The insurance industry of India consists of 57 insurance companies of which 24 are in life insurance business and 33 are non-life insurers. Among the life insurers, Life Insurance Corporation (LIC) is the sole public sector company. Apart from that, among the non-life insurers there are six public sector insurers. In addition to these, there is sole national re-insurer, namely, General Insurance Corporation of India (GIC Re). Other stakeholders in Indian Insurance market include agents (individual and corporate), brokers, surveyors and third party administrators servicing health insurance claims.
Out of 33 non-life insurance companies, five private sector insurers are registered to underwrite policies exclusively in health, personal accident and travel insurance segments. They are Star Health and Allied Insurance Company Ltd, Apollo Munich Health Insurance Company Ltd, Max Bupa Health Insurance Company Ltd, Religare Health Insurance Company Ltd and Cigna TTK Health Insurance Company Ltd. There are two more specialised insurers belonging to public sector, namely, Export Credit Guarantee Corporation of India for Credit Insurance and Agriculture Insurance Company Ltd for crop insurance.
Government's policy of insuring the uninsured has gradually pushed insurance penetration in the country and proliferation of insurance schemes are expected to catapult this key ratio beyond 4 per cent mark by the end of this year, reveals the ASSOCHAM latest paper.
The number of lives covered under Health Insurance policies during 2015-16 was 36 crore which is approximately 30 per cent of India's total population. The number has seen an increase every subsequent year as 28.80 crore people had the policy in the previous fiscal.
Premium income of the life insurance segment had increased 14.04 per cent in FY17 to Rs 4.18 trillion (US$ 64.92 billion). In August 2017, the Life Insurance industry reported a 24 per cent growth in overall annualised premium equivalent with the help of both private players and Life Insurance Corporation.
The following are some of the major investments and developments in the Indian insurance sector.
The Government of India has taken a number of initiatives to boost the insurance industry. Some of them are as follows:
The future looks promising for the life insurance industry with several changes in regulatory framework which will lead to further change in the way the industry conducts its business and engages with its customers. India with 3.42 per cent penetration rate in the insurance sector offers greater penetration potential when compared to global average of 6.2 per cent
The country’s insurance market is expected to quadruple in size over the next 10 years from its current size of US$60 billion.
Demographic factors such as growing middle class, young insurable population and growing awareness of the need for protection and retirement planning will support the growth of Indian life insurance.
Exchange Rate Used: INR 1 = US$ 0.015 as on January 4, 2018
References: Media Reports, Press Releases, Press Information Bureau, Union Budget 2017-18, Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India (IRDA)
Notes: @ - according to Crisil Ratings