LIC leads six life insurers who lose as others rise

The state-owned Life Insurance Corporation of India, the country's largest insurer, has seen its customer base slip to 70 per cent in the last financial year as its new business premium shrunk by over 21 per cent in April-December period.

LIC garnered new premiums of Rs51,668 crore during the first three quarters of 2014-15 as against Rs65,774.47 crore in the same period of the previous fiscal, a decline of 21.4 per cent.

As a result, market share of the insurance leader came down to 70 per cent as against over 75 per cent at the end of last fiscal 2013-14.

In December, LIC added new business of Rs5,858.55 crore by underwriting 19.14 lakh policies. The previous year, the insurer had earned a new business premium of Rs90,123.75 crore.

Against this, 23 private sector players registered a 16.6-per cent growth in new premium collection at Rs22,110.31 crore during the first nine months as against Rs18,951.27 crore in the same period a year ago.

Among private sector insurers, Bajaj Allianz witnessed an 11.2-per cent decline in new business and earned first premium of Rs1,575.28 crore, down from Rs1,775.98 crore.

In the same period, Tata AIA's business slipped by more than 50 per cent to Rs164.76 crore as against Rs351.37 crore. Similarly, Canara HSBC OBC Life also reported a 33.3 per cent decline in the new business premium collection to Rs284.63 crore from Rs426.52 crore in the first nine months.

On the other hand, insurers ICICI Prudential, HDFC Standard, SBI Life, Max Life, Reliance Life and PNB Metlife recorded growth in new business during the first three quarters.

The largest player in the private segment, ICICI Prudential collected first premiumd of Rs3,586.12 crore as against Rs2,559.13 crore in the previous period, while SBI Life garnered earned Rs3,362.11 crore as compared to Rs 3,033.87 crore in the nine months.

As many as 17 players in the private sector life insurance space posted growth, while 6 reported decline in the new business premium.

Weighed down by the largest player in the segment, life insurance as a whole saw a decline in its business - the total premium collection by 24 players taken together shrank by 13 per cent to Rs73,777.37 crore as against Rs 84,725.74 crore during the same period a year earlier.