Health insurance segment posts growth of 20% for third time in a row: IRDAI

The health insurance segment in India has maintained a growth rate of more than 20 percent in premium collection for the fourth year in a row.

In 2018-19, general and health insurance companies collected Rs. 44,873 crores as premium compared with Rs. 37,029 crores in 2017-18, registering a growth of 21.2 percent, according to the latest annual report of Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India (IRDAI).

The general and health insurance companies issued about 2.07-crore health insurance policies (excluding those issued under personal accident and travel insurance), covering a total of 47.20-crore lives. In the total premium collection, the four public sector general insurers held a combined market share at 52 percent in 2018-19, down from 58 percent in 2017-18. In 2016-17, their combined market share was 63 percent.

The market share of private sector general insurers continues to rise. Their total share increased to 24 percent in 2018-19 from 21 percent in 2017-18 and 19 percent in 2016-17. The share of stand-alone health insurers also increased; it was 24 percent in the last fiscal, up from 21 percent in 2017-18 and 18 percent in 2016-17.

Group segment leads

The group insurance business accounted for 48 percent (Rs. 21,676 crores) of the total premium collection in 2018-19, followed by individual segment at 39 percent (Rs. 17,525 crores) and government business at 13 percent (Rs. 5672 crores). When compared with 2017-18, the group insurance business has maintained its share at 48 percent, while the share of government business has risen from 11 to 13 percent. The individual segment’s share dropped to 39 percent from 41 percent. Both individuals and group insurance businesses (other than government schemes) have doubled their premiums during the last five years.

Net incurred claims ratio (ICR) increased marginally in government and group insurance businesses during 2018-19.

Three-fourth or 76 percent of lives were covered under the government-sponsored health insurance schemes and the balance one-fourth by a group and individual policies issued by the general and health insurers. Standalone health insurers reported a loss of Rs. 298 crore in 2018-19 when compared with the loss after tax of Rs. 102 crore in 2017-18.

Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu, Karnakata, New Delhi UT and Gujarat contributed about 66 per cent of the total health insurance premium.

News Source: The Hindu Businessline, Url:

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