EghtesadOnline: The total number of health insurance policies sold by Iranian companies in the first eleven months of the current fiscal year (ends March 20) plunged 90% to 372,886.
According to the figures published by the Central Insurance company of Iran, the insurance regulatory body, firms sold 60.9 million insurance policies during the eleven months under review, indicating 5.6% decrease compared to the same period of last year.
The compulsory third-party vehicle insurance accounted for one-third or 21.86 million of sold policies during the period.
However, insurers generated 724.5 trillion rials ($2.95 billion) in premiums up 36.8% compared to the corresponding period last year. Third-party vehicle insurance alone generated 238 trillion rials ($971 million) or 32.9% of the total, 32.7% higher than the previous year.
Medical insurance was the second top income earner for the companies in the 11 -months generating 143 trillion rials ($583.6m) up 14.33% year-on-year.
Insurers logged a decent growth rate of 43.11% in the life insurance segment to 112 trillion rials ($457m).
Medical insurance accounted for 19.8% of the total premium income, followed by life insurance with 15.46% share of the total. Fire insurance generated 31 trillion rials ($126.5m) as this category gains popularity among the public.
Insurance firms paid 370.6 trillion rials ($1.5b) in claims to more than 31.8 million cases. A year-on-year comparison of the figures indicates 24.8% growth in payouts and 43.82% increase in the total number of bills.
Medical insurance accounted for 90% of the total claims as insurers settled 28.9 million bills in the 11 months under the review or 48% higher than last year.
Third-party vehicle insurance claims, surprisingly, declined 6.73% to 1.01 million. However, insurers paid bigger bills to third-party vehicle claims--141.3 trillion rials ($576m) equal to 38.12% of the total payout.
Medical insurance and life insurance payouts amounted to 106 trillion rials ($432m) and 36 trillion rials ($146m), respectively, up 14.4% and 56% year-on-year.
The rise in medical insurance claims is related largely to the Covid-19 pandemic that has infected more than 1.73 million people in Iran so far. The official death reported Friday was 61,069.
Insurers have been urged to broaden the scope of medical insurance to cover costs of the deadly coronavirus, including medicine approved by the Health Ministry.
Almost all insurance firms are struggling to minimize the negative impact of the plague on their businesses. Several companies have extended cover to include a part of hospital bills of the insured afflicted by the virus.