The general insurance industry declined by 1.9 per cent during the first half of 2017 (1H17) as compared to the same period last year, with gross written premiums slipping to RM9.17 billion from RM9.34 billion year-on-year (y-o-y).
General Insurance Association of Malaysia (PIAM) Chief Executive Officer Mark Lim said the industry was weighed down by the 13.2 per cent y-o-y drop in marine aviation and transit (MAT) insurance to RM820 million from RM944 million.
“The two dominant classes, namely, motor and fire insurance, grew y-o-y to 1.8 per cent (RM4.2 billion) and 2.4 per cent (RM1.8 billion) respectively,” he told a media conference after announcing the half-year 2017 industry performance here today.
He said personal accident insurance declined by 12.5 per cent to RM608 million in 1H17 from RM696 million while medical and health insurance grew 1.7 per cent with RM628 million total gross written premiums.
“We have seen the growth for the half-yearly performance since 2014 beginning to slow down,” said Lim.
On insurance claims, he said, the industry continued to see a deteriorating trend with the increase in net claims incurred ratio from 53.8 per cent to 57.4 per cent for 1H17.
Out of this, Lim said, motor as well as medical and health insurance recorded the highest growth at 71.4 per cent from 65 per cent and 71.8 per cent from 67.2 per cent, respectively.
Lim said motor insurance claims amounted to RM2.68 billion in the first half of 2017 while on a per day basis, insurance companies paid out a staggering RM14.7 million in claims for property damage, bodily injury and vehicle theft.
“This is a very significant figure that we need to address and reduce,” said Lim.
He said motor vehicle theft counts continued to decline by 25 per cent in 1H17 to 7,897 from 10,551 in the same period last year following collaborative efforts by the police, Royal Malaysian Customs Department and law enforcement agencies with the Vehicle Theft Reduction Council established by the industry.
Moving forward, PIAM said, it expected the general insurance industry to stagnate this year due to it being a challenging year with prevailing uncertainties in the business climate.