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General insurers see their profits fall 90% in FY19

Mumbai: India’s general insurance industry saw its profit drop by more than 90 per cent to Rs 683 crore in the fiscal year 2018-19, compared to a profit after tax of Rs 6,909 crore in FY18, data from the annual report of Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India (Irdai) showed.

The public sector general insurance firms posted a loss of Rs 3,228 crore in FY19 as against a profit of Rs 2,543 crore in the same period last year, mostly on the back of losses incurred due to natural calamities across the country in this period. Private insurers performed better compared to their state-owned peers even they reported a marginal decline in profits in FY19 to Rs 3,584 crore compared to Rs 3,798 crore in FY18.

The general insurance industry underwrote premiums worth Rs 1.69 lakh crore in FY19 as against Rs 1.50 lakh crore in the same period last year, registering a growth rate of 12.47 per cent as against 17.59 per cent. While public sector insurers underwrote 1.28 per cent more policies in this time, private sector companies approved 24 per cent more policies.

“ICICI Lombard continued to be the largest private sector general insurance company with a market share of 8.55 per cent…Bajaj Allianz, the second largest private sector general insurance company, which underwrote a total premium of Rs 11,059 crore reported an increase in market share from 6.27 per cent in 2017-18 to 6.53 per cent during the year in review,” Irdai report said.

The underwriting losses of general insurers increased to Rs 22,320 crore in FY19 from Rs 15,341 crore, a jump of 45 per cent. While the private general insurers reported a 38 per cent jump in their underwriting losses to Rs 2,890 crore, the public sector general insurers underwriting losses increased 47 per cent to Rs 18,533 crore. Separately, the motor segment saw the highest claims ratio at 90.6 per cent, closely followed by fire-related claims. Incurred claim ratio refers to the net claims paid by an insurance company as against the net premiums earned. The life insurance industry, on the other hand, reported a profit of Rs 8,435.81 crore as against Rs 8,511.99 crore in FY18. LIC, which posted a profit of Rs 2,668 crore, up 9 per cent from last year, continued to dominate over two thirds of the overall life insurance market.

Source: Economic Times