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Pvt insurers eat into LIC pie

February 11, 2004 16:41 IST

Life insurers in India registered a 22 per cent growth, collecting Rs 9,713 crore (Rs 97.13 billion) in premium income from new business till December, with private players gaining more ground from LIC.

Life Insurance Corporation's market share slipped marginally by 0.38 per cent to 88.21 per cent till December, even after it registered 21.36 per cent growth, collecting Rs 8,570 crore (Rs 85.7 billion) in premium during the month, according to data compiled by IRDA.

LIC chairman S B Mathur is, however, hopeful that the corporation would regain its lost ground in the last three months of current fiscal. "We hope to attain a premium income of Rs 11,300 crore (Rs 113 billion) this fiscal," he said and indicated that the market share could go up to 92 per cent by March end.

LIC's figures do not include the collection from Varishtha Pension Bima scheme, which alone collected Rs 4,500 crore (Rs 45 billion) till now. If the government-assisted scheme is included, LIC's share of the pie would be well over 90 per cent.

The private players posted a higher 26 per cent growth during the month, collecting Rs 1,145 crore (Rs 11.45 billion) in premium. They increased their share to 11.79 per cent within three years of the opening up of the insurance industry.

ICICI Prudential increased its market share to 3.9 after collecting Rs 3,784 crore (Rs 37.84 billion) in premium income and selling 207,000 policies till December.

Birla Sunlife was in the second position among private players with a share of 1.69 per cent after it collected a premium income of Rs 164 crore (Rs 1.64 billion) from 62,514 policies.

HDFC Standard Life was in the third place with a market share of 1.11 per cent, followed by Tata AIG, Max New York Life, Allianz Bajaj, SBI Life, Om Kotak, Aviva, ING Vysya and MetLife.

LIC continues to have almost 94 per cent of the market in terms of number of policies underwritten till December.

LIC sold 1.43 crore policies till December, compared to the industry aggregate of 1.53 crore policies.

The trend shows that LIC has been able to sell more policies at a lower premium value, especially in rural India.

In contrast, the private players have so far been able to tap the urban niche market.

In terms of group schemes, LIC commands 66.98 per cent of the market, covering 23.71 lakh people, followed by SBI Life (13.38 per cent), Max NY Life (5.59 per cent), Birla Sunlife (4.26 per cent) and Tata AIG (3.48 per cent).

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