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General insurance companies may post double-digit growth in 2018

Author: Debasis Mohapatra/Monday, December 4, 2017/Categories: Insurance

General insurance companies may post double-digit growth in 2018

Mumbai: Stellar growth performance of general insurance industry in the current year is likely to continue in the next year, as an upswing in the economy will provide the much-needed leg-up to this crucial financial sector.

Industry insiders are of the opinion that general insurance growth in India is likely to be around 15-17% next year.

“General Insurance industry is likely to grow at 15-17% rate next year on the back of rising disposable income,’” chief executive officer of Bajaj Allianz General Insurance, Tapan Singhel told The Finapolis.

General insurance industry has clocked 18% growth in its gross written premium (GWP) collections during April-October period of this financial year to touch Rs 86,097.25 crore as compared to Rs 72, 576 crore reported in the same period of previous fiscal year.

While private general insurance companies grew at 26% during this period, public sector firms recorded a 10% rise in their premium collections.

Motor and crop insurance segments have emerged as the key growth drivers for the industry this year. While motor insurance traditionally contributes more than 40% of the total gross written premium, health and crop insurance are also seeing rapid growth.

According to industry sources, total premium under Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana (PMFBY) is likely to cross Rs 30,000 crore this financial year against Rs 21,000 crore in 2016-17 and Rs 6,000 crore in 2015-16.

Meanwhile, Moody’s Investor Service in a report said that the non-life or general insurance industry would grow at a higher rate than the life insurance industry in coming years.

"Growth of general insurance sector in India  will continue in the short to medium term. Non-life premiums, growing from a smaller base, will continue to expand more quickly as higher household spending increases take-up of health and motor insurance," the Moody's Investor Service report said.

It also said that the double-digit growth achieved in gross written premium in recent years would continue for next 3-4 years and would benefit the large private insurers the most.   

“Large private insurers are particularly well placed for continued expansion, given their strong brands and market positions," the report added.

Notably, rising equity markets and bullish growth outlook have led to public listing of ICICI Lombard and New India Assurance in recent months. While largest private general insurer, ICICI Lombard raised around Rs 5,700 crore from investors, public sector giant New India Assurance raised around Rs 9,600 crore from the primary market this year.

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