Chennai, Apr 27 (IANS): Credit rating agency ICRA said on Wednesday that it expects the Indian general insurance sector to log about 10-12 per cent premium growth in FY23.
According to ICRA, the growth will be led by health and commercial business segments owing to increased awareness of medical insurance and uptick in economic activity.
The gross domestic premium income (GDPI) of government-owned insurers is expected to grow moderately at 4-6 per cent, while private insurers are expected to capture market share by growing at a higher rate of 13-15 per cent in FY23, ICRA said.
However, economic uncertainty due to structural challenges in the automobile industry and rising commodity prices amid the geopolitical crisis pose downside risk to FY23 growth.
According to Sahil Udani, Assistant Vice President and Sector Head-Financial Sector Ratings, the gross premium from the health segment experienced a steep year-on-year growth of 26 per cent in 11 months in FY22, while the fire segment premium grew by 8 per cent despite partial lockdowns across the country.
Post the decline in FY21, the motor business reported mutated growth of 4 per cent during the same period. The GDPI from the crop business declined by 20 per cent in 11M FY22 mainly due to the significant decline in the public sector business, Udani said.
The combined ratio (claims plus expenses divided by premium income) across the industry deteriorated to 119 per cent in 9M FY22 from 112 per cent in 9M FY21 with increase in health claims.
Covid claims accounted for 6 per cent of the total number of health claims paid in FY21 and are expected to form around 11-12 per cent of the total number of health claims paid in FY2022.
The combined ratio for the industry is expected to improve in FY23 driven by lower health claims and likely improvement in risk pricing by the insurers.
ICRA expects the combined ratio for PSU insurers to improve marginally to 124-126 per cent in FY23 from the estimated 127 in FY22 supported by various cost-cutting measures directed by the Central government and better claims performance.
The private players, with better risk pricing and underwriting practices, are expected to report a combined ratio of 106-108 per cent in FY23.
To augment the solvency profile, the government of India infused fresh equity capital of Rs 5,000 crore in weaker government insurers in March 2022, Udani said.
The ratings agency further expects government support to weak government insurers in the form of regulatory forbearance or fresh capital in FY23.