The life insurance sector in Thailand reported 5% growth in total premiums for the first half of this year, driven mainly by bancassurance and insurance agents, says the Thai Life Assurance Association (TLAA).
Total premiums for the first six months were valued at THB312.53bn ($9.4bn), comprising new life insurance premiums worth THB89.97bn and renewal premiums worth THB222.56bn, with a persistency rate of 84%, reports The Bangkok Post.
For new life insurance premiums, the total consisted of first-year premiums worth THB46.35bn and single premiums valued at THB43.62bn.
"Bancassurance contributed 48.4% of total premium income [during the first half], overtaking insurance agents, which contributed 44.61%," said TLAA president Nusara Assakul Banyatpiyaphod. "However, both remain the main distribution channels."
The low interest rate environment and the new accounting standard (International Financial Reporting Standards 9) were among key factors pushing life insurers companies to revise their products and shift focus from single premium, endowment, and guaranteed return products to protection products as well as unit-linked insurance plans, Mrs Nusara said.
Bancassurance reported premium income of THB151.24bn, up 6.1% year-on-year, while the agent channel contributed premiums of THB139.42bn, up 2.4% year-on-year. Other channels such as brokers, the Internet, counter services and walk-ins grew at a combined rate of 34% year-on-year to THB14.83bn, while direct marketing declined by 10% to THB7.1bn.