Insurance industry’s premiums climb 34% as life sector grows

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THE INSURANCE INDUSTRY booked a double-digit increase in its total premium income in the third quarter, driven by the continued growth of the life insurance sector.

Preliminary data based on unaudited reports submitted by life and non-life firms as well as mutual benefit associations (MBA) to the Insurance Commission showed the industry’s total premiums in the January to March period rose by 34.38% to P76.64 billion from the P57.04 billion logged during the same period last year.

Broken down, life insurers reported P61.79 billion worth of premiums last quarter, 40.18% higher than the P44.08 billion recorded in the same period a year ago.

Insurance Commissioner Dennis B. Funa said in the statement that increase in premiums collected by life insurers was supported by the 51.24% growth in the sale of variable life insurance products.

He added that premiums from traditional life insurance products also posted double-digit growth.

Likewise, premiums collected by non-life insurance companies rose 13.29% to P12.34 billion in the first quarter from the P10.89 billion tallied in the comparable year-ago period.

Premiums generated from motor and fire insurance products accounted for the majority of total premiums collected by non-life insurers.

Income generated from contributions and premiums by MBAs reached P2.51 billion in the January to March period, rising 21.75% from P2.06 billion last year.

“With the impressive performance of the insurance industry during the beginning quarter of the year, we are optimistic that industry players will maintain this momentum for the rest of the year,” Mr. Funa said.

Meanwhile, the industry’s net income grew 26.72% to P8.03 billion in the first three months of the year, up from the P6.34 billion booked in the same period last year.

The life insurance sector led the growth, with its net profit rising by 31.16% to P6.31 billion from P4.81 billion. Mr. Funa attributed the growth to “remarkable” increases in premium income, underwriting income and gross investment income.

However, non-life insurance firms posted a 19.21% decrease in net income to P469 million last quarter versus the year-ago profit of P580.5 million.

“The decrease…was due to the decreases in premiums earned and commissions earned coupled with the increases in losses incurred, commission expenses and other underwriting expenses,” Mr. Funa said.

The industry’s total paid-up capital grew to P52.87 billion by 10.88% from P47.68 billion year-on-year supported by “significant increases” in the paid-up capital of four life insurers.

Total investments, on the other hand, amounted to P1.31 trillion last quarter, up 6.85% from P1.24 trillion last year.

Total assets reached P1.55 trillion as of end-March, 8.81% bigger than the P1.42 trillion logged in the same period last year. — Karl Angelo N. Vidal