The Life Insurance Association, Singapore (LIA Singapore) reported a total of SG$2.99 billion in weighted new business premiums for the first nine months of 2020, a decline of 2% from the same period in 2019.
However, quarter-on-quarter, the industry recorded a 90.6% increase in new business premiums recorded for the third quarter, at SG$1.32 billion, compared to SG$695.1 million in the second quarter.
According to LIA Singapore, this is consistent with the country’s economic performance where GDP grew by 7.9% in the third quarter, compared to a contraction of 13.2% in the second quarter during the COVID circuit breaker measures.
“Barring evolving COVID-19 conditions in other countries, Singapore is moving towards a slow recovery and the life insurance industry remains committed to supporting the population in meeting and maintaining their protection needs,” said LIA president Khor Hock Seng. “We will continue to monitor the situation and work closely with regulators to get through these challenging times.”
Aside from offering instalment-based payment of deferred premiums, LIA said that its members are proactively engaging policyholders to right-size their insurance plans to ensure sustainable premium payments in the future.
Employment in the life insurance sector rose by 4% year-on-year, with 357 net new hires. This brings Singapore’s life insurance industry’s workforce to 8,801 employees. Most of these hires were by insurers expanding their IT and operations teams. During the same period, there were 15,286 representatives that held exclusive contracts with companies using a tied-agency force model.
LIA reported that sales of annual premium products declined by 17%, a trend expected to continue until Singapore’s economy further strengthens. However, this was partially offset by a 36% increase in weighted premiums for single premium products.
The total sum assured for new business rose by 13% year-on-year, amounting to SG$116.2 billion for the first nine months of 2020.