The Indian general insurance industry is optimistic that it can sustain its high growth momentum for the rest of this financial year ending March 2018 (FY2018), after posting a 21.95% growth in gross direct premium underwritten in the April-June quarter.
The nonlife sector reported gross direct premium of INR333 billion (US$5.2 billion) in the first three months of FY2018 compared with INR273 billion for the corresponding quarter last year, according to data compiled by the IRDAI.
“The first quarter has been good for the general insurance industry and we are confident that going forward, we would be able to maintain the growth momentum this year,” National Insurance’s Chairman and Managing Director Mr K Sanath Kumar said.
He added: “The industry believes that a 20% growth can be sustainable even in the coming years.”
Mr Kumar said digitisation of the databases of insurance companies, linking of insurance policies with personal identifiers such as Aadhaar, vehicle registration numbers, etc., contribute to the growth, reported the Indo-Asian News Service.
According to him, the central government's focus on crop insurance and the growing flow of household savings into financial assets would also contribute to growth.
The data show that state-owned general insurers, including government-owned specialised insurers, reported gross premiums of INR168.6 billion for1QFY2018, an increase of 16% over the corresponding quarter last year. This represented a market share of 50.6%, down from 54.9% previously.
Privately held general insurers chalked up gross premium income of INR150 billion in the April-June quarter, an increase of 28% over the corresponding period last year. Standalone private health insurers' gross direct premium income underwritten stood at INR14.5 billion in the April-June period, which was a growth of 44% per cent from INR10.1 billion in the year-ago quarter. In all, privately held insurers had a market share of 49.4% in 1QFY2018, higher than the 45.1% seen for the corresponding quarter last year.