Robust performance for 1H2018 as the life insurance industry continues to focus on protection needs

Singapore, 13 August 2018

The Life Insurance Association, Singapore (LIA Singapore) today announced the industry results for the period January to June 2018 (1H2018).

Continuing the first quarter's momentum of strong growth, the industry recorded a 20 per cent increase of weighted new business premiums1 from the previous year, totalling S$2.02 billion for 1H2018.

Strong industry performance across all product types

Contributing to this growth is the increase in uptake across both single and annual premium products.

S$1.34 billion in weighted annual premiums were collected during the first half of the year, an encouraging 18 per cent increase from the corresponding period in 2017. 

For single premium products, the industry recorded a 24 per cent increase from 1H2017, amounting to S$677.7 million in weighted single premiums, of which:

a) Single premium par and non-par products comprised 71 per cent, the balance 29 per cent were single premium linked products

b) CPFIS-included products comprised 19 per cent; Cash-funded products took the remaining 81 per cent

On the whole, there has been a slight shift of consumers' interest away from participating products, to both non-participating products and investment-linked products, attributed to insurers’ new product launches, and improving market performances and economic conditions.

Increased preparedness among individuals in Singapore against adversity

The industry continues to make significant progress in supporting individuals in Singapore to better meet their protection needs and financial goals.

Total sum assured for new business increased by 19 per cent on a year-on-year basis, amounting to S$66.3 billion in 1H2018.

70,000 more Singaporeans and Permanent Residents are now covered by Integrated Shield Plans (IPs) compared to 1H2017, leading to a total of 2.7 million lives, or approximately 68 per cent of Singapore residents, with IP coverage over and above the MediShield Life component.

New business premiums2 for individual health insurance amounted to S$205.9 million for 1H2018, of which IP and IP rider premiums accounted for 91 per cent (S$188.2 million). The remaining nine per cent (S$17.7 million) came from other medical plans and riders.

More individuals took action to provide for their retirement, with 14,505 policies designed to provide regular payouts during their retirement being bought in the first six months of 2018. This is a notable 36 per cent increase compared to 1H2017.

These plans account for approximately six per cent of the total weighted premiums recorded for 1H2018.

Follow-on to LIA Protection Gap Study

"Later this year, we'll be announcing key actions that the industry will take to help individuals within segments of the community enhance the adequacy of their protection and financial provision," said Mr Patrick Teow, President of LIA Singapore.

The key actions will be informed by insights gained from a qualitative consumer study, which was conducted to complement and understand the quantitative findings of the earlier Protection Gap Study from a behavioural science perspective.

Job creation and upskilling

As employment in Singapore continues to grow in the finance and insurance sectors3, we note a 12 per cent increase in the number of employed individuals within the life insurance industry in 1H2018.

7,671 individuals were employed by member companies, up from 6,857 staff in 1H2017. This increase is mainly due to new jobs created to support digitalisation and data analytics as well as business growth and expansion.

14,765 representatives held exclusive contracts with companies that operate a tied agency force.

The industry continues to support re-training and upskilling efforts with the launch of the Institute of Banking and Finance (IBF) new career centre, IBF Careers Connect4.

OTHER HIGHLIGHTS FOR 1H2018

Product Classification

Par products accounted for 44 per cent of new sales while non-par products accounted for 35 per cent. Investment-linked products made up the remaining 21 per cent.

Distribution Channels

The contribution of new business by the different channels is as follows:

Distribution channel By weighted premium (%) By number of policies (%)
Tied Representatives 37 51
Bank Representatives 37 12
Financial Adviser Representatives 21 20
Others (products sold without intermediaries, e.g. DPI, ElderShield) 5 17

Product License Classification

As at 30 June 2018, insurers holding "Normal" licenses contributed 98 per cent of new sales, while the "Defined Market Segments" (DMS) insurers5 made up the remaining two per cent of new sales for 1H2018.

Group Insurance: Total Annual Premiums In-Force

Total annual premiums in-force for group insurance business rose by eight per cent compared to the same period a year ago, amounting to S$1.14 billion.

Assets

In strengthening Singapore’s position as a financial hub in Asia6, the life insurance industry manages assets of approximately S$202.1 billion, up 11 per cent compared with a year ago.

Assets of non-investment linked business accounted for S$167.1 billion, while the remaining S$35.0 billion were assets held for investment-linked business.

LOOKING FORWARD

The industry continues to contribute to Singapore's progress in fulfilling the SmartNation7  ambition. We can expect to see more digital initiatives being introduced by the industry players, to boost productivity, enhance customer services, and ensure security of data and personal information.

The industry will not let up in its complementary efforts to ensure that the quality of life in Singapore improves, responding to rapid demographic shifts in Singapore, rising incidences of chronic illnesses and healthcare costs inflation.

- End -  

Note to Editor: Industry results of 1H2018 are available at www.lia.org.sg/industry/performance

In Summary

New Business Sales (Weighted Basis)

Comparison with Corresponding Period Jan  Jun 2018
S$

Jan – Jun 2017
S$

Change
Single Premium 677.7 million 547.3 million 24%
  Linked 197.1 million 137.5 million 43%
  Non-linked 480.6 million 409.8 million 17%
Annual Premium 1,341.7 million 1,134.7 million 18%
Total 2,019.4 million 1,682.0 million 20%
Comparison with Corresponding Quarter Apr  Jun 2018
S$

Apr – Jun 2017
S$

Change
Single Premium 395.4 million 266.0 million 49%
  Linked 97.7 million 74.7 million 31%
  Non-linked 297.7 million 191.3 million 56%
Annual Premium 696.4 million 605.0 million 15%
Total 1,091.8 million 871.0 million 25%
Comparison with Last Quarter Apr  Jun 2018
S$

Jan – Mar 2018
S$

Change
Single Premium 395.4 million 282.3 million 40%
  Linked 97.7 million 99.3 million -2%
  Non-linked 297.7 million 183.0 million 63%
Annual Premium 696.4 million 642.8 million 8%
Total 1,091.8 million 925.1 million 18%

1 The weighted new business premium figure is calculated as follows:

Weighted new business premiums measures premiums collected on new policies by taking into account (1) 10 per cent of the value of single premium products, (2) all of a year’s premiums for annual premium products, and (3) adjusted value for products with premium payment durations of less than 10 years.

The figure is calculated as follows: 10% Single Premium Insurance + 100% Annual Premium Insurance + Adjusted premium for Insurance with premium payment durations of less than 10 years.

2 With effect from 1 January 2016, the MediShield Life premiums have been excluded from LIA statistics. New Business premiums refer to the premium due to the new business sold in the year, as well as incremental premiums from any repricing of plans, and change in age-band of the insureds. 

3 MOM: Total employment in Q2 2018 for Singapore grew faster than previous quarter (30 July 2018). Human Resources Online. Available at:
http://www.humanresourcesonline.net/mom-total-employment-in-q2-2018-for-singapore-grew-faster-than-previous-quarter/

4 New centre to help finance professionals plan their career (2 August 2018). The Straits Times. Available at:
https://www.straitstimes.com/business/new-centre-to-help-finance-professionals-plan-their-career

5 DMS insurers are registered by MAS to conduct only non-CPF business and with minimum policy size.

6 Singapore unveils plan to bolster its status as an Asian financial hub (30 October 2017). AsiaOne. Available at:
http://www.asiaone.com/singapore/singapore-unveils-plan-bolster-its-status-asian-financial-hub

7 Digital Government Blueprint (June 2018). SmartNation Singapore. Available at:
https://www.smartnation.sg/docs/default-source/default-document-library/dgb_summary_june2018.pdf