India's life insurance market has reported a surge of 26% in in total new premiums to INR1.75 trillion (US$27.1 billion) for the fiscal year ended 31 March 2017, according to data from the Life Insurance Council, which represents life insurers.
Industry observers attribute the rapid growth to Prime Minister Narenda Modi's demonetisation drive which was launched in November.
Life Insurance Corporation (LIC), the country's biggest insurer, showed total new premium of INR1.24 trillion in FY2016-17, representing growth of 27.2%.
The insurer collected the most premiums compared to other insurers in the individual single premium category of INR234.1 billion, a whopping growth rate of 84% over FY2015-16.
In group single premium, the life insurance giant collected premium of INR747.6 billion in 2016-17, while in individual non-single premium business, it collected INR221.8 billion
SBI Life, with a total new premiums of INR101.5 billion has emerged as the largest private sector player in the sector, followed by HDFC Life (INR87 billion), ICICI Prudential Life (INR78.6 billion), Max Life (INR36.7 billion), Bajaj Alliance (INR32.9 billion). However, if the merger of HDFC Life and Max Life, as planned in August 2016, had taken place, the merged entity would have become the Number One private life insurer. The authorities are still processing the merger of the two life insurers.
While private insurers reported 26% growth in annual premium equivalent (APE), LIC saw a 16% increase, resulting in an overall industry growth of 21%.
Overall, group single premium products, with a growth of 23%, remained the biggest grosser of the sector with premiums of INR885.6 billion, followed by individual non-single premiums (INR505 billion), individual single premium (INR271.8 billion), and group non-single premiums (INR87.8 billion).