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New life insurance sales in Singapore up 18% to S$1.32b in Q3

SINGAPORE'S life insurance industry saw new business, in terms of total weighted premiums, rise 18 per cent to S$1.32 billion for the third quarter, compared with S$1.12 billion a year ago.

The rise in new insurance sales in the third quarter of 2020 was consistent with Singapore's 7.9 per cent gross domestic product growth in the same period, the Life Insurance Association, Singapore (LIA Singapore) said on Friday.

Sales of single premium policies jumped 65 per cent to S$587.9 million on a weighted basis, from S$357.3 million a year ago. This was led by linked single premium policies, which nearly doubled to S$124.3 million, from S$63.1 million a year ago.

Non-linked single premium policies meanwhile, were up 58 per cent on the year to S$463.6 million, from S$294.2 million.

For the year to date ended Sept 30, the local insurance industry recorded S$2.99 billion in total weighted new business premiums, down 2 per cent from S$3.04 billion a year ago.

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Meanwhile, annual-premium policy sales were down 4 per cent to S$736.7 million for the third quarter, from S$767.1 million a year ago.

The total sum assured for new business increased by 13 per cent year on year, amounting to S$116.2 billion in the nine-month period, from S$103.2 billion.

Integrated Shield plans (IPs) remained a significant component of health insurance. As at Sept 30, there were 48,000 more Singaporeans and permanent residents covered by IPs and riders which provide coverage on top of MediShield Life.

Total new business premiums for individual health insurance for the year to date amounted to S$273.1 million. IPs and IP rider premiums accounted for 87 per cent of this amount while the remaining 13 per cent comprised of other medical plans and riders.

Uptake of retirement policies fell by 25 per cent on the year to 28,781 in the year to date, as at Sept 30. Retirement policies accounted for about 8 per cent of total weighted premiums for the year-to-date period, coming in at S$252.2 million for the first nine months of 2020.

Employment in the life insurance industry advanced 4 per cent with 357 net new hires, bringing the Singapore industry's workforce to 8,801 employees as at Sept 30. New hires were mainly due to insurers expanding their IT and operations teams as well as steady hiring in project and product management roles.

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