Life Insurance Corporation of India seems to have beaten the odds of the pandemic, with its 13th-month persistency for individual businesses registering improvement in 2020-21.
For the quarter ended March 31, 2021, LIC reported a 13th-month persistency of 63 percent by a number of policies and 74 percent in terms of annualized premium for its individual regular business.
For the full fiscal 2020-21, its 13th-month persistency for individual business was 67 percent by a number of policies and 79 percent by annualized premium.
In contrast, LIC had reported a 13th-month persistency of 61 percent by a number of policies and 72 percent by annualized premium in 2019-20 for individual businesses.
The IPO-bound life insurance behemoth also showed improved persistency ratios for the 61st month in the segment under review.
It was 48 percent by a number of policies and 59 percent by annualized premium in 2020-21 as against 44 percent and 54 percent respectively in 2019-20.
The persistency ratio is an important benchmark for life insurers as it reflects the number of policyholders who paid their renewal premium. It is widely seen as an indicator of the quality of the sale as well as future growth.
This was especially important last fiscal when many insurers had initially announced a drop in persistency levels as customers faced job losses and salary cuts. However, by the end of the fiscal year, most life insurers reported a return in renewals and persistency levels.
Over the last year, LIC had also launched special measures to help customers amidst the pandemic, including a special campaign to revive lapsed individual life cover policies.
Meanwhile, in terms of the first-year premium this fiscal, LIC has seen better performance compared to last fiscal.
According to IRDAI data, it registered a drop of 12.38 percent in May 2021 to ₹8,947.64 crore in May 2021, compared to a decline of 24.3 percent in May 2020.
It registered flat growth in the first-year premium in the first two months of fiscal 2021-22 at ₹13,804.40 crores compared to ₹13,793.18 crores in the same period last fiscal.