, Singapore

Singapore life insurance new business premiums dips by 2% in Q1.

New business premiums totaled S$1.21b for the first quarter of the year.

The Life Insurance Association, Singapore (LIA Singapore) reported that the life insurance industry logged a total of S$1.21b ($870m) in weighted new business premiums for Q1 2022, a 2% dip from the same quarter last year.

Single-premium products recorded a 21% quarter-on-quarter (QoQ) increase in weighted premiums, totaling  S$655.4m ($471.65m). Single-premium par and non-par products comprised 88%of all single-premium purchases; single-premium linked products made up the remaining 12%.

CPFIS-included products comprised 4%; and cash-funded products accounted for the remaining 96%.

Meanwhile, annual premium products recorded a loss of 20% in sales compared to the same period last year.

LIA Singapore also noticed that the number of new policies purchased online rose to 214,372 in Q1 2022 compared to 88,565 in Q1 2021. These purchases are transacted online by customers without a financial advisor. Specifically, micro-insurance products sold by an insurer had contributed to the large increase in the policy count observed.

These online purchases totalled S$27m ($19.43m) in weighted premiums, accounting for 2% of the total weighted premiums for Q1 2022.

Integrated Shield Plans

Meanwhile, Integrated Shield Plans (IPs) remained the major health insurance product.

 A total of forty thousand more Singaporeans and Permanent Residents were covered by IPs as of 31 March 2022. In total, 2.86 million lives – approximately 70% of Singapore residents – are protected by IPs, which provide coverage on top of MediShield Life.

Total new business premiums for individual health insurance for Q1 2022 amounted to S$82.9m ($59.66m). Overall, IPs and IP rider premiums accounted for 83% and the remaining 17% comprised other medical plans and riders.

Claims payouts

Between 1 January 2022 and 31 March 2022, the life insurance industry paid out S$2.29b ($1.65b) to policyholders and beneficiaries. Of this amount, S$1.92b ($1.38b) was for policies that matured. The remaining S$364m ($261.95m) was for death, critical illness or disability claims.

“Life insurance was one of the few sectors that grew over the past two years as consumers increasingly recognised the importance of life insurance as a crucial component to financial planning and protection. As the country steadily emerges from the pandemic’s headwinds, life insurers have noted the sustained popularity of single-premium products for their relatively attractive yields,” Khor Hock Seng, President of LIA Singapore said.

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