HEALTHY sales across all segments delivered the life insurance industry its third consecutive quarter of growth.
Weighted new business premiums came in at $750.9 million for the three months to Sept 30, an increase of 34 per cent compared with the same period a year ago.
Weighted new business premiums are an industry performance gauge.
Single premium product sales also improved in the third quarter, soaring 36 per cent in the same period to $209 million, said the Life Insurance Association (LIA) yesterday.
Annual premium product sales recorded similar results, up 33 per cent from last year to $541.9 million.
LIA president Khoo Kah Siang said yesterday: “We see growth from both the single premium and regular premium businesses, which reflects the strong and very encouraging market sentiment, and the continued consumer confidence in the life insurance industry.”
Health insurance sales boasted strong growth, with new premiums for the quarter ballooning to $130 million from $53 million in the same period last year.
This was due to an increase in premiums for Integrated Shield plans, reflecting better coverage provided by the national MediShield scheme.
The industry paid out $5.86 billion to policyholders and beneficiaries in the nine months to Sept 30, with $399 million for death, critical illness or disability claims and the remaining $5.46 billion for matured policies.
A total of 2.66 million Singaporeans were covered with paid-up premiums of $1.3 billion as at Sept 30.
Mr Khoo also expects new sales to increase as the year draws to a close.
“Growth won’t see a sudden spike but it will continue the momentum that it has seen from the first quarter of this year,” he added.
Mr Khoo noted that the industry is coming to terms with the Financial Advisory Industry Review (Fair) panel’s recommendations aimed at raising standards.
These include allowing consumers to buy basic life insurance products directly and setting up a website that compares insurance products.
Mr Khoo said: “LIA will work very closely with the regulators and the various financial institutions, to make sure these changes are introduced in a manner that does not disrupt how the industry carries out its role to reach out to the public.”