The general insurance industry has recorded an increase in gross direct premiums of 10% to RM19.4bil for 2022 compared to 2021.
However, underwriting profit contracted by 23% to RM1.56bil mainly due to losses in both motor as well as medical and health insurance lines of business.
General Insurance Association of Malaysia (Piam) said motor portfolio reverted to a loss after two years of profit during the pandemic with a reported 58% rise in the number of accidents as of September 2022 compared to the corresponding period in 2021.
“Reversing a trend of recent years, the industry’s gross direct premium growth rate outpaced Malaysia gross domestic product’s growth rate,” Piam said in a statement, Bernama reported.
Following the full reopening of the economy in 2022, the economic outlook, however, is tempered by forecast risks of global economic recession and other global headwinds, Piam said.
The association said motor and fire lines of business remained as the top premium contributors. Motor maintained its position as the largest business line with 46% share of total premium.
“Although motor insurance observed a 9% growth in gross direct premiums to RM9bil in 2022, it recorded an underwriting loss of RM3mil with net claims incurred ratio deteriorating to 65.3% reverting towards pre-pandemic levels.”
Meanwhile, premium for fire in 2022 rose by 6% to RM3.82bil versus 2021 with underwriting margin improving to 39.1% owing to improved claims experience.
Personal accident also saw a significant 43% growth in premium year-on-year largely due to the Perlindungan Tenang Voucher Programme initiated by the Finance Ministry and Bank Negara in collaboration with the general, life and takaful insurance industry.
The 2022 premiums for miscellaneous, and marine aviation and transit classes of insurance also trended upwards by 10% and 8% to RM2.7bil and RM1.5bil respectively.
Medical and health insurance (MHI) saw a 1% rise in premium to RM976mil compared to 2021. However, MHI underwriting margin more than halved to 5% in 2022 from 12.1% in 2021 due to higher claims.