In Focus
INSURANCE | Staff Reporter, Singapore
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Insurance gross premiums in Singapore up 3.4% to $3.81b in 2018

The motor insurance segment’s underwriting profit jumped 137% to $9.96m.

Total gross premiums in Singapore grew 3.4% YoY to $3.81b in 2018, the General Insurance Association of Singapore (GIA) revealed.

The motor insurance segment’s underwriting profit jumped 137% to $9.96m, reversing the $27.2m underwriting loss recorded in 2017. This turnaround is primarily attributed to a 1.5% decrease in incurred claims, reflecting efforts of effective fraud management initiatives by the sector as well as a decline in the number of road traffic accidents in 2018, said GIA President, Karl Hamann.

Overall, the motor insurance segment recorded $1.1b in gross premiums for FY2018, a slight 0.5% dip compared to the previous year.

Meanwhile, the Work Injury Compensation (WIC) insurance segment recorded a 1.8% increase in gross premiums from the corresponding period in 2017, amounting to $344m.

For the first time in five years, the WIC insurance segment experienced an underwriting loss, of $3.6m, as net incurred claims increased by 20.4%, reflective of the increase in both minor and major workplace injuries in 2018, as reported by the Workplace Safety and Health (WSH) Council.

Total gross premiums for the health insurance segment increased by 16.6%, to $583.3m. However, net incurred claims increased by 18.2%, resulting in a $44.2m underwriting loss.

“Rising healthcare costs remains a nation-wide issue and the sector will continue working closely with LIA Singapore and the Ministry of Health (MOH) on the implementation of the HITF recommendations. The sector’s efforts will be driven by the newly established Medical Insurance Workgroup (MIW),” Hamann said.

The travel insurance segment recorded total gross premiums of $197.4m and underwriting profit of $1.7m.This is the first time the sector is reporting figures for the travel insurance segment, GIA noted.

The personal accident insurance segment (excluding travel insurance) recorded total gross premiums of $172.3m and underwriting profit of $17.3m.

Total gross premiums for the fire insurance segment increased by 2.6%, totalling $470.8m. The segment recorded underwriting profit of $22.4m, a 45.7% decrease from the corresponding period in 2017, as net incurred claims increased by 35%. This is due to the increase in fire incidents in 2018.

Additionally, GIA launched the GIA Insurance Fraud Tip-off (GIFT) reward scheme, where a reward of up to $10,000 will be given to individuals for reporting insurance fraud cases with evidence that leads to prosecution and conviction of offenders. Reports are to be submitted online at GIA’s website, with evidence proving the wrongdoing.

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