The Life Insurance Association, Singapore (LIA Singapore) today announced the industry results for the period January to March 2018 (1Q2018). Start life insurance.
Overall, the life insurance industry started 2018 positively, recording a total of S$925.1 million in weighted new business premiums
for 1Q2018, a 14 per cent growth from the previous year. Linked policies recorded the highest growth in total weighted premiums of S$208 million, with an 82 per cent increase from 1Q2017.
S$642.8 million in weighted annual premiums were registered during the first three months of the year, reflecting an encouraging 21 per cent increase from the corresponding period in 2017. This is attributed to increases recorded across all policy types namely; linked, participating and non-participating policies.
For single premium products, the industry recorded S$282.3 million in weighted single premiums, a 0.4 per cent increase from 1Q2017, for which:
a) Single premium par and non-par products comprised 65 per cent, the balance 35 per cent were single premium linked products
b) CPFIS-included products comprised 24 per cent; Cash-funded products took the remaining 76 per cent
Rise in sum assured and uptake of protection-focused policies
The industry continues to make significant progress in supporting individuals in Singapore to better meet their protection needs. There was a significant 23 per cent year-on-year increase in total sum assured for new business, amounting to S$29.9 billion in 1Q2018.
Mr Patrick Teow, President of LIA Singapore, said, “While our Protection Gap Study 2017 found a persistent gap in the level of protection amount in Singapore
, it is heartening to know that more people are taking actions to get better insured. Collectively, the life insurance industry will not only look at continuing ongoing public education efforts, we will also develop more targeted public engagement programmes based on insights from our follow-up qualitative study, so that we can help more individuals in Singapore better protect their loved ones, their future, and their quality of life.”
As at 31 March 2018, the life insurance industry paid out S$1.30 billion to policyholders and beneficiaries. Of this amount, S$1.06 billion was for policies that matured. The remaining S$237 million was for death, critical illness, or disability claims.
LIA Singapore launched the enhanced “Register of Unclaimed Life Insurance Proceeds”
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in April 2018. The register now includes unclaimed monies from a wider range of individual insurance policies, allowing insurance benefits to eventually reach more policyholders and claimants.
Steady uptake of retirement-focused policies
The industry’s results for the first quarter also reflect the increasing awareness and actions taken by individuals to better prepare for retirement.
Within the first three months of 2018, there was an uptake of 6,631 policies that are designed to provide regular payouts to policyholders during retirement years. This is a notable 30 per cent increase compared to 1Q2017.
These plans account for approximately six per cent of the total weighted premiums, recorded for 1Q2018.
Increased number of lives covered by IPs
Compared with a year ago, 70,000 more Singaporeans and Permanent Residents are covered by Integrated Shield Plans (IPs), leading to a total of 2.68 million lives or approximately 68 per cent of Singapore residents with IP coverage over and above the MediShield Life component.
for individual health insurance totalled S$105.7 million for 1Q2018, of which IP and IP rider premiums accounted for 90 per cent (S$95.5 million). The remaining 10 per cent (S$10.2 million) came from other medical plans and riders.
OTHER HIGHLIGHTS FOR 1Q2018
Par products accounted for 47 per cent of new sales while non-par products accounted for 31 per cent. Investment-linked products made up the remaining 22 per cent.
The contribution of new business by the different channels is as follows:
Product License Classification
As at 31 March 2018, insurers holding “Normal” licenses contributed 98 per cent of new sales, while the “Defined Market Segments” (DMS) insurers
made up the remaining two per cent of new sales for 1Q2018.
Group Insurance: Total Annual Premiums In-Force
Total annual premiums in-force for group insurance business rose by seven per cent compared to the same period a year ago, amounting to S$1.11 billion.
In strengthening Singapore’s position as a financial hub in Asia
, the life insurance industry manages assets of approximately S$202.9 billion, up 17 per cent compared with a year ago.
Assets of non-investment linked business accounted for S$167.6 billion, while the remaining S$35.3 billion were assets held for investment-linked business.
Manpower in the Industry
As employment in Singapore continues to grow in the finance and insurance sectors
, we note a 10 per cent increase in the number of employed individuals within the life insurance industry in 1Q2018.
7,594 individuals were employed by member companies, up from 6,883 staff in 1Q2017.
14,817 representatives held exclusive contracts with companies that operate a tied agency force.
The industry’s primary focus is on helping more individuals bridge their protection gaps. Findings from the qualitative study are targeted for release in the second half of the year.
Meanwhile, digitalisation efforts by individual insurers to improve the customer experience and journey are gaining momentum.
New Business Sales (Weighted Basis)
The weighted new business premium figure is calculated as follows: Weighted new business premiums measures premiums collected on new policies by taking into account (1) 10 per cent of the value of single premium products, (2) all of a year’s premiums for annual premium products, and (3) adjusted value for products with premium payment durations of less than 10 years.
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The figure is calculated as follows: 10% Single Premium Insurance + 100% Annual Premium Insurance + Adjusted premium for Insurance with premium payment durations of less than 10 years.
Source: Singapore lacks 80% of critical illness protection needs: Life Insurance Association (26 April 2018). TODAY. Available at:
Register of unclaimed insurance proceeds now covers wider range of payouts: LIA (5 April 2018). The Business Times. Available at:
With effect from 1 January 2016, the MediShield Life premiums have been excluded from LIA statistics. New Business premiums refer to the premium due to the new business sold in the year, as well as incremental premiums from any repricing of plans, and change in age-band of the insureds.
DMS insurers are registered by MAS to conduct only non-CPF business and with minimum policy size.
Singapore unveils plan to bolster its status as an Asian financial hub (30 October 2017). AsiaOne. Available at:
Unemployment rates in Singapore declined in Q1 2018. (30 April 2018). Human Resources Online. Available at: