Money & Banking

Health insurance sector grows more than 20% for 4th year in a row

G Balachandar Chennai | Updated on December 19, 2019 Published on December 19, 2019

General and health insurers covered a total of 47.20-crore lives   -  photobyphotoboy

Insurers collected ₹44,873 crore as premium in 2018-19 compared with ₹37,029 crore last year

Health insurance segment in India has maintained a growth rate of more than 20 per cent in premium collection for the fourth year in a row.

In 2018-19, general and health insurance companies collected ₹44,873 crore as premium compared with ₹37,029 crore in 2017-18, registering a growth of 21.2 per cent, according to the latest annual report of Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India (IRDAI .

The general and health insurance companies issued about 2.07-crore health insurance policies (excluding those issued under personal accident and travel insurance), covering a total of 47.20-crore lives. In the total premium collection, the four public sector general insurers held a combined market share at 52 per cent in 2018-19, down from 58 per cent in 2017-18. In 2016-17, their combined market share was 63 per cent.

The market share of private sector general insurers continues to rise. Their total share increased to 24 per cent in 2018-19 from 21 per cent in 2017-18 and 19 per cent in 2016-17. The share of stand-alone health insurers also increased; it was 24 per cent in the last fiscal, up from 21 per cent in 2017-18 and 18 per cent in 2016-17.

Group segment leads

The group insurance business accounted for 48 per cent (₹21,676 crore) of the total premium collection in 2018-19, followed by individual segment at 39 per cent (₹17,525 crore) and government business at 13 per cent (₹5672 crore). When compared with 2017-18, group insurance business has maintained its share at 48 per cent, while the share of government business has risen from 11 to 13 per cent. Individual segment’s share dropped to 39 per cent from 41 per cent. Both individual and group insurance businesses (other than government schemes) have doubled their premiums during the last five years.

Net incurred claims ratio (ICR) increased marginally in government and group insurance businesses during 2018-19.

Three-fourth or 76 per cent of lives were covered under the government-sponsored health insurance schemes and the balance one-fourth by group and individual policies issued by the general and health insurers. Standalone health insurers reported a loss of ₹298 crore in 2018-19 when compared with the loss after tax of ₹102 crore in 2017-18.

Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu, Karnakata, New Delhi UT and Gujarat contributed about 66 per cent of the total health insurance premium.

Published on December 19, 2019
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