Thai life insurance sector targets growth amid challenges

Association shares sector predictions for 2024

Thai life insurance sector targets growth amid challenges

Life & Health

By Roxanne Libatique

The Thai Life Assurance Association (TLAA) has outlined its objectives for the coming year, aiming for a growth in industry premiums of between 2% and 4%, targeting a range of 640 to 650 billion baht.

This projection includes an anticipated robust increase in health insurance premiums, which are expected to rise by double digits, according to a Bangkok Post report.

Life insurance growth

According to TLAA, the industry recorded a total premium volume of 633 billion baht in the previous year, reflecting a growth of 3.61% from the preceding year. The market was dominated by the top 10 insurers, which collectively held a 92.5% market share.

Detailing the breakdown, renewal premiums accounted for 455 billion baht, up 3.06%, and first-year premiums climbed 5% to reach 178 billion baht, with the leading firms securing an 88.5% share of this market.

Sara Lamsam, president of the TLAA and president and CEO of Muang Thai Life Assurance, underscored the increasing consumer interest in health insurance, driven by a heightened focus on wellness and the recognition of escalating healthcare expenses.

“Health insurance is increasingly popular with a higher growth rate in 2023 than the previous year as more people are paying attention to their health and becoming aware of possible risks and rising medical costs,” he said, as reported by Bangkok Post.

Insurance premium figures

The association also observed significant growth in the premiums for critical illness, which rose by 5.93% to 110 billion baht, and in pension insurance, which saw a 14.2% increase to 18 billion baht.

Conversely, the growth in savings insurance premiums was more subdued, with a 2.93% increase, despite representing a substantial 44.2% of the life insurance portfolio. This is contrasted with a 5.12% rise in the overall life insurance premiums.

The sector faced challenges in mortgage insurance, which declined by 0.95% due to banks' cautious approach to lending, and in investment-linked insurance, which dropped by 7.69% amid uncertain market conditions, geopolitical strife, and economic slowdown.

Predictions for 2024

For 2024, the TLAA anticipates that the total premium income for the industry will align with the country's GDP growth projections, estimated at between 2.2% and 3.2% by the National Economic and Social Development Council.

Rising medical costs are a growing concern for the association, prompting plans for discussion with regulatory bodies. An increase in claims for minor ailments has also become a notable issue.

Lamsam highlighted several factors that could impact the life insurance industry, including the potential for economic downturn, the uncertain impact of government initiatives like the digital wallet, and the effects of a decelerating Chinese economy on Thailand's key sectors.

Market volatility, both locally and globally, poses additional challenges, affecting investment confidence and demand for linked insurance products. He also pointed to geopolitical tensions, environmental changes, and upcoming elections as potential risk factors for the industry.

Outside life insurance, Thailand this year launched a health insurance program for international visitors.

Related Stories

Keep up with the latest news and events

Join our mailing list, it’s free!