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The insurance industry in India is expected to reach US$ 280 billion by the end of 2020. Life insurance industry in the country is expected to grow 12-15% annually over the next three to five years.

Indian Insurance Industry Analysis

    Last updated on Dec, 3 2021

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 4.2% in FY21, with life insurance penetration at 3.2% and non-life insurance penetration at 1%. In terms of insurance density, India’s overall density stood at US$ 78 in FY21.

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 the first half of FY22, the life insurance industry recorded growth rate of 5.8% compared with 0.8% in the same period last year.

In September 2021, new premiums of life insurers registered 22.2% growth in September 2021, up from 2.9% in September 2020.

Between April 2021 and September 2021, gross premiums written off by non-life insurers reached Rs. 108,705.3 crore (US$ 14.47 billion), an increase of 12.8% over the same period in FY21.

In FY22*, premiums from new businesses of life insurance companies in India stood at US$ 13.6 billion and renewable premium stood at US$ 53.7 billion.

In July 2021, non-life insurance premium stood at Rs. 20,171 crore (US$ 2.71 billion), an increase of 19.5% YoY, as compared with Rs. 16,885 crore (US$ 2.26 billion) in July 2020. The growth was driven by strong performance from health and motor segments.

In July 2021, standalone private health issuers registered a premium growth of Rs. 1,753 crore (US$ 235.11 million), an increase of 27.5% YoY.

In India, gross premiums written of non-life insurers reached US$ 26.52 billion in FY21 (between April 2020 and March 2021), from US$ 26.49 billion in FY20 (between April 2019 and March 2020), driven by strong growth from general insurance companies. The general insurance industry is expected to increase by 7-9% in terms of gross direct premium income in FY22, backed by healthy growth from the health and motor segments.

In August 2021, the premium in the general insurance industry increased by 24% YoY.

In March 2021, health insurance companies in the non-life insurance sector increased by 41%, driven by rising demand for health insurance products amid COVID-19 surge.

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 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 FY21, LIC achieved a record first-year premium income of Rs. 56,406 crore (US$ 7.75 billion) under individual assurance business with a 10.11% growth over last year.

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 September 2021, ZestMoney raised US$ 50 million to enter new business opportunities in the insurance sector.

In August 2021, PhonePe announced that it has received preliminary approval from IRDAI to act as a broker for life and general insurance products. As a result, the company can now offer insurance advice to its 300+ million users.

In FY21, motor third-party premium increased by 4.4% to Rs. 106.5 billion (US$ 1.4 billion) and is likely to expand in FY22.

In July 2021, non-life insurers’ premium, which include general, standalone and specialised public-sector, recorded 19.46% YoY growth and reached Rs. 20,171.15 crore (US$ 2.71 billion) against Rs. 16,885 crore (US$ 2.27 billion) in the same month last year.

On July 1, 2021, the LIC introduced its Saral Pension Scheme, which is a non-linked, non-participating, single premium, individual immediate annuity plan.

In June 2021, Aditya Birla Sun Life Insurance announced the launch of a new Vision LifeIncome Plus Plan that will provide guaranteed regular income plus flexible bonus payouts to policyholders.

In May 2021, Max Life Insurance Co. Ltd. launched ‘Max Life Saral Pension’, a non-linked, individual immediate annuity plan.

In April 2021, Life Insurance Corporation of India (LIC) collaborated with Paytm to facilitate digital insurance payments.

In April 2021, Bharti AXA Life Insurance announced a bancassurance partnership with Fincare Small Finance Bank to offer life insurance products to >26.5 lakh customers.

In April 2021, Life Insurance Corporation of India (LIC) collaborated with Paytm to facilitate digital insurance payments.

In September 2021, the Union Cabinet approved an investment of Rs. 6,000 crore (US$ 804.71 million) into entities, offering export insurance cover to facilitate additional exports worth Rs. 5.6 lakh crore (US$ 75.11 billion) over the next five years.

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.

*- New Business Premium Value is until August 2021, Renewable Premium Value in India is until March 2021 (FY21)

Indian Insurance Industry Report (September, 2021)
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