Covid bonanza for health insurers, 25% growth recorded, Health News, ET HealthWorld

Covid bonanza for health insurers, 25% growth recordedNEW DELHI: The Covid-19 pandemic has increased the propensity of consumers to opt for a comprehensive health insurance product that gives proper financial protection for meeting any medical emergencies.

Accordingly, overall growth in the health business of general insurers was strong at 25 per cent yoy in August (13 per cent yoy in 5MFY21) with strong performance reported in retail health and government business at 40 per cent yoy each, according to analysis report by Kotak Institutional Equities.

Group health insurance, however, was muted at 12 per cent.

“Increasing risk aversion among consumers, strong uptick in demand for new Covid-related policies (‘Corona Kavacha’ and ‘Corona Rakshak’) and penetration among mass segments through the newly launched ‘Arogya Sanjeevni’ plans were likely drivers,” the report said.

In the health insurance category, people preferred taking policies from entities having expertise in this line of operation. Accordingly, standalone health insurers reported 39 per cent yoy increase in health premiums led by 51 per cent yoy increase in the retail health business. Private players were up 16 per cent yoy in the health business (up 40 per cent in retail health) while PSUs were up 21 per cent yoy.

Investment by health insurers in digital renewal of policies has likely paid off. Private players witnessed 40 per cent yoy increase in retail health insurance premiums on the back of 1.1X yoy growth for Reliance General, 66 per cent yoy growth for Tata AIG and 65 per cent yoy growth for Iffco Tokio. Chola MS, ICICI Lombard and Bajaj General reported 62 per cent yoy, 28 per cent yoy and 35 per cent yoy growth, respectively, the brokerage report said.

On an overall basis, General insurers reported 10 per cent yoy growth in premiums (excluding crop) in August 2020 (7-8 per cent in past two months) led by 29 per cent yoy growth in fire and robust 40 per cent yoy growth in retail health. Motor continues to drag growth (down 2 per cent yoy).

Among key players, SBI reported stellar growth across most segments (up 25 per cent ex-crop) while ICICI and Tata AIG were up 12 per cent and 11 per cent yoy (ex-crop). Bajaj’s ex-crop business remained weak, down 8 per cent yoy. Chola MS was muted at 1 per cent yoy (ex-crop).

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