Insurance premiums in Malaysia, which posted a solid growth of 4.6 per cent last year, will see an acceleration in growth this year to more than six per cent, according to a forecast by Allianz Research.
The growth in 2018 was slightly better than the 4.2 per cent achieved in the preceding year, against a backdrop of disappointing overall growth in the Asian insurance market, it said.
“In Malaysia, life insurance – accounting for more than 70 per cent of the premium pool (without health) – set the tone last year with a growth rate of 6.0 per cent.
“It grew much faster than property-casualty, which after the premium decline in 2017 at least returned to positive growth (0.7 per cent),” it said in a statement today.
Allianz Research said premiums in Asia, excluding Japan, increased by a meagre 2.3 per cent, trailing behind the global growth only for the second time since the turn of the millennium.
Global growth, excluding health insurance premiums, was estimated to be 3.3 per cent last year.
The research house attributed Asia’s dismal performance to the contraction in the life markets both in China and South Korea, which account for 40 per cent of the total regional premium pool (ex-Japan).
“Malaysia’s insurance market is one of the most developed in the region with premiums per capita standing at 402 euros (about RM1,900) in 2018, well above China or Thailand, and penetration at 4.3 per cent; it is, for example, 3.7 per cent in China,” it said.
Allianz Research expects insurance markets worldwide to continue to recover, with global premium growth forecast to reach about five per cent in the next decade.
It forecast a recovery in Asia ex-Japan this year with a premium growth of almost 11 per cent.
The region, excluding Japan, should achieve growth of 9.4 per cent annually over the next decade, with the Malaysian market growing 8.2 per cent per annum (8.6 per cent in life and seven per cent in property-casualty), it said.
“All in all, around 60 per cent of additional premiums will be generated in Asia ex-Japan,” it added.