|That Life Insurance Corporation of (LIC) India is losing market share to private insurers hand over fist over the last several years is well known.|
The insurance behemoth’s market share in adjusted individual business premium was 42.4% in May, a decline from the previous month.
Analysts at Kotak Securities noted that LIC reported 3% decline in retail annualised premium equivalent.
But the battle within the private sector life insurance pie is getting interesting with smaller players gaining heft. The latest monthly business data from the insurance regulator shows that smaller insurance players such as India First Life Insurance, Canara HSBC Life Insurance and Tata AIA Life Insurance have grown exponentially in the month of May.
Of course, a low base has contributed to the high percentage growth. Even so, Tata AIA Life has managed to garner a higher share in the market. “A low base and focus on ULIPs coupled with moderate appetite for equity investments were the likely reasons," said analysts at Kotak Securities.
That said, the top three insurers—SBI Life Insurance Co, HDFC Standard Life and ICICI Prudential Life Insurance still hold a lion’s share of the private sector life insurance market.
ICICI PruLife has seen its annualised premium equivalent (APE) growth collapse over the last several months. This stems from the change in approach by the management after the life insurer’s leadership change last year.
ICICI PruLife has consciously focussed on small ticket sized policies and begun to stay away from selling bulky products. As are result, its market share has come down marginally while the growth rate of its retail portfolio was a mere 1% in May.
Rival HDFC Standard Life has reported a surge in growth to 59% in May for retail APE. Even SBI Life Insurance Co saw its retail APE growth surge to 37%.
LIC, however, continues to dwarf others in group business segment with a market share of over 80%.