Led by by state owned Life Insurance Corporation(LIC), the domestic life insurance industry has shown signs of bouncing back from the covid-19 pandemic business losses, in new premium income,in H1 Fy 20-21.

According to the business figures released by the Life Insurance Council,while for the month of September, the industry at Rs 25,366.32 crore,has recorded a year-on-year(y-o-y) growth of 26 per cent, for the first six month-upto Sept 2020,the industry, at Rs124727.64 crore, has seen a y-o-y de-growth of one per cent.

However,in number of policies,the industry at 90,85.610 ,is yet to recover as they have fallen by 22 per ent y-o-y in H1 FY 2020-21.

The life insurance behemoth LIC, is at the verge of a full recovery as its new premium income, at Rs88,018 crore, has shown a de growth of just two per cent in the first six months of the current fiscal.For the month of September,at Rs Rs 16602.84 crore, it has recorded a positive growth of over 30 per cent

In new premium income, the corporation has maintained its market share of over 70 per cent till Sept end.. .

Except in Individual Single Premium and Group Single Premium, the corporation continues to see negative growth y-o-y in its new premium income in the rest of the segments like individual Non Single Premium,Group Non Single Premium and Group Yearly Renewable Premium.

In new policies, the corporation, at 61,61,576, has sold 28 per cent y-o-y less policies in the reporting period. 

However, the private sector led by HDFC Life ,SBI Life and Max Life, at Rs 36,709.63 crore,has now fully recovered and has shown a positive growth of almost three per cent y-o-y in H1.Fy 20-21.

For the month of September also, the private sector, at Rs 8763.48 crore, has generated a positive growth of 20 per cent y-o-y.

In terms of new policies the private sector players, at 2924034,has sold almost eight per cent less policies in the reporting period. In number of new policies,the private sector, at 624217, has seen a flat  growth for the month of Sept y-o-y.

Subhas Khuntia, chairman,IRDA had said the life insurers would see full recovery from the pandemic blues by the end of the fiscal.   

According to a report by Motilal Oswal Institutional Equities, after reporting six consecutive months of decline, private players' individual weighted received premium (WRP) rebounded at 3.6 per cent Y-o-Y in Sep'20 (v/s -5.8 per cent Y-o-Y in Aug'20). The industry also posted growth of 4.1 per cent Y-o-Y (v/s -2.3 per cent Y–o-Y in Aug'20).

The overall industry, which has reported decline since the COVID-19 outbreak, has thus reverted to the positive trajectory for the first time since Jan'20. Private players' individual WRP declined 11.4 per cent Y-o-Y for H1FY21; for the industry, it dropped 7.4 per cent y-o-y .Private players’ individual WRP market share has expanded to 63 per cent in the first six months  of the current fisacal, till Sep’20 (57 per cent as of 1HFY21)

Among the listed players, HDFC Life reported robust growth of 43 per cent y-o-y , followed by Max Life (16 per cent y-o-y growth), while SBI Life posted 4 per cent y-y-o decline. On the other hand, ICICI Prudentail Life Insurance (IPRU Life), which declined 24 per cent y-o- y continued to witness pressure.

Mid-sized life insurance players have reported healthy trends. Players like Birla Sun Life / Tata AIA / Bajaj Allianz reported growth of 36 per cent/25 per cent/16 per cent y-o-y,respectively while Kotak Life saw decline of 6 per cent y-o-y.

The combined market share of listed players- SBI Life, ICICI Prudential Life, HDFC Life, and Max Life – on an individual WRP basis stood at 61 per cent  as of Sep'20 (v/s 62.9 per cent in FY20). Tata AIA, Bajaj Allianz, and Birla Sun Life are getting firmly positioned among the 5-7th largest private insurers on individual WRP.