The Indian economy, particularly auto sales, that contribute the largest amount of premiums for the Indian general insurance sector, may be slowing down, but the general insurance industry has maintained a healthy growth of 16 per cent in the first half (H1) of the current fiscal
Available initial figures show, the gross premiums of 34 general insurance companies, including four public sector general insurers, have grown by 17.22 per cent to almost Rs 96,000 crore in H1 2019-20 from Rs 81,874 crore crore in H1 2018-19.
For the month of September, the industry, at Rs 24,563 crore, has grown by almost 26 per cent. The public sector insurers have mopped up a premium of Rs 8,873 crore, up 43 per cent while the private sector companies have mobilised a premium of Rs 10,174 crore, up 37 per cent during the month of September.
The public sector general insurers , led by New India Assurance have made a remarkable turn around by recording a growth of 12 per cent during H1 2019-20. Even, the merging companies like National Insurance Company, United India Insurance and Oriental Insurance Company which are lacking in basic solvencies, have done well.Except OIC, the rest three, NIA, UII and NIC have recorded a double digit growth during the reporting period.
“We have got a very clear plan in place grow our business. Due to certain practices of certain players, it is now difficult to compete in motor insurance business. That's why, we are concentrating on other segments like marine, hull, aviation, property and engineering which constitute now more than 50 per cent of our portfolios,’’ said Atul Sahai, CMD, NIA.
NIA’s motor insurance has remained flat, he said.
Loss ratio is being brought under control in group health business . At present, overall incurred claim ratio (ICR )in the health insurance business is 100 per cent, is down by 5-6 per cent. In health portfolio, we will very soon bring down claim experience to double digit figure by the fiscal-end,’’ said Sahai.
The private general insurance industry led by Bajaj Allianz General Insurance Company(BAJIC), has mobilsed a premium of Rs 41, 048 crore, up 20 per cent, in H1 2019-20.
Bagic itself, at Rs 7,086 crore, has increased its premium by 38 per cent during the first six months of the year.
However,the listed private sector general insurer ICICI Lombard general insurer, which is used to lead the private sector general space earlier and had emerged as the fourth largest general insurer in the country has de-grown its premium income and has lost its earlier ranking in the industry.
Sources point out that the company has completely withdrawn from the crop insurance business.