August non-life premiums rise; health insurance marches ahead of vehicles amid coronavirus
With the coronavirus cases still rising in the country, the health insurance sector is marching ahead and has also driven a boom in the non-life insurance segment for August. The non-life insurance sector has reported an on-year growth in August 2020 after witnessing a drop in premiums for the first quarter of the FY21. The 10.4% growth in non-life insurance premiums was largely driven by the health sector, a report by CARE Ratings said on Wednesday. “The pandemic has increased the awareness of health insurance which has boosted growth. Retail Health premium has grown at a much faster rate of 32.9% compared to the 10% growth in group business and a fall of 26.6% and 83% in government schemes and overseas travel insurance respectively,” it said.
The non-life insurance segment, which includes car, health, property etc, has been faring well since July 2020 in terms of monthly premium. Similar trend was also observed for August. Such premiums stood at Rs 17,623.2 crore in August 2020 as compared to Rs 15,964.7 crore in August 2019.
“The standalone health insurers demonstrated a growth of 36.4% in August 2020, which is roughly comparable to the growth of 32.8% witnessed in August 2019,” the report said, adding that year-to-date August FY21 numbers have grown at a much slower rate of 25.9% as compared to the YTD of August FY20 growth of 39.9%. Even then, the growth in the health sector is higher than the growth witnessed by the overall industry highlighting the rising importance of the health segment.
Public players cede ground to private players
The public sector growth for non-life insurance has been slightly slower than the pace at which the private sector grew for the period ended August 2020. “Public sector growth has been driven by the specialised PSU insurers as the PSU general insurers have continued to cede ground to their private peers,” the report said. Segments with the exception of fire, engineering, health, aviation and liability showed a decline in their premium numbers due to the lockdown.