Life insurers grow 36% despite Ulip row
Wed, 02 Jun 2010 12:26:17 -0600
The Irda-Sebi public spat had created a lot of bad vibe around the product.
Despite the controversy around regulation of unit-linked insurance plans (Ulips), the life insurance industry managed a healthy 36 per cent growth in new income in April.

According to the latest data released by the Insurance Regulatory & Development Authority (Irda), new business premium income went up 35.64 per cent to Rs 26,379 crore in April as against Rs 19,448 crore in April last year.

After the Insurance Regulatory Authority of India (Irda) and Securities & Exchange Board of India (Sebi) got involved in a public spat over who should regulate Ulips, there was lot of bad vide around this financial product.
The market had anticipated a sharp decline in inflows into Ulips after the matter went to court.

But the insurance industry still managed to turn the tide in its favour. Life Insurance Corporation (LIC) saw premium income jump 97.5 per cent to Rs 4,173 crore from Rs 2,113 in April 2009. At the same time, private players recorded flat growth.

ICICI Prudential became the second-largest insurer by garnering Rs 303.67 crore in new premium income during April. It recorded the highest growth of 123 per cent in the month.

SBI Life slipped to the third position by registering 60 per cent decline in new sales to Rs 185 crore from Rs 460 crore in April 2009. HDFC Standard Life, which has increased its market share over the last few months, saw a robust 66 per cent increase in new business to Rs 163.84 crore from Rs 98.95 crore in April 2009.

“If savings are better, investments go up. Also, job stability is better than last year. It is too early to see a trend in terms of sales,” said Rajiv Jamkhedkar, chief executive officer, Aegon Religare Life Insurance.

Insurance company executives said collections in May had been good so far compared to last year. But, they want to wait for another month to read into the impact of the turf war between the two regulators over Ulips.

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