Singapore’s Life Insurance Industry’s New Premiums Dip to $2.2bn in 9 Mos

The amount represents a 4-per cent decline from the corresponding period last year and is inline with Singapore's economic performance.

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Singapore’s life insurance industry recorded a total of S$3 billion in weighted new business premiums from January to September of this year, data from the Life Insurance Association Singapore (LIA Singapore) showed.

The amount represents a 4-per cent decline from the corresponding period last year and is inline with Singapore’s economic performance.

Against this backdrop, total sum assured for new business continued to increase by one per cent (approximately S$1.3 billion) year-on-year, amounting to S$103.1 billion.

“The ongoing economic volatility has inevitably impacted the first three quarters’ performance for the life insurance industry. However, the Association and member companies remain steadfast in our efforts and commitment to provide better protection for customers – reflected by the increased total sum assured,” said LIA Singapore president Khor Hock Seng.

Khor said insurers’ commitment is crucial at a time when there is a growing cohort in the population of older people and increasing rates of chronic medical conditions among both the young and old.

Annual premium policies recorded a four per cent increase from the same period last year, amounting to S$2.1 billion in total weighted annual premiums – mainly attributed to the increase in uptake of participating plans, meeting the protection and saving needs of consumers.

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The industry recorded a 57 per cent increase in the uptake of retirement policies in YTD 3Q2019 compared to a year ago. A total of 38,622 policies were purchased as at 30 September 2019, a significant 14,012 more policies compared to the same period in 2018.

Making up about 12 per cent of total weighted premiums for YTD 3Q2019, retirement policies totalled S$356 million in weighted premiums for the first nine months of 2019.

53,000 more Singaporeans and Permanent Residents were covered by IPs and riders as at 30 September 2019. 2.77 million lives – approximately 69 per cent of Singapore residents – are protected by IPs and riders, which provide coverage on top of MediShield Life.

Total new business premiums for individual health insurance for YTD 3Q2019 amounted to S$342.3 million. Overall, IPs and IP rider premiums accounted for 90 per cent (S$307.5 million) and the remaining 10 per cent (S$34.8 million) comprised other medical plans and riders.

Employment in the life industry rose by 3.6 per cent as a result of 296 new hires, compared to the corresponding period in 2018, to reach a workforce of 8,444 employees, as of 30 September 2019. Recruitment is focused on data analytics, cyber security, and various insurance business functions as life insurers pursue digital innovation.

In terms of employment, 14,892 representatives held exclusive contracts with companies that operate a tied agency force as at 30 September 2019, a slight one per cent decrease compared to the corresponding period in 2018.

The role of financial advisory representatives in Singapore remains essential in giving personalised advisory based on each individual’s circumstances and protection needs.

LIA Singapore said the life insurance industry will continue to focus efforts on helping consumers narrow their protection gaps, despite the uncertain global economic environment.

On top of ongoing education efforts, consumers can look forward to the upcoming official launch of the life insurance calculator, which will be hosted on the LIA Singapore website. –