In January 2012, the insurance market contracted due to expired and not renewed life assurance contracts
The amount of insurance premiums written in the domestic insurance market over the first month of this year made up LTL 145.7 million, which was 3.5 per cent less than in January 2011. Negative market change was determined by a significant decline in the volume of life assurance. The amount of LTL 87.1 million in claims paid to policyholders over the first month was 8.5 per cent higher than in the same month last year. The number of insurance contracts concluded in January stood at 346 thousands, i.e. 6.7 per cent more than a year ago.
“The changes in the life assurance market raise the highest concern, particularly in its largest class, unit-linked life assurance. The increasing number of expiring contracts that were concluded ten years ago raised hopes that policyholders will renew their contracts and invest the accumulated funds; however, the results for January testify that the amount of funds laid aside for long-term saving in the consumer basket is gradually decreasing”, the January results were summarised by Mr. Mindaugas Šalčius, Head of the Insurance Supervision Division and Deputy Director of the Prudential Supervision Department of the Supervision Service of the Bank of Lithuania.
The beginning of the year is usually more moderate in the life assurance market, however this year the decline was slightly larger than expected – premiums written in January for the amount of LTL 39 million were 14.5 per cent (LTL 6.6 million) lower than in the first month of 2011. The largest fall was observed in the unit-linked life assurance class, where monthly premiums made up LTL 26.4 million and were 24.1 per cent lower than at the same time last year. The premiums written according to the traditional life insurance contracts increased by 18.7 per cent – to LTL 12.1 million per month.
In January, the number of contracts in the life assurance market declined year on year by as much as 20.9 per cent (1.0 thousand). This was basically determined by a decline of as much as 33.7 per cent (0.8 thousand) in the number of unit-linked life assurance contracts.
Although the number of the concluded traditional life assurance contracts also declined, the number of contracts of insurance in case of survival, one of the most popular products, was 78.4 per cent (0.3 thousand) higher.
Non-life insurance market, which recovered last year, is rising further – the premiums written increased by 1.2 per cent, compared to January 2011, and made up LTL 106.7 million. Premiums of the transport insurance-related insurance class, which accounts for almost a half of the non-life insurance market, grew by more than 15 per cent (LTL 6.9 million).
The largest negative change was recorded in the property insurance class, where the amount of premiums written in January was lower by 26.7 per cent than in the first month of 2011. This was determined by almost a fivefold decline in the volume of crop insurance.
The number of contracts concluded in all main non-life insurance groups increased, whereas the largest positive growth of 8.6 per cent (13.2 thousands of new contracts) was observed in motor third-party liability (MTPL) insurance. The total number of contracts concluded in the non-life insurance market per month (342 thousand) was 7.1 per cent higher than in January last year.
The amount of LTL 87.1 million in claims paid to policyholders over the month was 8.5 per cent higher than in the same month last year. Claims paid to customers grew mostly due to LTL 6.5 million larger compensations for damages according to non-life insurance contracts. The largest increase in claims paid was recorded in property (LTL 3.5 million or 59.9 %) and MTPL (LTL 2.6 million or 13.5 %) insurance classes. The rise of claims paid in the life assurance market of 1.1 per cent (LTL 323 thousand) was determined by payments according to expired insurance contracts.