Money & Banking

Health insurance segment posts growth of 20% for third time in a row: IRDAI

A Srinivas | | Updated on: Jan 10, 2019

The proliferation of smartphones and tablets has made it easy for customers to buy insurance policies online | Photo Credit: grinvalds

The health insurance segment has reported a growth of more than 20 per cent in premium collection for the third year in a row.

In 2017-18, general and health insurance companies collected ₹37,029 crore as health insurance premium, registering a growth of 21.8 per cent over 2016-17, according to the latest annual report of the Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India (IRDAI).

Group business accounted for 48 per cent (₹17,757 crore) of the premium, followed by individual segment at 41 per cent (₹15,291 crore), and government business at 11 per cent (₹3,981 crore).

During 2017-18, general and health insurance companies issued around 1.47 crore health insurance policies (excluding policies issued under personal accident and travel insurance), covering 48.20 crore lives, a growth of 10 per cent in the number of lives covered over the previous year.

Three-fourths of the lives covered were under government-sponsored health insurance schemes, and the balance one-fourth by group and individual policies issued by general and health insurers.

There is an also improvement in net incurred claims ratio (ICR) during FY 2017-18. This is observed in all three classes of businesses.

The four public sector general insurers held a combined market share at 58 per cent in 2017-18. However, their share declined from 63 per cent in 2016-17.

On the other hand, the share of private sector general insurers increased to 21 per cent in 2017-18 from 19 per cent in 2016-17, and the share of standalone health insurers in health insurance premium went up to 21 per cent from 18 per cent in 2016-17.

Standalone health insurers reported an increase in underwriting losses in 2017-18, which is ₹436 crore, compared to an underwriting loss of ₹261 crore in 2016-17.

Of the six standalone health insurers, three reported losses and three made profits in 2017-18. The three standalone health insurers that reported PAT include Apollo Munich, Max Bupa and Star Health. They reported PAT of ₹15 crore, ₹23 crore and ₹170 crore, respectively, during 2017-18.

Published on January 10, 2019
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