Insurance in Singapore: Market and IT Overview

by Wenli Yuan, April 8, 2009
Industry Trends


Beijing, China 9 April 2009

Singapore’s insurance market is one of the most developed in the Asian insurance industry, with an insurance density (per capita premium income calculated per total population) of USD 1,957.7.

The Singapore insurance market has a relatively strict market access system. It is estimated that the total IT investment in the Singapore insurance industry was USD 160 million in 2008. As a result of the financial crisis, there should be no sharp rise of IT spending during 2009 and 2010, but the growth rate for spending is expected to increase in 2011 and 2012.

The non-life insurance market exhibits moderate market concentration in Singapore, with the top five insurance companies accounting for two-fifths of the market share. There is sharp competition in the non-life insurance market due to a large number of market players. As of January 2009, there were 61 authorized direct insurers in Singapore, 71% of which are non-life insurance companies, 21% life insurance companies, and the remaining 8% are composite insurance companies. The top five life insurance companies with the highest gross premium income in 2007 accounted for 77% of the market share.

The insurance market in Singapore offers diversified non-life insurance products. Among life insurance products, the investment product category has experienced the fastest growth rate, while traditional insurance products took a very large share among new products of 2008, with over 30% growth and 62% of total premium income. As a result of the financial crisis, people have become more cautious about purchasing investment-linked products, with traditional life insurance products gradually recapturing people’s attention.

Insurance company agents are still the primary sales channel for Singapore life insurance, but their market share has been declining on a yearly basis. The market share for bancassurance has increased, with a growth rate of 27% in 2008; while the market share for other sales channels posted a very fast growth rate.

"Singapore’s booming economy brought about the growth of its national wealth," says Wenli Yuan, senior analyst with Celent’s Asia Research Group and author of the report, "The aging population and establishment of the CPF system are the inherent driving factors for the development of its financial industry, including the insurance industry."

The report contains 44 pages, inclusive of 4 tables and 30 figures. A table of contents is available online.

Members of Celent's Life/Health Insurance and Property/Casualty Insurance research services can download the report electronically by clicking on the icon to the left.  Non-members should contact for more information.  

Celent is a research and advisory firm dedicated to helping financial institutions formulate comprehensive business and technology strategies. Celent publishes reports identifying trends and best practices in financial services technology and conducts consulting engagements for financial institutions looking to use technology to enhance existing business processes or launch new business strategies. With a team of internationally based analysts, Celent is uniquely positioned to offer strategic advice and market insights on a global basis. Celent is a member of the Oliver Wyman Group, which is a wholly-owned operating unit of Marsh & McLennan Companies [NYSE: MMC].

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Table of Contents

Beijing, China 8 April 2009


Executive Summary 3
Background 6
Market Overview 10
Nonlife Insurance Businesses 23
Nonlife Insurance Products 26
Life Insurance Businesses 33
Insurance Sales 38
IT Spending 40
Conclusion 44


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