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INSURANCE | Staff Reporter, Malaysia
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New life business premiums in Malaysia inched up 1.8% to $2.52b in 2018

New premiums in the group business jumped 9.4% to $870m.

New business premiums in Malaysia’s life insurance sector rose 1.8% YoY to $2.52b (MYR10.3b) from $2.47b (MYR10.1b) in 2017, the Life Insurance Association of Malaysia (LIAM) revealed.

In the individual sector, traditional premiums grew 3.5% YoY to $560m (MYR2.3b) whilst investment-linked premiums slipped 4.3% YoY to $1.09b (MYR4.45b). Meanwhile, new premiums for group jumped 9.4% YoY to $870m (MYR3.55b).

In total, all policies combined saw a 9.6% increase to $370b (MYR1.51t) in 2018 from $340b (MYR1.38t) in 2017. LIAM noted that the total in force premiums or those that have not expired or been cancelled edged up 5.7% to $9.49b (MYR38.8b) in 2018 from $8.98b (MYR 36.7b) in 2017.

The percentage of population with life insurance in Malaysia still stands at a relatively low rate of 54% which translates to around 17 out of 50 people insured, Anusha Thavarajah, president of LIAM, noted.

“The low penetration rate means there are more opportunities for the industry to grow and tap the potential market particularly in the underserved areas in the country as well as the urban and rural areas,” LIAM said in a statement.

The agency also expressed hopes with the government’s decision to lay out a tax relief of $734 (MYR3,000) for life insurance premium which was previously a combined tax relief of $1,468 (MYR6,000) for Employee’s Provident Fund (EPF) and life insurance/takaful.

“The incentive would certainly help to fulfil the needs of the rakyat [ordinary citizens] in line with the industry’s aspiration to promote a fully inclusive society,” LIAM said.

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