The insurance industry in India was expected to reach US$ 280 billion by 2020. The life insurance industry is expected to increase at a CAGR of 5.3% between 2019 and 2023. India’s insurance penetration was pegged at 3.76% in FY20, with life insurance penetration at 2.82% and non-life insurance penetration at 0.94%. In terms of insurance density, India’s overall density stood at US$ 78 in FY20.
There are 24 life insurance and 34 non-life insurance companies in the Indian market who compete on price and services to attract customers, whereas there are two reinsurance companies. The industry has been spurred by product innovation and vibrant distribution channels, coupled with targeted publicity and promotional campaigns by insurers.
The market share of private sector companies in the general and health insurance market increased from 47.97% in FY19 to 48.03% in FY20. In the life insurance segment, private players held a market share of 33.78% in premium underwritten services in FY20.
In FY21 (until February 2021), premium from new business of life insurance companies in India stood at US$ 31.9 billion.
Gross premiums written of non-life insurers in India reached US$ 24.41 billion in FY21 (between April 2020 and February 2021), from US$ 24.55 billion in FY20 (between April 2019 and February 2020), driven by strong growth from general insurance companies.
The total benefit amount claimed from private life insurance companies was Rs. 5,725 crore (US$ 780 million), whereas LIC had a total benefit claim amount of Rs. 13,694 crore (US$ 1,866 million) in FY20. With such a huge base, LIC has performed well to maintain a settlement ratio of 96.69% by number of policies and 93.45% by benefit amount.
Union Budget 2021 increased FDI limit in insurance from 49% to 74%. India's Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority (IRDAI) has announced the issuance, through Digilocker, of digital insurance policies by insurance firms.
Under the Union Budget 2021, Finance Minister Ms. Nirmala Sitharaman announced that the initial public offering (IPO) of LIC will be implemented in FY22, as part of the consolidation in the banking and insurance sector. Though no formal market valuation has been undertaken, LIC’s IPO has the potential to raise Rs. 1 lakh crore (US$ 13.62 billion).
In February 2021, the Finance Ministry announced to infuse Rs. 3,000 crore (US$ 413.13 million) into state-owned general insurance companies to improve the overall financial health of companies.
According to data from the Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India (IRDAI), 25 general insurance companies recorded a 10.8% increase in their collective premium in January 2021 to Rs. 16,247.24 crore (US$ 2.24 billion) compared with Rs. 14,663.40 crore (US$ 2.02 billion) in January 2020.
In February 2021, Star Health Insurance partnered with PhonePe to offer digital health insurance on PhonePe, through its Arogya Sanjeevani policy.
Going forward, increasing life expectancy, favourable savings and greater employment in the private sector is expected to fuel demand for pension plans. Likewise, strong growth in the automotive industry over the next decade would be a key driver for the motor insurance market. Motor insurance accounted for 32.59% of the non-life insurance premiums earned, followed by health insurance at 28.9%, in November 2020.
The public and private sectors have been actively working towards crop insurance. For instance, in October 2020, the Andhra Pradesh rolled out free of cost crop insurance scheme for the state farmers while the Reliance General Insurance and SatSure partnered to launch the satellite-based crop monitoring and predictive analytics support for better risk management and to improve efficiency of its crop insurance business operations. On January 13, 2021, Crop Insurance Scheme, the Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yajana (PMFBY), completed five years of operations towards strengthening risk coverage of crops for farmers of India.
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