In a cheerful development, the Indian general insurance industry, with 33 players, is likely to strike a spectacular figure of Rs 1.5 trillion in premium income during 2017-18.
By Feb 2018, with a growth of 18 per cent, the premium accumulation in the industry has already crossed Rs 1,34 lakh crore and is likely to end the year with a 20 per cent growth..
“Yes, the industry may achieve the magical figure of Rs 1.5 trillion for the year gone by. Even though crop has remained subdued during the year , still it will be one of the three major segments along with motor and health contributing to the industry's growth,’’ said MN Sharma, CMD, United India Insurance.
What is noteworthy is that it has taken four and half decades since 1972, when the four state owned general insurers were formed after nationalisation of the general insurance industry, to achieve a total premium Rs 1 trillion but just two years to reach Rs 1.5 trillion mark in premium income. The industry was once again privatized in 2000 and another 29 new general insurers including six specialised health insurers have joined the fray since then.
“This may be beginning of high trajectory trend in the Indian general insurnace industry as implementation of nationwide National Health Protection Scheme(NHPC) and setting up of health infrastructure facilities, during the current fiscal, will privide a tremendous boost to health insurance business and overall premium kitty of general insurance industry.'' said analysts. .
However,analysts pointed out that it is unlikely that the during 2017-18, the industry will see any kind of similar high growth in terms of per centage that was recorded in the previous year. Backed by massive crop insurance premium of Rs 22,000 crore,the domestic general insurance industry’s total premium had risen by 30 per cent to Rs 1.27 lakh crore in 2016-17.
Analysts point out that crop portfolio would contribute around Rs 25,000 crore during 2017-18 while motor and health will continue to be the top two portfolios of the industry.
“At UII, we've already achieved the total premium at Rs 17.38 k cr so far and likely to close the fiscal with a premium income of Rs 17.4 k cr. It's despite the fact that we were cautious towards loss-incurring sectors like group health insurance and our focus is on improving the bottom line. We had achieved a total premium at Rs 16,069 cr during 2016-17 . We are likely to have a net profit at Rs 700-800 cr for the fiscal, from a loss of Rs 3,000 cr a year ago. We are likely to have a solvency margin above 1.5 per cent during the fiscal. We're likely to announce financial results by month-end,’’ said Sharma.
New India Assurance (NIA), the largest general insurer in the country, has achieved a total global premium of Rs 26,000 crore, up 17 per cent during fy 2017-18.
The general insurance multinational, having operations in 28 countries, had set a target of Rs 26,000 crore, had recorded a premium of global premium income to Rs 22,279 crore.in 2016-17.
In its domestic operations, the company with over 15 per cent of market share – till Feb 2018- has posted a premium income of Rs 22,800 crore, up 19.20 per cent during reporting period.
NIA’s premium income from the overseas markets during 2017-18 is pegged at Rs 3000 crore, almost same as the previous year.
“ The great performance is largely due to the brand of the company, high level of customer service, distribution reach of the company and very high financial strength we bring to the table including International A-(Excellent) Rating,’’ said G Srinivasan, CMD, NIA.
Four new general insurers Acko General Insurance,DHFL General, Edelweiss General Insurance and Go Digit General Insurance have started their operations during 2017-18.