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Singapore's life insurance business up 3% in Q4 to S$764.3m
SINGAPORE'S life insurance business inched up 3 per cent to S$764.3 million in total weighted new business premiums in the fourth quarter of 2014, boosted by a higher uptake in single premium products.
But the total weighted new business premiums - a way to measure the growth of the life insurance industry - remained unchanged at S$2.8 billion for the full year as at end-December 2014, compared with the corresponding period in 2013. This was mainly due to a higher base in 2013 - attributable to the re-pricing of Integrated Shield Plans (IPs) and higher policy maturity that year.
A higher maturity translates to more re-investment of business premiums, which in turn, creates a higher base.
The Life Insurance Association Singapore (LIA Singapore) on Friday said that a higher uptake in participating products helped in the 23 per cent growth in single premiums to S$219.8 million for Q4. For financial year 2014, it was S$860.8 million.
Weighted annual premium slid 3 per cent to S$544.5 million in the fourth quarter, while it fell 8 per cent to S$1.9 billion for FY2014 from the year-ago period, due to the spike in premiums as a result of the IP re-pricing exercise in 2013.
As at end-December 2014, the life insurance industry paid out S$6.79 billion to policyholders and beneficiaries. Of this amount, S$6.19 billion was for policies that matured. The remaining S$602 million was for death, critical illness or disability claims, which represented a 13 per cent increase from 2013.
LIA said that this was an indication that the industry is providing increased protection to the Singapore market.
About one in two individuals here has health cover with total premiums amounting to S$1.6 billion as at end-December 2014.
Khoo Kah Siang, president of LIA, said that as the sector prepares for the implementation of upcoming initiatives and regulatory changes, including the FAIR (Financial Advisory Industry Review) recommendations and MediShield Life, the association will continue to work with policymakers and relevant bodies to ensure the changes are beneficial to all.