By Madelaine B. Miraflor
Philippine’s insurance industry has registered a flat growth in 2016 as there was a decline seen in the life insurance segment, which accounts for bulk of the sector’s total premiums and investments.
Insurance Commissioner Dennis Funa said in a briefing held on Thursday that for 2016, the total premiums ended flat by 0.29 percent to P231.9 billion from P231.2 billion in the same period last year.
According to him, the total premiums was dragged by the decline seen in life insurance, which was down by 3.04 percent to P182.8 billion from P188.5 billion.
“Majority of the top players in the life sector posted a decrease in their respective premium income ranging from 2.53 percent to 43 percent, while there is a slight decrease in premium income from traditional products from 0.26 percent from P49.8 billion in 2015 to P49.9 billion in 2016,” Funa said.
“Another factor is the unimpressive performance of the stock market. The present portion of variable insurance products are mostly allocated in the stock market. If you will notice, just in the fourth quarter, we can see a nose dive in the component index, so this is how our stock market performed in the fourth quarter although it recovered slightly in the last trading day in 2016 overall it was a nose dive. So the stock market experienced a lot of volatilities in 2016,” he added.
In the non-life sector, total premiums surged by 16.24 percent to P41.6 billion from P35.8 billion, slightly offsetting the decline seen in life premiums.
The total premiums for the mutual benefit associations (MBA), on the other hand, grew by 18.29 percent to P271.2 billion from P229.3 billion.
In terms of net income, Funa said the insurance industry registered a lower income of P24.18 billion, 9.69 percent lower than the P26.78 billion
As for total networth, the insurance industry grew by 18.29 percent to P271.2 billion in 2016 from RP229.3 billion in the same period last year.
Life total assets, meanwhile, breached the P1-trillion mark for the first time, ending last year at P1.069 trillion, up 11.94 percent from P955.2 billion, while non-life total assets went up by 7.22 percent to P175 billion from P163.8 billion.
This, according to Funa, was brought about by the mandatory increase in minimum networth requirement as well as the increase in the paid up capital of some of the insurance companies.
Insurance peneration, however, declined by 8.57 percent from 1.75 percent to P1.60 percent because of the increase in gross domestic product and population.
“We are seeing the impact of decrease in equities, which triggered a series of consequences… impact of nose dive of Philippine stock market in 2016,” Funa said.
For 2016, market penetration rate was up by 12.24 percent, while number of insured lives increased by 14 percent from 41.9 million Filipinos to 47.8 million.
Top insurance firms
Based on the data provided by IC, some of the top life companies based on premium income are Sun Life of Canada (Philippines) Inc., Philippine AXA Life Insurance Corp., BPI Philam Life Insurance Corp. Inc., Philippine American Life and General Insurance Co. (Philam Life), and Pru Life Insurance Corp. of UK.
For the non-life companies based on net premiums written, the top performing are Malayan Insurance Company, Inc., Prudential Gtee and Associate, Inc., BPI/MS Insurance Corp., Charter Ping An (Philippine Charter Insurance Corp.), and FPG Insurance Company, Inc. (Federal).
Based on networth, some of the life companies that performed very well are Philam Life (life unit), Insular Life Associate Co., Ltd., Sun Life of Canada (Philippines), Inc., Manufacturers Life Insurance Co. (Philippines) Inc., and United Coconut Planters Life Assce. Corp.
As for non-life, top performing companies based on networth are Pioneer Insurance and Surety Corp., Malayan Insurance Company, Inc., Philippines’ First Insurance Co., Inc., BPI/MS Insurance Corp., and Charter Ping An Insurance Corp. (Philippine Charter).