Singapore general insurance sector posts stable growth in 2019

Industry association elects new officers to head resilience-building and transformation efforts

Singapore general insurance sector posts stable growth in 2019

Insurance News

By Gabriel Olano

The General Insurance Association of Singapore (GIA) has announced that the sector achieved 7.6% annual growth in gross written premiums, totalling SG$4.10 billion, for the full year 2019.

According to the association’s statement, its member insurers paid out 12.2%, or SG$159 million, more in insurance claims in 2019, which contributed to the sector recording an underwriting loss of SG$28 million. The top five segments, which make up 70% of the general insurance market, recorded a combined underwriting loss of SG$43.4 million.

GIA also took actions last year to mitigate claims cost inflation and to manage evolving risks, it said. These included launching the GIA Insurance Fraud Tip-off (GIFT) reward scheme to combat insurance fraud, work on the new GIA Easy Accident Reporting System (GEARS), and undertaking joint efforts with key stakeholders such as the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) and the Life Insurance Association, Singapore (LIA Singapore).

Among the top five segments, motor insurance was the largest, with SG$1.1 billion in GWP for 2019, or 27% of the general insurance market. It was followed by health insurance, with SG$666.8 million, or 16% of the market. Property had SG$538.1 million, or 13%, while employer’s liability and travel had SG$365.6 million (9%) and SG$211.3 million (5%), respectively.

GIA also announced the appointment of its new management committee at its annual general meeting on March 24, highlighting the sector’s resilience-building and transformation focus for 2020. Craig Ellis was elected as president and Christian Sandric as vice-president.

“The start of 2020 saw an unexpected turn of events – a new decade begins with an emergence of a new global risk,” said Ellis. “Threats of COVID-19 have unsettled the world and have sent businesses reeling from its impact. As a sector, we are determined to overcome this unprecedented challenge together and will be doubling up our efforts in supporting the community, our members, partners and all stakeholders. At the core of everything we do, we will ensure that general insurance protection remains accessible for everyone.”

“Notwithstanding it all, one of the key focuses for GIA this year, is to leverage the success of our insurance fraud prevention initiatives to form a new Centralised Investigation Bureau,” he added. “We are also well prepared to support recent regulatory developments such as the new Work Injury Compensation Act (WICA), and will be driving innovative changes for the sector through the newly formed Market Development Committee.”

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