Singapore general insurance premiums grow less than 1% in 2016

Weak growth due to various domestic and external headwinds, says industry association

Singapore general insurance premiums grow less than 1% in 2016

Insurance News

By Gabriel Olano

The general insurance sector of Singapore registered a 0.6% increase in total gross premiums last year, reaching SGD3.7 billion, according to the General Insurance Association (GIA).
The GIA said that the industry’s margins slightly declined due to domestic and external headwinds, leading to a minor decrease in underwriting profit, which are the earnings after claims and administrative expenses have been accounted for. From around SGD310 million in 2015, it was just SGD256.7 million in 2016.
Motor insurance, which makes up 32% of the general insurance sector, had its premiums remain stable last year at an average of SGD1,202. According to the GIA, this was due to more choices for motorists after several new market players made their debuts.

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The motor insurance segment remains profitable, posting an underwriting profit of SGD87.4 million. The association expects premium prices not to move much due to vibrant competition among established and new motor insurers.
Incurred claims also decreased by 8.5% to SGD494.4 million for 2016, owing to the industry’s efforts to improve its claims management efficiency.
The health insurance sector’s premiums grew the most last year, with gross premiums reaching SGD503.5 million, a 16% year-on-year rise. The GIA attributed this to increased awareness and interest among the Singaporean public in health insurance.

However, spikes in the costs of healthcare and the number of claims incurred the health insurance industry a loss of SGD18.7 million last year.

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