Auto slowdown hits but motor vehicle act saves general insurers

Motor is one of the largest segments for general insurance companies. Forty per cent of business comes from motor insurance followed by health which is close to twenty per cent. Also, third party motor insurance is mandatory, which means no vehicle can be purchased without buying a third party motor cover. “There’s a direct slowdown in premium as a fall in sale of new vehicles will directly impact the new premiums growth. Overall in YTD-June industry has seen a de-growth in motor by 11%,” said Rikhil Shah, CFO at SBI General Insurance. He further adds, “I feel that the slowdown will be there for the next one quarter & hopes are pinned on the ongoing festive season.” “Yearly renewal has a lower premium business share but will not face much of an impact as compared to other insurers and automobile dealers, they have books on all types of insurance, especially deal in first time insurance buyers,” said Sajja Chowdhury, Head - Motor Insurance, Policy Bazaar. “Digital growth is larger than the industry growth, there’s a possibility we might not see a dent at all. Even if we see 1 or 2 per cent impact on renewals we might not see it with number of people going the digital way, as also average renewal age of insurance for us is 4 years, we renew insurance for vehicles up to 15 years of age,” adds Chowdhury. A fall in new vehicles can drastically impact the renewals business in the long run. On one side, new vehicles are reducing & so is the new premiums insurance. Second, it will impact the renewals. The less the number of vehicles the less will be renewals. “Insurance companies are facing multiple factors with the automobile industry, as older vehicles don’t help in growth of motor insurance which will be a loss going to be carried forward,” said Vijay Kumar, CEO & Principal Officer of Go Digit General Insurance. The Central Government has amended The Motor Vehicles Act with introducing hefty fines and penalties for not complying with traffic rules. Driving without proper insurance draws a fine of ₹2000. This led to a massive rise in people buying insurance, which they didn’t earlier renew it after it lapsed. As the, first insurance comes along with the purchase of the new vehicle. Policy Bazaar, an online insurance marketplace saw a severe spike in renewals. The sell for 2 wheeler motor insurance has jumped from 10,000 policies to now 75,000 in one single day. For cars initially they used to sell, 3000 policies a day, which jumped to now 8000 policies. 

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