Health insurance segment grows 20% for the third time in a row
The health insurance segment has reported a growth of more than 20 per cent in the premium collection for the third year in a row.
In 2017-18, general and health insurance companies collected ₹37,029 crore as health insurance premium, registering a growth of 21.8 per cent over 2016-17, according to the latest annual report of the Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India (IRDAI).
Group business accounted for 48 per cent (₹17,757 crore) of the premium, followed by individual segment at 41 per cent (₹15,291 crore), and government business at 11 per cent (₹3,981 crore).
During 2017-18, general and health insurance companies issued around 1.47 crore health insurance policies (excluding policies issued under personal accident and travel insurance), covering 48.20 crore lives, a growth of 10 per cent in the number of lives covered over the previous year.
Three-fourths of the lives covered were under government-sponsored health insurance schemes, and the balance one-fourth by group and individual policies issued by general and health insurers.
There is an also improvement in net incurred claims ratio (ICR) during FY 2017-18. This is observed in all three classes of businesses.
The four public sector general insurers held a combined market share at 58 per cent in 2017-18. However, their share declined from 63 per cent in 2016-17.
On the other hand, the share of private sector general insurers increased to 21 per cent in 2017-18 from 19 per cent in 2016-17, and the share of standalone health insurers in health insurance premium went up to 21 per cent from 18 per cent in 2016-17.
Standalone health insurers reported an increase in underwriting losses in 2017-18, which is ₹436 crore, compared to an underwriting loss of ₹261 crore in 2016-17.
Of the six standalone health insurers, three reported losses and three made profits in 2017-18. The three standalone health insurers that reported PAT include Apollo Munich, Max Bupa and Star Health. They reported PAT of ₹15 crore, ₹23 crore and ₹170 crore, respectively, during 2017-18.