Declining discontinuances help life company profitability

TAL continues to hold the greatest market share in the life insurance space but will soon be overtaken by AIA, according to the latest data released by specialist life/risk research house, DEXX&R.

The DEXX&R data revealed that at September 30, the five largest life companies were TAL with a market share of 18.1 per cent, AIA with a market share of 15.4 per cent, MLC Life with a market share of 12.2 per cent, AMP with a market share of 12.1 per cent and CommInsure with a market share of 10 per cent.

However AIA is expected to complete its acquisition of CommInsure early in 2018 – something which will give it a market share of 28.1 per cent, assuming there is no loss of a business as a result of the transaction.

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The DEXX&R data also showed what it described as a “surge” in life individual risk sales over the 12 months to September.

It said the industry wrote $1.40 billion of lump sum new business, up 9.6 per cent with seven of the top ten life companies – Zurich, AMP, MLC, OnePath, CommInsure, Asteron and ClearView recording an increase in lump sum new business over the period.

The analysis also pointed to the continuing downward trend with respect to individual lump sum discontinues, which it said had peaked in September, 2013 and had fallen in each of the four years to stand at 13.1 per cent in September, this year.

It noted that the continued improvement in retention rates would have a positive impact on life company profitability.

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I'd be keen see the break-up of those new business "sales". I am guessing that there is a healthy amount of premium hike and excessive indexation.

Exactly Daniel. In my business there's far less "true" new business being written but we've still had a huge increase in in-force premium thanks to the rate increases. Give it another 12 months and lapse rates on IP will go through the roof.

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