Numerous proactive initiatives being pursued to leverage digital technologies to prevent claims costs inflation across segments


SINGAPORE, 25 September 2018 – The General Insurance Association of Singapore (GIA) today announced continued flat growth for 1H2018, with a marginal 1.1% increase in total gross premiums, amounting to S$2.07 billion.

Gross premium for major segments
Segment As at 30 June 2017 As at 30 June 2018 % increase / (decrease)
Fire 260,667 260,103 (0.2%)
Motor 615,403 600,881 (2.4%)
WIC 207,007 205,461 (0.7%)
Personal Accident 190,778 191,408 0.3%
Health 290,949 322,887 11.0%

Table 1. Gross premium comparison across major segments – The sector recorded growth for Personal Accident and Health insurance segments; while Fire, Motor and Work Injury Compensation recorded declines in gross premiums for 1H2018.


Underwriting profits for 1H2018 declined 94.5% to S$3.14 million, as claims costs increased significantly across key segments such as Motor insurance and Work Injury Compensation (WIC) insurance.


Underwriting profit / loss for major segments
Segment As at 30 June 2017 As at 30 June 2018 % increase / (decrease)
Fire 10,602 2,095 (80.2%)
Motor 17,160 (12,632) (173.6%)
WIC 1,366 (5,990) (538.6%)
Personal Accident 9,464 8,072 (14.7%)
Health (14,005) (12,702) 9.3%

Table 2. Underwriting profit / loss comparison across major segments – The sector recorded underwriting losses across most segments, with a slight improvement for the Health insurance segment.


“There is a need for greater collaboration between our sector and other stakeholders, focusing on areas such as improving efficiencies through digitalisation, as we continue to ensure effectiveness and accessibility of insurance products. This is in keeping with the Industry Transformation Programme1, ensuring sustained growth and competitiveness of the economy by working closely with the government and private sectors to address issues within each sector; as well as realising our vision of becoming a global insurance marketplace2.

Against this backdrop, our top priorities include working with key stakeholders to reduce the severity and frequency of motor accidents, and leveraging digital technologies to continuously develop and enhance the GIA Fraud Management System (FMS), to lower and mitigate claims costs inflation, “said GIA President, Karl Hamann.


Motor insurance: promoting road safety and combating fraudulent claims

This is the third consecutive quarter the sector has incurred a loss in this segment, which accounts for more than a quarter of the sector’s total revenue. Gross premiums for the motor insurance segment fell by 2.4% to S$600.9 million in 1H2018.

Overall, there is slight dip of 4.3% in the number of reported motor accidents. However, this was overshadowed by the significantly higher increase of 11.8% in incurred claims, totalling S$291.3 million.

As a first measure, the sector is proactively seeking public awareness and education efforts on the need for road safety and working closely with stakeholders such as the Singapore Road Safety Council (SRSC) on their road safety campaigns.

This is in addition to the Motor Claims Framework (MCF) and FMS, which the sector is constantly tracking and enhancing, to contain claims costs and identify false insurance claims.


WIC insurance: Supporting the Safe and Healthy Workplace vision

There was a slight 0.7% dip in gross premiums for WIC segment totalling S$205.5 million on a year-on-year basis for first half 2018

Similar to the motor insurance segment, the significant increase of 17.4% in incurred claims to S$88.4 million resulted in an underwriting loss. This weak performance reflects the increased fatal and major injuries reported for the construction sector by the Workplace Safety and Health (WSH) Council3.

The sector is encouraged by the Singapore government’s initiatives to enhance Singapore’s standards and aspirations to become a country renowned for best practices in WSH4.

We laud recent initiatives such as the introduction of the Construction Safety Innovation Award5, as well as the Tripartite Strategy Committee’s recommendations to have more stringent and standardised procurement criteria for contractors . The sector supports and looks forward to working closely with relevant stakeholders to further this agenda.


Health insurance: Tackling escalating healthcare costs in Singapore

The health insurance segment’s gross premiums increased by 11% to total S$322.9 million, contributed primarily by the persistent healthcare inflation in Singapore which was at 8.7% in 2017 compared to the global average rate of 5.4%7. Underwriting losses improved 9.3% to S$12.7 million.

To tackle the issue of escalating healthcare costs in Singapore more effectively, the association set up the Medical Insurance Workgroup (MIW), which will set out to conduct a feasibility study on setting up a Fraud Management System for medical insurance. The MIW will also work closely with the Life Insurance Association of Singapore (LIA Singapore) on the implementation of the Health Insurance Task Force (HITF) recommendations.


Other sector-led initiatives

-Setting up GIA’s Young Professionals Group (YPG), to expand the talent pool for the continued growth of the sector amid rapid digitalisation and evolving needs of consumers in Singapore. The YPG is expected to formally begin its activities in 2019.  

- Started the Construction & Engineering (C&E) Workgroup. Our new workgroup is focusing on current trends and emerging developments in the Engineering insurance segment, with the objective of raising standards and developing our talent. We held our first presentation with over 170 industry practitioners. This first presentation focused on the topic of quality control and the second market presentation will be held in December this year.

- Co-organised the inaugural GIA-IUMI conference in April 2018 in association with the International Union Marine Insurance (IUMI), where industry leaders came together to explore and discuss key trends impacting the marine insurance and maritime industries. The conference was graced by guest-of-honour Dr Lam Pin Min, Minister of State for Transport and Health. 

- Hosted the industry’s first Sustainable Insurance Masterclass in February 2018, with support from the Monetary Authority of Singapore, where industry experts from the private and public sectors gathered to discuss the latest developments, and promote a progressive and sustainable insurance industry. This is also in conjunction with 2018 designated as the ‘Year of Climate Action’ in Singapore. 

Individual member companies are already undertaking numerous environmental, social and governance efforts, and the industry stands ready to collaborate with relevant authorities and stakeholders to promote greater understanding and action for a more sustainable corporate environment in Singapore. 


Looking forward

The sector maintains a conservative outlook for the rest of the year as we work towards managing rising claims costs and underwriting losses across several segments. The sector also continues to be at the forefront of emerging trends including cybersecurity, with GIA's first Cyber Risk Forum which took place in mid-September, discussing the need for greater cyber resilience and awareness within the insurance community.

As we actively play our part in contributing back to the community, GIA will be holding the annual Swing for Charity golf tournament in October 2018. Since its launch in 2006, the general insurance sector has donated over S$2 million to 22 different beneficiaries.




[1]Industry Transformation Maps (2017). Ministry of Trade and Industry Singapore. Available at:

[2] Singapore as a Global Insurance Marketplace (2013). Monetary Authority of Singapore. Available at:

[3] Fewer workplace deaths, but construction sector saw more fatalities, major injuries (20 August 2018). TODAY. Available at:

[4] WSH 2018 Plus (2018). Workplace Safety and Health Council. Available at:

[5] Innovation, technology underlie LTA safety awards (7 September 2018). The Straits Times. Available at:

[6] Tripartite committee proposes tougher measures for companies with poor workplace safety records (30 August 2018). The Straits Times. Available at:

[7] Singapore Budget 2018 addresses healthcare needs but costs remain a challenge (23 February 2018).The Business Times. Available at: