INSURANCE | Tim Charlton, India

Indian non-life premiums jump 6.7% in January

Overall YTD growth was more subtle at 2.8%.

Indian non-life insurers saw their premiums inch up 6.7% in January but overall YTD numbers grew a muted 2.8%, according to a CARE Ratings report.

Premiums reached $2.5b (INR18.5 crore) in January driven by the fire and health insurance segments. In YTD terms, gross direct premiums in January FY2021 increased 2.8% to $22.6b (INR 163,670.1 crore), with general insurers maintaining the largest share.

The YTD January FY21 Fire segment grew by 30.4%, mainly due to increase in reinsurance rates by GIC Re. This growth is more or less comparable to the 36% growth demonstrated in YTD January FY20.

The health segment grew 14.6% in YTD January FY2021, higher than 13.7% growth witnessed in the YTD December FY2021 but marginally lower than the 14.7% growth posted in YTD January FY2020. The YTD premium growth of standalone health insurers has been higher than industry average in FY2021.

Retail health premiums have risen 28.9% versus the 10.3% growth in group business and a fall of 2.8% and 72.8% in government schemes and overseas travel insurance, respectively.

The motor insurance segment declined, but the fall in YTD January number is lower than the fall witnessed in YTD December, possibly due to the higher registrations witnessed in January 2020. However, muted growth in the economy and subdued activity in January 2021 auto registrations continue to impact the segment.

Crop insurance declined 9.5% to $374m (INR 2,714.6 crore), with a pattern of general insurers retreating and specialised insurers coming in being noted.

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