Singapore's life industry recorded a 20% increase in total weighted new business premiums in the first half of this year (1H2018) to S$2.02bn ($1.47bn).
The robust results prompted President of LIA Singapore Patrick Teow to express cautious optimism for the industry to surpass last year’s performance when it crossed the S$4bn mark in total weighted new business premiums.
Strong industry performance across all product types
Contributing to this growth is the increase in uptake across both single and annual premium products.
S$1.34bn in weighted annual premiums were collected during the first half of the year, an encouraging 18% increase from the corresponding period in 2017.
For single premium products, the industry recorded a 24% increase from 1H2017, amounting to S$677.7m in weighted single premiums.
Total sum assured for new business increased by 19% on a year-on-year basis, amounting to S$66.3bn in 1H2018.
Singapore’s life industry saw a 12% increase in the number of employees in the sector to 7,671, compared to the previous corresponding period. This was largely driven by the fact that new jobs have been created to support digitalisation and data analytics as well as business growth and expansion.
The LIA recently formed a working group to collaborate on digitisation efforts for mutual benefits in areas such as claims management.
As automation becomes more embedded within the industry in the years to come, employment numbers would invariably reduce. In that regard, the industry is supporting re-training and upskilling efforts with the launch of the Institute of Banking and Finance (IBF) new career centre, IBF Careers Connect.
Factors that may affect the sector’s outlook in the second half of this year are largely tied to the general health of the economy, as potential trade wars in the global economy remain a risk.