Individual annual premium equivalent (APE) growth for life insurance companies in private sector was at 10% in January 2019 translating into year-to-date (YTD) growth of 11%. ICICI Prudential Life witnessed sharp rebound with 9% year-on-year (y-o-y) growth after reporting decline over the past three months. On the other hand, SBI Life was flat as compared to about 17% growth over the past three months. ICICI Prudential Life saw strong improvement in January 2019, recording 9% y-o-y increase in individual APE post sharp decline in the past few months. Management had guided an improvement in volumes in 4QFY19. The company has worked on monthly paying policies. SBI Life’s individual APE growth was muted at 1% y-o-y in January 2019, especially against the backdrop of 24% growth in December 2018. Its growth has been volatile; the company reported 6-27% growth in preceding six months (YTD growth of 14%), much below 30%+ reported during FY2016-18. Max Life revived growth of individual APE to 35% post slowing down in the past two months. The company has increased focus on ULIPs—a likely reason for superior growth of the company. Additional investment in proprietary channels will further fuel growth. Birla SL reported 81% growth in individual APE, continuing its high growth momentum (YTD growth of 70%) as it continued to make inroads in HDFC Bank. Tata AIA was up 46% translating into YTD growth of 63%.
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