KUALA LUMPUR: The general insurance sector has continued to be resilient in 2017 and recorded positive growth in the second half of last year.
Motor and fire insurance, according to General Insurance Association of Malaysia (PIAM) Mark Lim, were two classes of insurance that contributed positively to the growth of the industry.
However, Lim noted that there were also a double-digit drop in Aviation and Marine Transit Insurance (MAT) and Personal Accident Protection (PA).
"The general insurance industry posted a 0.1 percent decrease in gross written premium (GWP) of RM17.65 billion for 2017 as compared to RM17.67 billion in 2016, with the industry's growth momentum remaining unchanged.
"The sector also earned a profit of RM1.05 billion from RM1.52 billion in 2016, a reduction of RM478 million," he told a media briefing on the performance of the Malaysian general insurance sector in Kuala Lumpur yesterday.
Also present were PIAM chairman Antony Lee, deputy chairman Chua Seck Guan, Public Relations and Corporate Social Responsibility Committee Steve Crouch and Vehicle Theft Reduction Council of Malaysia Bhd (VTREC) consultant and coordinator Mohd Yusof Idris.
Lim said of the GWP amount, motor insurance recorded a growth of 1.9 per cent compared to 0.8 per cent of RM8.32 billion from RM8.16 billion in 2016, due to a decrease in new car sales below 580,000 last year.
"Fire insurance rose 4.2 percent to RM3.41 billion from RM3.27 billion in the previous year, making it the second highest insurance category that recorded growth," he said.
In addition to motor and fire insurance, other classes of insurance such as medical and health and others (bonds, liabilities, employment compensation) also increased by 7.1 percent or RM1.1 billion and 0.2 percent or RM2.35 billion respectively.
Meanwhile, Lim said the process of liberating motor tariffs which is implemented in phases is now in good stead while the National Consumer Awareness Campaign has succeeded in gaining public awareness on its benefits.
"Among anticipated results is to introduce new and innovative products for better protection for consumers in Malaysia, and so far the industry launches 31 motorcycles and 22 fire insurance in the market," he said.
Commenting on the country's general insurance outlook this year, Anthony said it has always been optimistic about the industry's growth this year.
Although seen to be flat, he is confident the sector is able to jump slightly at zero to three per cent for 2018.