Non-life insurers reported an over 10 per cent decline in premiums earned, for the second consecutive month. This was on the back of the disruption due to the lockdown.
In April, non-life insurers saw premium collection fall 10.6 per cent to Rs 14,206 crore, from Rs 15,891 crore in the same period last year. This includes private sector, state-owned, specialised, and stand-alone health insurers.
While private sector players recorded a steeper decline of 16.18 per cent in monthly premium collection, their public sector counterparts posted a 5.68 per cent fall. In absolute numbers, private ones earned Rs 6,722 crore in premiums in April, while public sector ones recorded Rs 6,559 crore. Private insurers reported a market share of 50.74 per cent, while the four state-owned insurers comprised 44 per cent of the non-life market.
Among public sector ones, New India Assurance — the largest state-owned general insurer — recorded positive growth of 7 per cent in premiums earned.
National Insurance and Oriental Insurance were in the red, while United India Insurance recorded flat growth. Among private insurers — barring a few like Go Digit, Future Generali, and Universal Sompo that recorded positive growth — all major insurers were in the red as far as premiums were concerned. ICICI Lombard saw premium collection contract 9 per cent, Bajaj Allianz 21 per cent, HDFC Ergo 16 per cent and Reliance General 8 per cent.
The stand-alone health insurers — seven in all — reported 7 per cent growth in premiums earned in April to Rs 888 crore, from Rs 831 crore. Specialised public sector insurers saw premiums decline by 57 per cent to Rs 36.74 crore, from Rs 85.27 crore.
On the one hand, while premiums have declined for insurers, claims have also not seen a steep rise — both in motor and health — thereby giving some relief to insurers.
the health segment, non-Covid claims declined 40 per cent. The lockdown phase has seen less claims from the motor segment vis-à-vis the health segment.
Further, with the proposed hike in third-party insurance kept on hold by the insurance regulator because of Covid-19, the non-life sector is expected to face tough times ahead.