Life insurance sales registered 38 per cent growth in weighted premiums for the first nine months of 2021

11 Nov 2021

Sales of Single-premium products remained strong; More policies purchased online.

The Life Insurance Association, Singapore (LIA Singapore) today announced industry results for the period January to September 2021 (YTD 3Q2021). A total of S$4.11 billion in weighted new business premiums1 was achieved, a positive 38 per cent growth compared to YTD 3Q2020.

Sales of single-premium products remained strong

Single-premium products recorded a positive increase of 28 per cent in weighted premiums for the third quarter of 2021, when compared against the same period in 2020.

This translated into a 68 per cent year-on-year increase in weighted premiums amounting to S$2.03 billion for YTD 3Q2021.

a. Single-premium par and non-par products comprised 84 per cent of all single-premium purchases; single-premium linked products made up the remaining 16 per cent.

b. CPFIS-included products comprised eight per cent; and cash-funded products accounted for the remaining 92 per cent.

Sales of annual premium products slightly dipped in the third quarter

Despite a dip of eight per cent in growth when compared against the corresponding quarter in 2020, sales of annual premium products managed to record an increase of 17 per cent, amounting to S$2.07 billion in weighted annual premiums for YTD 3Q2021.

Significant growth in number of policies purchased online

The number of new policies purchased online continues to increase to 370,528 in YTD 3Q2021 compared to 120,396 in YTD 3Q2020. These are purchases transacted online by customers without financial advisory.

Integrated Shield Plans (IPs) remain a key component of health insurance

Twenty-five thousand more Singaporeans and Permanent Residents were covered by IPs and riders as at 30 September 2021. 2.84 million lives – approximately 70 per cent of Singapore residents – are protected by IPs and riders, which provide coverage on top of MediShield Life.

Total new business premiums2 for individual health insurance for YTD 3Q2021 amounted to S$268.2 million. Overall, IPs and IP rider premiums accounted for 82 per cent (S$220.8 million) and the remaining 18 per cent (S$47.4 million) comprised other medical plans and riders.

Sales of retirement policies continue to increase

In terms of policy count, there was a 12 per cent increase in the uptake of retirement policies in YTD 3Q2021 compared to the same period last year. A total of 32,297 retirement policies3 were purchased as at 30 September 2021.

Accounting for approximately seven per cent of total weighted premiums for YTD 3Q2021, retirement policies totalled S$295.5 million in weighted premiums for the first nine months of 2021.

OTHER HIGHLIGHTS FOR YTD 3Q2021

Product classification

Par products accounted for 44 per cent of new sales while non-par products accounted for 32 per cent. Investment-linked products made up the remaining 24 per cent.

Distribution channels

New business received from the various channels is as follows:

Distribution Channel By Weighted Premium (%) By Number of Policies (%)
Tied Representatives 32.1 37.3
Bank Representatives 33.2 7.5
Financial Adviser Representatives4 28.7 23.6
Online Direct Channel5 3.5 28.2
Others (products sold without intermediaries, e.g. ElderShield) 2.5 3.4

Product license classification

As at 30 September 2021, insurers holding “Normal” licenses contributed 98 per cent of new sales, while “Defined Market Segments” (DMS) insurers6 made up the remaining two per cent of new sales for YTD 3Q2021.

Total group insurance premiums in-force

Total in-force annual premiums for group insurance business7 rose by 21 per cent compared to the same period a year ago, totalling S$1.79 billion.  

Manpower in the industry

Employment in the life industry dipped slightly compared to the corresponding period in 2020. This brings Singapore life insurance industry’s workforce to 8,728 employees as at 30 September 2021. In the same period, 15,022 representatives held exclusive contracts with companies that operate a tied-agency force.

Talent upskilling and acquisition continue to be a priority for member companies as they accelerate their respective digital and workforce transformation initiatives.  

 

LOOKING FORWARD

Mr Khor Hock Seng, President, LIA Singapore, said, "‘Sustainability in insurance’ is rapidly evolving on many fronts and insurers will need to keep pace by acquiring the necessary expertise and resources. Multiple efforts at the insurance industry-level are in progress to curate and provide training courses for our workforce on the different aspects of sustainability and for different levels of employees. COVID-19 has served to greatly accelerate insurers’ digitalisation journey. Again, insurers will continue to focus on equipping our workforce to embrace digitalised processes and new ways of working."

– End –

Note to Editor: Details of the life insurance industry results for YTD 3Q2021 are available at https://www.lia.org.sg/news-room/industry-performance/

 

In Summary

New Business Sales (Weighted Basis)

Comparison with Corresponding Period

Jan  Sep 2021 
S$

Jan – Sep 2020
S$

Change
Single Premium 2,034.3 million 1,210.9 million 68%
  Linked 329.9 million 282.4 million 17%
  Non-linked 1,704.4 million 928.5 million 84%
Annual Premium 2,072.4 million 1,774.7 million 17%
Total 4,106.7 million 2,985.6 million

38%

Comparison with Corresponding Quarter 

Jul  Sep 2021 
S$

Jul – Sep 2020
S$

Change
Single Premium 752.9 million 587.9 million 28%
  Linked 122.1 million 124.3 million -2%
  Non-linked 630.8 million 463.6 million 36%
Annual Premium 675.2 million 736.7 million -8%
Total 1,428.1 million 1,324.6 million

8%

 

Comparison with Last Quarter 

Jul  Sep 2021 
S$

Apr – Jun 2021
S$

Change
Single Premium 752.9 million 742.2 million 1%
  Linked 122.1 million 101.1 million 21%
  Non-linked 630.8 million 641.1 million -2%
Annual Premium 675.2 million 704.4 million -4%
Total 1,428.1 million 1,446.6 million

-1%

1 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, 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 These policies are designed to provide regular payouts during policyholders’ retirement years.

4 Financial Adviser (FA) Representatives include representatives of “related FA firms”. A related FA firm is a wholly-owned subsidiary of an insurance company.

5 Online Direct Channel is a new data point from January 2019, and it refers to “any web portal or application in the internet created, developed and maintained or operated by a life insurer, on which a client may purchase a life policy”.

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

7 With effect from January 2021, data reported includes premiums from the Dependants’ Protection Scheme (DPS). Great Eastern Life is sole insurer appointed by the Government to manage the DPS. It is being managed as a group scheme.

 

Life Insurance Association, Singapore (LIA Singapore)

Established in 1962, the Life Insurance Association, Singapore (LIA Singapore) is the not-for-profit trade body of life insurance product providers and life reinsurance providers based in Singapore and licensed by the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS).

Vision and Mission

The vision of member companies is to provide individuals with peace of mind and to promote a society where every person is prepared for life’s changing cycles and for those situations unforeseen.

They are committed to being a progressive life insurance industry by collectively enhancing consumer understanding, promoting industry best practices, and through the association fostering a spirit of collaboration and mutual respect with government and business leaders.

Values underpinning the association and its members

Unified

in our resolve to deliver innovative solutions where every individual’s needs are best met.

Professional

in the way we conduct ourselves and in the counsel we give.

Ethical 

in ensuring our policyholders’ interests are managed with utmost integrity.

Fair        

in how we strive to provide favourable outcomes to both our policyholders and shareholders.

Open & honest

in all that we do to build an environment of trust and transparency.

Proactive

in the steps we take to give our people the skills and knowledge to provide sound solutions at all times.

For more information, please contact:

Pauline Lim (Ms.)
Executive Director, LIA Singapore
Email : [email protected]

Louise Lam (Ms.)
Ogilvy Singapore
Tel: +65 6213 6986 / +65 9739 9863
Email: [email protected]

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