The gross sum assured for all new individual policies was RM60.4bil, 12.8% higher compared with RM53.5bil achieved in H1FY16, according to a press release issued by the Life Insurance Association of Malaysia.
In the first six months of 2017, the industry registered a 3.2% increase in benefit payments for death, disability, medical, bonuses and others, amounting to RM4.97bil as compared with RM4.82bil for the same period last year.
In July 2017, the industry introduced the Direct Distribution Channels platform for the sale of pure protection life insurance such as term insurance through the Internet or insurance companies' offices.
As one of the initiatives under the Life Insurance and Family Takaful Framework issued by Bank Negara Malaysia in 2015, the aim is to raise the percentage of Malaysians covered by life insurance from 56% presently to 75% by 2020.
The press release also notes that the industry experienced a 5.2% year-on-year decline in registered life insurance agents to 77,736 agents as at June 30, 2017. The number of bank staff who were registered to sell life insurance also dipped 1.9% to 18,652 staff.
Overall, the industry experienced a lower rate of new agents joining the industry from 8,877 agents to 7,683 agents as at June 30, 2017.