Sri Lanka insurance sector grows in tight conditions

July 28, 2009 (LBO) – Sri Lanka’s life insurance sector grew 13.9 percent taking in gross written premiums of 23.6 billion rupees in 2008, a year that saw high inflation, a report by the industry regulator, Insurance Board of Sri Lanka (IBSL) said.

The life insurance sector grew 21.2 percent in 2007, the annual report said.

Ceylinco Insurance Life, a unit of Sri Lanka’s troubled Ceylinco Group, has grown 20.5 percent beating the sector’s growth of 13.9 percent in the 2008 financial year.

Ceylinco’s market share in life insurance business has increased to almost 35 percent. In 2007 its market share was 33 percent.

The net premium income for life insurance business was 8.25 billion rupees in 2008.

Sri Lanka Insurance Corporation (SLIC) was in second place and with gross written premiums flat at 4.49 billion rupees.

SLIC’s market share in 2008 had shrunk to 19 percent, from 21.6 percent in 2007.

Premiums of Eagle Insurance, the Sri Lankan unit of Aviva, grew 14.6 percent to 4.34 billion rupees.

IBSL said premium collections of 11 out of 14 registered life insurance companies have grown below the industry average of 13.9 percent in 2008.

Janashakthi Insurance grew 20.8percent to 1.33 billion