Insurance Sector in India

Insurance industry in India has seen a major growth in the last decade along with an introduction of a huge number of advanced products. This has led to a tough competition with a positive and healthy outcome.

Insurance sector in India plays a dynamic role in the wellbeing of its economy. It substantially increases the opportunities for savings amongst the individuals, safeguards their future and helps the insurance sector form a massive pool of funds.

With the help of these funds, the insurance sector highly contributes to the capital markets, thereby increasing large infrastructure developments in India.

The Indian Insurance Sector

 The Indian Insurance Sector is basically divided into two categories – Life Insurance and Non-life Insurance. The Non-life Insurance sector is also termed as General Insurance. Both the Life Insurance and the Non-life Insurance is governed by the IRDAI (Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India).

This government organization thoroughly monitors the entire insurance sector in India and also acts like a custodian of all the insurance consumer rights. This is the reason all the insurers have to abide by the rules and regulations of the IRDAI.

The Insurance sector in India consists of total 54 insurance companies. Out of which 24 companies are the life insurance providers and the remaining 30 are non-life insurers. Out which there are seven public sector companies.

Life insurance companies offer coverage to the life of the individuals, whereas the non-life insurance companies offer coverage with our day-to-day living like travel, health, our car and bikes, and home insurance. Not only this, but the non-life insurance companies provide coverage for our industrial equipment’s as well. Crop insurance for our farmers, gadget insurance for mobiles, pet insurance etc. are some more insurance products being made available by the general insurance companies in India.

The life insurance companies have gained an investment prospectus in the recent times with an idea of providing insurance along with a growth of your savings. But, the general insurance companies remain reluctant to offer pure risk cover to the individuals.

Let us look at the Performance Highlights of the Indian Insurance Industry:

Life Insurance Performance:

Life Insurance Business Performance:2015-162014-15
Public SectorPrivate SectorPublic SectorPrivate Sector
Premium Underwritten (Rs in Crores)266444.21100499.02239667.6588433.49
New Policies Issued (in Lakhs)205.4761.92201.7157.37
Number of Offices4892617948776156
Benefits Paid (Rs in Crores)141201.0560565.0514412567054
Individual Death Claims (Number of Policies)761983114697755901121927
Individual Death Claims Amount Paid (Rs in Crores)9690.172946.499055.182733.49
Group Death Claims (Number of lives)247504297833273794192989
Group Death Claims Amount Paid (Rs in Crores)2494.0323032037.271483.55
Individual Death Claims (Figures in percent of policies)98.3391.4898.1989.4
Group Death Claims (Figures in percent of lives covered)99.6994.6599.6491.2
No. of Grievances reported during the year6475013995180944198048
Grievances resolved during the year6475014512580944193119
Grievance Resolved (in percent)100103.6910097.51

Non-Life Insurance Performance:

Non-Life Insurance Business Performance:2015-162014-15
Public SectorPrivate SectorPublic SectorPrivate Sector
Premium Underwritten (Rs in Crores)476913969442549.4835090.09
New Policies Issued (in Lakhs)8414238982072200
Number of Offices4892617948776156
Net Incurred Claims (Rs in Crores)38104.2721764.4431567.7519430.46
No. of Grievances reported during the year17808418021586044828
Grievances resolved during the year17718424931610543318
Grievance Resolved (in percent)99.49101.65101.5496.63
Stand Alone Health Insurance Companies2015-162014-15
Gross Direct Premium (Rs in Crores)Net earned premium (Rs in Crores)U/W Profit / Loss
(Rs in Crores)
Net incurred claim ratioGross Direct Premium (Rs in Crores)Net earned premium (Rs in Crores)U/W Profit / Loss
(Rs in Crores)
Net Incurred claim ratio
Star Health and Allied Insurance20071513N.A.53.81%14691017N.A.63.96%
Apollo Munich Health Insurance1022774N.A.64.61%803655N.A.60.03%
Max Bupa Health Insurance476393N.A.59.53%372315N.A.55.16%
Religare Health Insurance503287N.A.57.25%275154N.A.61.13%
Cigna TTK Health Insurance14370N.A.78.66%216N.A.64.33%
Specialised Insurer in Agriculture2015-162014-15
Gross Direct Premium (Rs in Crores)Net earned premium (Rs in Crores)U/W Profit / Loss
(Rs in Crores)
Net incurred claim ratioGross Direct Premium (Rs in Crores)Net earned premium (Rs in Crores)U/W Profit / Loss
(Rs in Crores)
Net Incurred claim ratio
Agriculture Insurance Co. Ltd.3521186261.6699.66%27401598Loss 158108.47%
Specialised Insurer in export credit insurance2015-162014-15
Gross Direct Premium (Rs in Crores)Net earned premium (Rs in Crores)U/W Profit / Loss
(Rs in Crores)
Net incurred claim ratioGross Direct Premium (Rs in Crores)Net earned premium (Rs in Crores)U/W Profit / Loss
(Rs in Crores)
Net Incurred claim ratio
Export Credit Guarantee Corporation of India Limited1321979Loss 250102%13621019Loss 291.91114%

Source: Annual Report (2015-16 & 2014-15)

The Past of Insurance Sector In India

In the history of the Indian insurance sector, a decade back LIC was the only life insurance provider. Other public sector companies like the National Insurance, United India Insurance, Oriental Insurance and New India Assurance provided non-life insurance or say general insurance in India.

