Private sector insurers have seen a strong 15 percent growth in new business premium in January, where HDFC Life has outperformed. However, the sum assured for the insurer is still down year-on-year (YoY).
Vibha Padalkar, MD & CEO of HDFC Life Insurance said that they are fairly pleased with the performance in January and continue to expect growth to return to normal levels.
“We have always maintained that we will grow faster than industry and also if we are looking at the rebound in GDP growth, then at least a 2x GDP growth is something that we will certainly aspire towards. So, all things being equal and no rebound in COVID cases, we are looking forward to a back to normal pretty decent growth levels next year,” she said in an interview with CNBC-TV18.
However, Padalkar said that the group business and credit protection is still recovering.
“Group business does tend to be lumpy and typically gathers pace closer to March. Credit protect is coming back to normalcy, but still, because of disbursements being lower or similar to last year, that is pulling down growth in group business. The individual business has witnessed a growth of 24 percent in January, which is faster than the private industry growth of 7 percent for the standalone month. On a year-to-date (YTD) basis, we are happy that we have reached double-digit growth and this is against a pandemic. If you look at the high base of last year wherein we grew almost 28 percent, we are reasonably in a good place in terms of how next year looks like,” she said.
She also said that the sum assured growth has been impacted by lower credit protection business.
On the impact of Unit Link Insurance Plan (ULIP) tax, she said that they are not focused on high ticket ULIP cases. However, she expects a 3 percent impact on the top line.
“For HDFC Life per se, we have never focused on high ticket ULIP cases. So, all-in-all on topline, if no switch over happens from ULIP customers to some other kinds of products that we have, then the worst-case situation would be about 3 percent on the topline but next to nothing on the bottom line,” she said.Watch the video for more.