium (NBP) of life insurance companies was largely flat in December. This is owing to a 20 per cent fall in Life Insurance Corporation’s (LIC) NBP.
However, in the October-December quarter (Q3), NBP of life insurers jumped 10.45 per cent over the same period last year, mainly backed by the robust growth of private insurers’ NBP.
In Q3 of FY22, insurers earned NBP to the tune of Rs 73,249.97 crore, compared to Rs 66,318.76 crore earned in the same period last year. While private insurers’ NBP grew by 33 per cent, LIC’s NBP contracted by 2.6 per cent. NBP is the premium acquired from new policies for a particular year.
In December, private insurers’ NBP rose 30 per cent year-on-year (YoY) to Rs 13,032.33 crore, surpassing that of LIC at Rs 11,434.13 crore. LIC’s NBP dipped 20 per cent largely due to a 35 per cent fall in group single premium.
Among large private life insurers, NBP of HDFC Life reported 56 per cent YoY growth, while SBI Life saw 27 per cent growth, and Max Life reported 32 per cent growth. ICICI Prudential, on the other hand, reported a 6 per cent dip in NBP for December.
In Q2 of FY22, Indian insurers netted NBP to the tune of Rs 75,392 crore, up 16 per cent from the same period last year. LIC’s NBP was up 14 per cent to Rs 51,488 crore and private insurers’ NBP was up 20 per cent to Rs 23,904.2 crore.
The April-June quarter (Q1 of FY22) was marred by pandemic-induced lockdowns and NBP of life insurers had plummeted more than 18 per cent.
So far, in the current financial year (first nine months), life insurance companies reported NBP to the tune of Rs 2.05 trillion, up 7.43 per cent YoY from the year-ago period. Private insurers recorded 30 per cent growth.
But LIC’s NBP is in the red. In the first nine months of the financial year, LIC’s NBP was Rs 1.26 trillion, down 3.07 per cent.
The current quarter (January-March) is perhaps the best period for life insurers in terms of business because people tend to buy greater pure-risk and savings products for tax-saving purposes.
Further, with Covid-19 cases rising rapidly again, demand for pure protection products may spike once again. Demand for pure protection products was expected to be muted, given the price hike insurers are taking on their term products, on the prodding of the global reinsurer. But the rapid rise in infections may just offset the price impact.