Motor premium growth helps general insurers log 10 pc growth in Q3: Report

The revival in motor premium sales boosted the overall non-life business to register 10 per cent growth in the third quarter, according to a brokerage report. Motor is the single largest business for the general insurance industry chipping in with over 40 per cent of the revenue.

General insurers delivered a 17 per cent annualised (ex-crop) growth in premium collection in December, which was only 5 per cent in November and 7 per cent in October, translating into a 10 per cent growth in Q3, as per the data from Kotak Securities.

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Motor rose further to 14 per cent in December from 7 per cent in November and 3 per cent in October, totalling 8 per cent in Q3 as against a 4 per cent decline in Q2, the report said.

Retail health moderated during the quarter to 23 per cent as COVID policy sales moderated. In Q2, this segment had clocked a whopping 43 per cent growth.

SBI General and Tata AIG continued to report stellar growth (up 26 per cent, ex-crop), while ICICI Lombard and Chola MS were up 10 per cent and 8 per cent, respectively, in Q3 and Bajaj General lagged industry average at 3 per cent.

Increasing new vehicle sales and strong momentum in retail sales during the festive season supported the overall growth for the motor segment.

The gradual rise in freight volumes and utilisation rates also supported premia. Motor premia increased 8 per cent in Q3, up from trough levels of 13 per cent decline in H1 and the overall motor premia were down 6 per cent in the first three quarters.

Moderation in retail health is led by gradual softening in risk aversion among probable customers as the overall pandemic cases continue to decline. Private players, excluding HDFC Ergo, were up 30 per cent in December, compared to 1 per cent down in November.

The premium for standalone health insurers, excluding HDFC Ergo, was up 26 per cent in December, more than 17 per cent in November, slowing down from peak levels of 57-66 per cent growth observed during August-October 2020.

Retail health insurance for standalone health insurers was up 24 per cent in December, up from 17 per cent in November but down from 30 per cent in October, but much lower than 40-48 per cent in June-September, the report said.

Notably, overall growth in health business picked up to 19 per cent in December from low levels of 2-6 per cent over the past two months. This was led by strong growth in government business.

Meanwhile, the fire remained strong with premia clipping at 45 per cent in December, taking the quarterly growth to 30 per cent, marginally higher than 28 per cent growth in Q2. But growth is expected to be slower in Q4 given the high base last year.

Bajaj Allianz, ICICI Lombard, SBI General and Tata AIG reported strong growth at 42 per cent, 55 per cent, 20 per cent and 66 per cent, respectively.

However, crop was down 21 per cent in Q3, led by a 13 per cent fall in December alone. Among major players, crop premia plunged 73 per cent in Q3 for SBI General, while Bajaj General was up 67 per cent and HDFC Ergo was down 5 per cent.

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