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Industry profit plummets

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The life insurance industry made a total net profit of $924 million last year, a sharp drop from $2.38 billion in 2017, according to Australian Prudential Regulation Authority institution-level statistics.

Challenger again made the biggest profit, at $366 million. Westpac was second on $198 million, TAL made $179 million and Colonial $154 million.

Seven insurers recorded losses, up from four the previous year. Munich Re posted the worst result ($147 million loss), followed by AMP ($140 million), OnePath ($82 million), RGA Australia ($50 million), Allianz ($21 million), Hannover Life ($11 million) and Integrity Life ($3 million).

It was RGA Australia’s second consecutive loss. The group was $10 million in the red in 2017.

AIA made a $15 million profit on $1.46 billion of policy revenue. Total expenses were $1.55 billion.

It is clear from the statistics that without investment revenue, many more of the larger insurers would have recorded losses. Challenger had total expenses of $2.27 billion, against net policy revenue of $1.45 billion. Only investment revenue helped it make a profit.

AMP – which has sold its life insurance arm to Resolution Life and is separating it from its other businesses – recorded expenses of $3.62 billion, against $1.19 billion in net policy revenue.