The life insurance industry recorded a moderate growth in coverage among Malaysians last year, rising 9.6 per cent to RM1.51 trillion in sum assured for all policies combined, compared to RM1.38 trillion in 2017.
The Life Insurance Association of Malaysia (LIAM) said the overall life insurance industry registered a total of 12.65 million policies while the group policies in force grew by 2.9 per cent in 2018.
The total in force premiums grew by 5.7 per cent to reach RM38.8 billion in 2018 compared to RM36.7 billion in 2017.
The number of lives covered under group policies registered an encouraging growth of 10.1 million lives in 2018 compared with 9.6 million lives in 2017.
“The per capita sum assured continued to rise to RM46,610 in 2018 from RM43,029 in 2017, but the figure was still below the amount needed to support one family member in the event of the death or disability of the breadwinner,” it said in a statement today.
The total of new business premium grew by 1.8 per cent last year amounting to RM10.3 billion as compared to 10.1 billion in 2017.
Meanwhile, the total paid out claims increased by 6.5 per cent to RM10.8 billion last year from RM10.1 billion in 2017 due to higher medical claims.
On the outlook, LIAM president Anusha Thavarajah said the prospect of the life insurance industry remained positive as the percentage of the population with life insurance or takaful plans is still low at 54 per cent.
“Taking into account policyholders with more than one life or takaful policies/certificates, only 34 out of 100 people are insured.
“The low penetration rate means there are more opportunities for the industry to grow and tap the potential market, particularly in the underserved areas in the country as well as the urban and rural areas,” she said.