/Churn in insurance: Life is good, non-life is a drag

Churn in insurance: Life is good, non-life is a drag

Life insurers have reported a shrinkage in first-year premiums to end the quarter ended December at `1.91 lakh crore. The fall, though marginal, can be attributed to Covid-prompted lockdown and business disruption in the first quarter of this fiscal year. Demand for health insurance helped non-life insurers to tide through the tough times. That said, motor insurance is still struggling due to a fall in automobile sales. Smaller non-life insurance categories such as fire, aviation and liability are holding up probably because these are a part of business compliance requirements. Marine insurers will see a revival only after consignment volumes bulk up. The whole industry is waiting for economic headwinds.

Saurabh Bhalerao, associate director, CARE Ratings, says: “Life insurance premiums fell primarily due to a base effect as premiums had increased substantially in the previous financial year. The pandemic has stirred up demand for protection plans, while market volatility has hurt linked plans. Life cover and pension products will drive growth for life insurers. The pandemic has increased the awareness of health insurance. Muted growth in the economy and subdued auto sales have impacted motor insurance for now. However, the insurance industry is expected to grow in single digits for the year as compared with a double-digit growth seen last year.”



No. of Policies Sold


Renewal Premiums**
in second quarter (Rs cr)


** Of top-8 insurance companies | Source: IRDAI, CARE Ratings

“The past year underlined the need for life insurance protection more than ever before. This crisis has also been a huge driver for digital transformation”
Naveen Tahilyani, MD & CEO, Tata AIA Life Insurance



Only some main segments have been considered | Source: IRDAI, CARE Ratings
“The general insurance industry has seen structural changes. There is more interest in retail products and motor is seeing a slight revival. Non-life will generate superior growth in the coming quarters”
Ritesh Kumar, MD & CEO, HDFC ERGO General Insurance

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