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Scheme for elders breathes new life into insurance

New Delhi, Nov. 26 (PTI): The life insurance industry grew by over 65 per cent to Rs 5,436 crore in September compared with Rs 3,291 crore premium income from new business in July, mainly due to the success of LICís Varishtha Pension Bima Yojana.

LIC, which collected over Rs 2,281 crore from the subsidised pension plan, offering 9 per cent assured return, mopped up a total Rs 4,841 crore in premium income in the first half of this fiscal, official sources said.

The PSU insurer sold 82.42 lakh policies, of which 13.10 lakh were in group insurance schemes.

LIC alone accounted for 89 per cent of the premium income of the 13 life insurance companies, which together mopped up Rs 5,436 crore through sale of 87,38 policies in the first half of this fiscal, the sources said.

Despite the higher growth, LICís market share slipped by over 1 per cent in a month from 90.12 per cent till July.

ICICI Prudential Life was the largest private insurer with a market share of 3.41 per cent after it mopped up Rs 185 crore in premium income till September this fiscal, said Shikha Sharma, chief executive of the company.

Birla Sunlife edged passed HDFC Standard Life to secure 1.52 per cent of the pie collecting Rs 82 crore in premium.

HDFC Standard Life, which was in the third position till July, mopped up Rs 66 crore in premium and secured 1.22 per cent of the market, a company official said.

Tata AIG was in the fourth position collecting Rs 63 crore in premium and cornering 1.16 per cent of the market size. Other players had less than 1 per cent of the market size.

In terms of premium, Allianz Bajaj collected Rs 47 crore, Max New York Life mopped up Rs 43 crore, SBI Life (Rs 33 crore), Om Kotak (Rs 26 crore), Aviva Life (Rs 22 crore), ING Vysya (Rs 13 crore), MetLife (Rs 7.2 crore) and AMP Sanmar (Rs 6.5 crore).

Although LICís market share in terms of premium income slipped below 90 per cent in September, it continues to command 94.32 per cent of the market in terms of number of policies sold.

LIC sold 82.42 lakh policies till September this fiscal, while its nearest competitor, ICICI Prudential, could manage to sell only 1.13 lakh policies accounting for 1.29 per cent of the market.

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