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APRA releases new quarterly publication on life insurance

Thursday 19 February 2009



The Australian Prudential Regulation Authority (APRA) today released the first edition of a new quarterly statistical publication on life insurance, with figures for the June and September quarters for 2008.

The Quarterly Life Insurance Performance publication was developed in consultation with the industry and follows the introduction of updated reporting requirements for life insurers from 1 January 2008.

The new publication provides a more detailed overview of the Australian life insurance industry than the previously published Life Insurance Trends that it replaces. It provides aggregate quarterly data on financial performance, financial position, solvency and capital adequacy, as well as information on the performance of individual product groups.

The expanded data provide policyholders and the public with a more comprehensive view of the strength and performance of the life insurance industry.

For the total life insurance industry, net premiums for the September 2008 quarter were $6.1 billion for investment-linked business and $4.5 billion for non-investment-linked business. The corresponding net policy payments were $6.5 billion for investment-linked and $3.4 billion for non-investment-linked. Net profit after tax for the September 2008 quarter was $450 million.

Total assets for all life insurers at 30 September 2008 were $231.9 billion after a fall of 2.3 per cent over the quarter. This decrease in value was mainly due to the recent turmoil in financial markets with equity holdings falling by $7.1 billion (5.9 per cent) over the quarter.

Overall, the life insurance industry was well capitalised as at 30 September 2008. The solvency reserve coverage for investment-linked statutory funds was 2.24 times, while for non-investment-linked funds it was 1.85 times.

Refer to the Quarterly Life Insurance Performance publication.

The Australian Prudential Regulation Authority (APRA) is the prudential regulator of the financial services industry. It oversees banks, credit unions, building societies, general insurance and reinsurance companies, life insurance, private health insurers, friendly societies, and most members of the superannuation industry. APRA currently supervises institutions holding $6 trillion in assets for Australian depositors, policyholders and superannuation fund members.