Covid fuels 29% jump in health premium income for insurers

Covid pandemic has proved to be a boon for insurance companies. With people increasingly taking health cover to meet medical expenses, general insurance companies have reported a 29.81 per cent rise in premium income from the health segment to Rs 42,571 crore during the seven-month period ended October 2021.

This is almost double the growth of 14.3 per cent at Rs 32,796 crore witnessed in the same period of last year, when people spent most of the time indoors under a nationwide lockdown. Health premium income shot up by a record 34 per cent to Rs 5,463 crore in the month of October alone, according to figures released by insurance regulator IRDAI.

Industry sources say that demand from the retail segment is rising at a faster pace as demand for individual health policies is rising rapidly. The premium growth of standalone health insurers continues to be higher than industry average, indicating that retail premiums are growing faster than the group business as the standalone health insurers derive most of their premiums from the retail segment. Standalone health players reported a 37.85 per cent rise in premium income at Rs 10,500 crore during the 7-month period.

The rapid rise in health policies is being led by public sector New India Assurance which reported a 53.23 per cent rise in premium income to Rs 9,176 crore in seven months as against Rs 5,988 crore a year ago. The company reported a 135 per cent jump in premium income to Rs 1,327 crore in October alone, according to IRDAI.

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