The insurance industry’s premium income in 2016 ended flat versus the previous year due to the decline in the premium production of the life sector, the Insurance Commission said.
In a press conference yesterday, Dennis Funa, insurance commissioner, said the total premiums of the life and non-life insurance industry inched up by 0.29 percent in 2016 to P231.9 billion from the P231.2 billion in the previous year.
The total premiums of the life sector fell by 3.04 percent to P182.8 billion from the P188.5 billion registered a year ago.
“Majority of the top players in the life sector posted a decrease in their respective premium income. While there is a slight decrease in premium income from traditional products of 0.26 percent, the life sector posted a decrease in premium income due to the 4.23 percent decrease from variable products, which is attributed to the decline in single premiums,” Funa said.
Funa said another factor is the unimpressive performance of the stock market, particularly in the fourth quarter.
“The stock market experienced a lot of volatilities in 2016, during the fourth quarter there was a decline in shared prices leading the PSE index to close 2016 at 6,840.64 points,” he said.
Meanwhile, the non-life sector posted an increase of 16.24 percent in its net premiums written, from P35.8 billion to P41.6 billion in 2016.
“Whatever decline there was in the life sector it was slightly offset by the increase in the non-life sector,” Funa said.
The insurance chief said that several non-life insurance companies saw an abrupt increase in the net premiums written of their health and accident business.
“So the increase is attributable to the health and accident business which includes the mobile insurance products which provides for theft, accidental damage, and accidental death benefits,” Funa said.
Meanwhile, in terms of net worth, the insurance industry grew to P271.1 billion or an increase of 18.29 percent from P229.3 billion in 2015.
“The increase in the net worth of the industry was brought about by the mandatory increase in minimum net worth requirement effective Dec 31, 2016.
From the previous P250 million to P550 million. This can also be attributed to the increase in paid up capital of some of the insurance companies,” Funa said.
The total assets of the insurance industry grew 11.38 percent, from P1.2 trillion in 2015 to P1.3 trillion in 2016.
Funa attributed this to the increase in the assets of the life sector which comprises 81 percent of the total assets of the industry, increase in the total investments of the industry from P1 trillion in 2015 to P1.1 trillion in 2016, and an increase in the capital of insurance companies.
Among life insurance companies, Sun Life of Canada Philippines maintained its place on the top spot based on premium income, followed by Philippine Axa Life Insurance Corp. and BPI Philam Life Assurance Corp. Inc.
In terms of net worth, Philippine American Life & General Insurance Co. placed first, with Insular Life and Sun Life placing second and third, respectively.
For non-life insurance firms, in terms of net premiums written, Malayan Insurance Company Inc. ranked first, while Pioneer Insurance & Surety Corp. took the top spot, based on net worth.
Meanwhile, the insurance density, or the amount of premium per capita or average spending of each individual on insurance in 2016 went down by 1.71 percent to P2,246.9.