The US$ 41-billion Indian life insurance industry is considered the fifth largest life insurance market, and growing at a rapid pace of 32-34 per cent annually, according to the Life Insurance Council.
Life insurance companies have witnessed a 70 per cent jump in new premium collection during the first five months of the financial year. According to data released by the Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority (IRDA), insurance companies garnered US$ 11.73 billion in new business premium during April-August 2010, against US$ 6.90 billion in the corresponding period last year.
State-owned LIC gained the most, with an increase of 88 per cent in new business premium income. At the same time, private sector insurance recorded a 34 per cent increase in income from sales of new policies. New business income collected by ICICI Prudential stood at US$ 576.60 million during April-August. SBI Life remained in the third position after registering a 40 per cent increase in new sales to US$ 531.87 million from US$ 379.20 million in April-August 2009. HDFC Standard Life saw a robust 54 per cent increase in new business.
According to data released by IRDA, the general insurance industry recorded 22.76 per cent year-on-year (y-o-y) growth in gross premium underwritten during April–October 2010. The industry collected gross premium of US$ 5.29 billion during April–October 2010 compared with US$ 4.31 billion in the same period last year.
The public sector players posted 21.09 per cent y-o-y growth in gross premium during April–October 2010 over the corresponding period last year. At the same time, private players recorded a 25.19 per cent y-o-y increase in gross premium.
The state-run insurers fared better than their private counterparts, with New India Insurance collecting the maximum premium of US$ 916.77 million during April-October 2010, compared to US$ 770.25 million in the same period last year, growing by 19.04 per cent.
According to the IRDA's Summary Reports of Motor Data of Public and Private Sector Insurers - 2009-10, nearly 28.4 million policies were issued and a total premium of US$ 2.31 billion was collected.
The Indian health insurance market has emerged as a new and lucrative growth avenue for both the existing players as well as the new entrants. According to a latest research report "Booming Health Insurance in India" by research firm RNCOS released in April 2010, all emerging trends including the key factors driving the market growth. Furthermore, the report also identifies what could be the possible growth areas for expansion and gives a detailed overview of the competitive landscape. The Indian health insurance market has continued to post record growth in the last two fiscals (2008-09 and 2009-10). Moreover, as per the RNCOS estimates, the health insurance premium is expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of over 25 per cent for the period spanning from 2009-10 to 2013-14.
According to a report published by Yes Bank and an industry body in November 2009, the medical insurance sector would account for US$ 3 billion in the next three years.
Health insurance premium collections were US$ 1.75 billion in 2009-10 compared with US$ 893.76 million in the previous year, IRDA said in its annual report for 2009-10. It should, however, be noted that figures for 2009-10 include policies served by third party administrators (TPAs) as well as those directly served by insurers whereas figures for 2008-09 include policies served by TPAs only.