However, with the introduction of new private sector companies, the insurance sector in India gained a momentum in the year 2000. Currently, 24 life insurance companies and 30 non-life insurance companies have been aggressive enough to rule the insurance sector in India.

But, there are yet many more insurers who are awaiting for IRDAI approvals to start both life insurance and non-life insurance sectors in India.

The Present of Insurance Sector In India

So far as the industry goes, LIC, New India, National Insurance, United insurance and Oriental are the only government ruled entity that stands high both in the market share as well as their contribution to the Insurance sector in India. There are two specialized insurers – Agriculture Insurance Company Ltd catering to Crop Insurance and Export Credit Guarantee of India catering to Credit Insurance. Whereas, others are the private insurers (both life and general) who have done a joint venture with foreign insurance companies to start their insurance businesses in India.

Life Insurance Companies:

Private Sector Companies

  • Aegon Life Insurance Co. Ltd.
  • Aviva Life Insurance Co. India Ltd.
  • Bajaj Allianz Life Insurance Co. Ltd.
  • Bharti AXA Life Insurance Co. Ltd.
  • Birla Sun Life Insurance Co. Ltd.
  • Canara HSBC Oriental Bank of Commerce Life Insurance Co. Ltd.
  • DHFL Pramerica Life Insurance Co. Ltd.
  • Edelweiss Tokio Life Insurance Co. Ltd
  • Exide Life Insurance Co. Ltd.
  • Future Generali India Life Insurance Co. Ltd.
  • HDFC Standard Life Insurance Co. Ltd.
  • ICICI Prudential Life Insurance Co. Ltd.
  • IDBI Federal Life Insurance Co. Ltd.
  • IndiaFirst Life Insurance Co. Ltd
  • Kotak Mahindra Old Mutual Life Insurance Ltd.
  • Max Life Insurance Co. Ltd.
  • PNB MetLife India Insurance Co. Ltd.
  • Reliance Life Insurance Co. Ltd.
  • Sahara India Life Insurance Co. Ltd.
  • SBI Life Insurance Co. Ltd.
  • Shriram Life Insurance Co. Ltd.
  • Star Union Dai-Ichi Life Insurance Co. Ltd.
  • Tata AIA Life Insurance Co. Ltd.

General Insurance Companies:

Private Sector Companies

  • Aditya Birla Health Insurance Co. Ltd.
  • Bajaj Allianz General Insurance Co. Ltd.
  • Bharti AXA General Insurance Co.Ltd.
  • Cholamandalam General Insurance Co. Ltd.
  • Future Generali India Insurance Co.Ltd.
  • HDFC ERGO General Insurance Co. Ltd.
  • ICICI Lombard General Insurance Co. Ltd.
  • IFFCO-Tokio General Insurance Co. Ltd.
  • Kotak General Insurance Co. Ltd.
  • L&T General Insurance Co. Ltd.
  • Liberty Videocon General Insurance Co. Ltd.
  • Magma HDI General Insurance Co. Ltd.
  • Raheja QBE General Insurance Co. Ltd.
  • Reliance General Insurance Co. Ltd.
  • Royal Sundaram Alliance Insurance Co. Ltd
  • SBI General Insurance Co. Ltd.
  • Shriram General Insurance Co. Ltd.
  • TATA AIG General Insurance Co. Ltd.
  • Universal Sompo General Insurance Co.Ltd.

Health Insurance Companies

  • Apollo Munich Health Insurance Co.Ltd.
  • Star Health Allied Insurance Co. Ltd.
  • Max Bupa Health Insurance Co. Ltd.
  • Religare Health Insurance Co. Ltd.
  • Cigna TTK Health Insurance Co. Ltd.

This collaboration with the foreign markets has made the Insurance Sector in India only grow tremendously with a high current market share. Though a foreign or an international partner is not allowed to own more than 26% of the Indian market shares, this joint venture helped the insurance sectors in India to flourish gracefully.

Private insurers like HDFC, ICICI and SBI have been some tough competitors for providing life as well as non-life products to the insurance sector in India.

The Future Of Insurance Sector In India

Though LIC continues to dominate the Insurance sector in India, the introduction of the new private insurers will see a vibrant expansion and growth of both life and non-life sectors in 2017. The demands for new insurance policies with pocket-friendly premiums are sky high. Since the domestic economy cannot grow drastically, the insurance sector in India is controlled for a strong growth.

With the increase in income and exponential growth of purchasing power as well as household savings, the insurance sector in India would introduce emerging trends like product innovation, multi-distribution, better claims management and regulatory trends in the Indian market.

The government also strives hard to provide insurance to individuals in a below poverty line by introducing schemes like the

  • Pradhan Mantri Suraksha Bima Yojana (PMSBY),
  • Rashtriya Swasthya Bima Yojana (RSBY) and
  • Pradhan Mantri Jeevan Jyoti Bima Yojana (PMJJBY).

Introduction of these schemes would help the lower and lower-middle income categories to utilize the new policies with lower premiums in India.

With several regulatory changes in the insurance sector in India, the future looks pretty awesome and promising for the life insurance industry. This would further lead to a change in the way insurers take care of the business and engage proactively with its genuine buyers.

Some demographic factors like the growing insurance awareness of the insurance, retirement planning, growing middle class and young insurable crowd will substantially increase the growth of the Insurance sector in India.

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