India’s general insurance market has reported an almost 90% drop in after-tax profits, according to the Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India (IRDAI).
For financial year 2018-2019, the general insurance sector’s profits stood at INR6.83 billion (US$96.13 million), down almost 90% from financial year 2017-2018, the Financial Express reported. The sharp decrease in profits affected mostly state-owned insurers, and was attributed to heavy levels of claims caused by massive monsoon flooding in the Kerala region in August 2018 and August 2019.
Meanwhile, private general insurers were not greatly affected, and their profits only decreased marginally, the report said.
Among the state-owned insurers, only New India Assurance made a profit, bringing in INR5.8 billion (US$81.6 million). National Insurance, Oriental Insurance, and United India Insurance all reported losses of INR16.9 billion, INR2.94 billion, and IDR18.8 billion, respectively.
“Last financial year was tough as there were heavy claims due to the floods in Kerala last year and high claims in crop insurance,” a senior official at a state-owned insurer was quoted as saying by the report. “Also, high claims in group health insurance business led to losses for a few public sector insurers.”