Life insurance sector registers negative growth in Apr-Feb FY'09

The number of new policies issued by life insurance companies in the country was down 0.1 per cent in the first 11 months of 2008-09, with Life Insurance Corporation of India (LIC) registering the steepest decline of 6 per cent.

Life insurance companies in the country issued 403.86 lakh new policies/schemes in April-February 2008-09 against 404.31 lakh policies issued in the same period in 2007-08, a decline of 45,257, according to the data provided by the Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India.

State-run LIC, the country's biggest life insurer, saw a dip of 17.59 lakh policies compared to the policies issued in the same period of the previous fiscal.

However, private life insurance firms issued 17.14 lakh more policies - a rise of 15.7 per cent compared to the policies issued in the previous fiscal - data showed.

Life insurers have seen new policies grow by 35 per cent in 2005-06, 30 per cent in 2006-07 and over 10 per cent in 2007-08, as per IRDA data.

However, the premium collected by life insurers was marginally up at Rs72,017 crore in the 11-month period from Rs71,971 crore in the same period FY'08.

Private insurers raised their premium collection by 7.2 per cent, while that of LIC fell by 4 per cent in the period compared to the previous fiscal.