Singapore's life insurance sector up 3% to S$4.2b in 2018

Pedro Gonçalves
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Singapore's life insurance sector up 3% to S$4.2b in 2018

Singapore's life insurance industry posted a record 3% growth in weighted new business premiums to S$4.2bn for the whole of 2018, compared with the previous year.

Figures from the Life Insurance Association (LIA) show that while sales of annual premium products continue to show stable growth at 6% to S$2.78bn, there was a 3% drop in the uptake of single premium plans to S$1.42bn.

During a briefing, the Life Insurance Association Singapore attributed the lacklustre sales of single premium plans to turbulent markets late last year, combined with the regulatory requirement to remove the sales charge for purchases of Central Provident Fund Investment Scheme (CPFIS) products, which include unit trusts and investment-linked insurance plans, the Strait Times reports.

"Singapore's life insurance industry achieved growth despite a challenging end to 2018 with market volatility particularly pronounced in the last quarter"

"Singapore's life insurance industry achieved growth despite a challenging end to 2018 with market volatility particularly pronounced in the last quarter," Patrick Teow, president of LIA Singapore, said in a statement.

"As we remain alert to the repercussions of continuing trade frictions and geo-political challenges, I am confident that life insurers will  demonstrate agility and resilience by adapting to the changing environment to deliver solutions to  meet Singaporeans' insurance, investment and savings needs," he added.

By policy count, the industry recorded a significant increase of 48% in the uptake of retirement policies designed to provide regular payouts to policyholders during their retirement years.

LIA said 38,120 policies were purchased last year, up by 12,345 compared with 2017 when there was a total uptake of 25,775 policies.

The life insurance industry added 578 hires last year to reach a workforce of 8,007 employees as at end December 2018 with recruitment concentrated on data analytics, cyber security, operations, healthcare and marketing as life insurers pursue business expansion and digital innovations.  
 
There were also 15,542 representatives which held exclusive contracts with companies that operate a tied agency force in Singapore.