The Life Insurance Association (LIA), Singapore has reported a 61% increase in sales for the first half of 2021, with weighted new business premiums reaching SG$2.68 billion.
According to the industry body that represents the country’s life insurers, the growth represents the industry bouncing back from the slowdown in sales in the first half of 2020 caused by COVID-19 restrictions. Face-to-face meetings were banned, which affected many sales channels, particularly agents.
“The strong showing of business results seen in the life insurance industry in the first half of this year reflects a level of stabilisation of Singapore’s economy from the immediate impact of COVID-19 in 1H2020,” said Khor Hock Seng, LIA president. “The growth in uptake of life insurance also seems to show that more people are placing greater importance on providing for their long-term financial and healthcare needs in the midst of an evolving pandemic environment.”
Single-premium products remained the driver of growth for the half, having recorded a 106% year-on-year increase in weighted premiums, amounting to SG$1.28 billion. Single-premium par and non-par products accounted for 84% of all single-premium purchases, while single-premium linked products made up the remaining 16%.
Annual premium products saw uptake increase by 35% from the same period last year, bringing in SG$1.4 billion in weighted annual premiums.
LIA also noted a strong increase in the number of policies purchased online, due to the shift to more remote forms of doing business. From 32,952 policies from the first half of 2020, online-bought policies grew by over 500% to 203,351 in the first six months of 2021.
Total new business premiums for individual health insurance amounted to SG$176.8 million for the half. Overall, Integrated Shield Plans (IPs) and IP rider premiums accounted for 82% (SG$144.7 million), and the remaining 18% (SG$32.1 million) was composed of other medical plans and riders.
Uptake of retirement products grew by 34%, with 22,137 policies bought in the first half.
Bank representatives brought in the largest share of weighted premiums at 32.9%, followed by tied representatives at 31.9%. Financial adviser representatives came in third at 28.4%. Online direct channels made up 3.9% and other direct channels accounted for 2.9%.