THE INSURANCE industry’s premium income grew in 2019 as all sectors reported increases in premiums written, according to the Insurance Commission (IC).

IC documents showed the industry’s overall premium income increased 4.99% to P304.639 billion in 2019 from P290.151 billion in 2018, based on the unaudited financial reports submitted by life and nonlife insurance firms and mutual benefit associations (MBAs).

The nonlife sector booked the largest increase with total net premiums written of P58.82 billion in 2019, up 15.71% from P50.83 billion in 2018.

Meanwhile, life insurance companies’ total premiums inched up 2.32% to P233.916 billion last year from P228.612 billion a year ago.

The increase was largely due to the uptick in premiums written from traditional life products, which rose 9.23% to P63.783 billion in 2019, offsetting the 0.05% decline in variable life products which ended at P170.132 billion for the year.

Premium income of the MBA sector likewise increased 11.18% to P11.902 billion last year from P10.705 billion the previous year.

The whole insurance industry saw their net income jump 20.38% to P45.12 billion last year from P37.48 billion in 2018.

Net earnings of the life insurance sector rose 25.76% to P36.13 billion in 2019, while the net income of the nonlife sector slipped by 0.49% to P3.403 billion from P3.42 billion.

The industry’s total assets also climbed 13% to P1.785 trillion last year from P1.579 trillion the year prior.

Assets of life insurers rose 13.41% to P1.424 trillion; nonlife firms saw a 10.26% rise year on year to P259.58 billion; while those of MBAs reached P101.06 billion, up 15.02%.

Total investments of the insurance industry also went up by 20% to P1.59 trillion from P1.329 trillion. Investments of all sectors increased, with life firms posting a 19.4% climb to P1.39 trillion in 2019, nonlife insurers surging 31% to P117.5 billion and MBAs posting a 14% rise to P90.77 billion.

Insurance density or the amount of premiums per capita also increased to P2,812 in 2019, up 3.35% from P2,721 the year prior.

However, insurance penetration or the overall contribution of the insurance sector to the economy declined to 1.64% last year from 1.67% in 2018.

The number of insurance companies went down to 129 last year from 131 in 2018, down by one MBA and one nonlife firm.

Meanwhile, the IC reported in a separate statement on Thursday that the total income of the health maintenance organization (HMO) industry dropped 23.76% to P1.26 billion in 2019 from P1.65 billion the year prior on higher healthcare benefits and claims paid by the industry, which consisted 76% of its total expenses for the year.

The HMO industry’s overall revenues, meanwhile, jumped 13.83% to P51.56 billion from P45.3 billion, while its total asset base also grew around 11% to P43.08 billion from P38.96 billion.

“It should be noted that the statistics mentioned were obtained before the onset of the community quarantine due to the 2019 Coronavirus Disease pandemic. The Insurance Commission is hopeful that the economic and financial impact of the pandemic in the succeeding reporting quarter will, to a certain degree, be mitigated by the measures in the various COVID-19-related Circular Letters that we have issued,” Insurance Commissioner Dennis B. Funa was quoted as saying. — Beatrice M. Laforga