Singapore life insurance new business premiums up 15%

Increased awareness of retirement needs and more positive economic outlook behind growth, industry association says

Singapore life insurance new business premiums up 15%

Insurance News

By Gabriel Olano

Singapore’s life insurance industry reported a strong first nine months of the year, with new business premiums increasing by 15%.

The increase in weighted new business premiums to SG$3.17 billion was due to strong uptake of annual and single premium plans as well as increased sales of products targeting retirement needs, according to data from Singapore’s Life Insurance Association (LIA).

Weighted annual premiums grew by double digits; with SG$2.06 billion collected from January 01 to September 30, 2018, a 12% year-on-year increase. Weighted single premiums also grew, with a 23% leap to SG$1.11 billion.

According to LIA, the increase in single premiums can be credited to the introduction of new and targeted plans, heightened promotional activities of insurers, and a more positive economic sentiment.

“Even though we are experiencing some headwinds due to the trade wars, it is reassuring that more Singaporeans are taking active measures to have their protection needs met,” said Patrick Teow, LIA president. “As an industry, we aim to develop more targeted public programmes so that we can continue to narrow the underinsurance gap and help Singaporeans adequately protect their quality of life for themselves and that of their loved ones. There is much more we can do for the betterment of society.”

The LIA’s member companies employed a total of 8,001 individuals by September 30, increasing its workforce by 954 employees over a 12-month period. Positions being filled were in data analytics, cyber security, and business operations as Singapore’s life industry undergoes digital innovation and overall business expansion.

Agents are the most popular distribution channel in Singapore, with 52% of policies sold through tied representatives, followed by 20% for financial adviser representatives. Bank representatives accounted for 12% of policy sales, while other channels (such as direct and online sales), contributed 16%.

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