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Individual, unit-linked policies steal show — Pvt life insurers' new biz up 129 pc

C.R. Sukumar

Hyderabad , July 16

ICICI Prudential, Bajaj Allianz, Birla SunLife, HDFC Standard Life and SBI Life have emerged as the top five life insurers in the private sector with new business in excess of Rs 450 crore each during the fiscal ended March 2005.

While the total life insurance industry recorded a growth of 35.7 per cent at a new business premium level of Rs 25,343 crore, with an accretion of Rs 6,674 crore, the private sector alone contributed Rs 3,128 crore to the accretion, a growth of 128.7 per cent over the previous fiscal.

The lone public sector life insurance giant Life Insurance Corporation has contributed Rs 3,546 crore to the accretion, a growth of 21.8 per cent. As a result, the market share of LIC in the growth of new business has come down to 78 per cent during 2004-05 from 87 per cent in the previous fiscal, as per the statistics compiled by the Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority (IRDA). ICICI Prudential leads the private sector team of 13 players with a new business premium of Rs 1,584 crore and garnered a market share of 6.2 per cent, up from 4 per cent in the previous fiscal.

Bajaj Allianz stood second, though distant, with Rs 860 crore and earned a market share of 3.4 per cent (1 per cent).

Interestingly, of the Rs 6,674 crore of accretion in 2004-05, the individual single premium segment recorded a growth of Rs 4,219 crore and individual non-single premium segment rose by Rs 2,098 crore, taking the total to Rs 6,317 crore.

According to the IRDA analysis, individuals were still driving growth in life insurance. The single premium segment is the most popular of them all, accounting for 95 per cent of the growth of the industry.

While the premium in the individual single premium segment grew by 207 per cent, the sum assured rose by Rs 3,892 crore, representing 87 per cent growth. In the individual non-single premium segment, though the premium grew by 16 per cent, the sum assured recorded a fall of 4.5 per cent.

Even between the individual single premium and non-single premium segments, unit-linked products dominated the show.

Under the individual single premium segment, the total new business done during 2004-05 stood at Rs 5,904 crore, of which unit-linked policies accounted for Rs 4,940 crore and non-linked Rs 964 crore.

Of the total Rs 25,343 crore of life new premium in 2004-05, the individual segment contributed Rs 20,933 crore, while the balance came from group insurance policies.

The unit-linked policies contributed Rs 4,940 crore to individual single premium policies and Rs 3,041 crore to non-single premium policies, taking the total contribution to Rs 7,981 crore.

This constitutes 31 per cent of the total accretion in life new business during the fiscal under consideration, indicating the dominance of unit-linked policies.

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