The Insurance sector plays a crucial role in the growth and general well-being of the Indian economy. It considerably increases saving opportunities for individuals and helps in safeguarding their future by providing much-need protective covers. Availability of a massive pool of funds allows the sector to contribute substantially to the capital markets and invest in large-scale infrastructure development.
Once moved from being an open competitive market to nationalisation, the insurance sector is now back to a form of liberalised market. It is witnessing steady growth and introduction of advanced products resulting in tougher competition and positive outcomes.
Most modern Indian insurance customers prefer convenient, customised and intuitive plans, policies or processes with tangible cost breakups.
As insurance industry business models get re-imagined while stepping into 2020, let’s briefly go through some of the critical facts, figures, recent developments, existing trends and expected changes.
Indian Insurance Sector: The Overview
- 57 Insurance Companies.
- 33 in Non-life Or General Insurance (Car insurance, personal accident insurance, two-wheeler insurance, travel insurance, home insurance and others).
- 24 in Life Insurance.
- Overall Insurance Penetration: 3.69 % (As on 2017).
- Other Stakeholders: Individual and corporate agents, brokers, surveyors and third party administrators servicing medical insurance claims.
- Life and Non-life Insurance: Governed by the IRDAI (Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India).
Recent Developments & Existing Trends
- India’s insurance sector is all set to reach $280 billion by 2020.
- In FY19 (up to Oct’18), non-life insurers’ gross direct premiums reached $13.71 billion (year-on-year growth of 12.40 %).
- Oct’18: Indian e-commerce giant Flipkart entered the insurance space in partnership with Bajaj Allianz.
- Sep’18: HDFC Ergo launched a cyber insurance policy for individuals called E@Secure.
- Aug’18: A consortium of WestBridge Capital announced the acquisition of India’s largest health insurer Star Health and Allied Insurance in a deal worth around $1 billion.
- Gross premiums (life + non-life insurance) touched $94.48 billion in FY18.
- Insurance companies raised approximately $6.7 billion via public issues in 2017, and the sector saw multiple M&A deals worth over $900 million.
- A large number of Indians buy insurance online by comparing policies and choosing the suitable one for themselves.
- The online medium means you do not need to carry hard copy insurance documents and worry about losing them.
- One can download a copy from an online account whenever needed.
- Social media has become a go-to tool for queries related to insurance claims, renewal, and other aspects.
Expected Changes & The Road Ahead
- Insurance companies will continue to focus on customer journeys, experiences, quick information and feedback mechanisms.
- Manual procedures, lengthy paper forms and numerous signatures will make way for improved technology-enabled processes.
- Insurance providers will invest in business digitisation to effectively leverage technology and offer innovatively relevant products at reasonable costs.
- The technology could be utilised for creating a need and behaviour-based products.
- Data analytics will be put to use for generating accurate risk insights, optimising underwriting and pricing.
- Personalised high-tech services and interactions will be used to inspire loyalty.
- Insurance companies may add non-insurance products and services as a natural extension to their core portfolio.
- Buying and renewing insurance will be made more streamlined through 24-hour access, customised products and highly competitive prices.
- Customers will leverage aggregators and online platforms for making informed decisions.
Prominent Government Sector Insurance Companies & Schemes
- Life Insurance Corporation of India (LIC).
- National Insurance.
- The New India Assurance.
- United India Insurance.
- The Oriental Insurance.
- Agriculture Insurance Company Ltd.
- The Export Credit Guarantee Corporation of India (ECGC).
- Pradhan Mantri Suraksha Bima Yojana (PMSBY).
- Rashtriya Swasthya Bima Yojana (RSBY).
- Pradhan Mantri Jeevan Jyoti Bima Yojana.
- Ayushman Bharat National Health Protection Scheme (AB-NHPS).
Major Private Sector General Insurance Companies (Including Car & Health Insurance)
- TATA AIG General Insurance Co. Ltd.
- SBI General Insurance Co. Ltd.
- Apollo Munich Health Insurance Co.Ltd.
- Reliance General Insurance Co. Ltd.
- Kotak General Insurance Co. Ltd.
- Star Health Allied Insurance Co. Ltd.
- Religare Health Insurance Co. Ltd.
- HDFC ERGO General Insurance Co. Ltd.
- ICICI Lombard General Insurance Co. Ltd.
- IFFCO-Tokio General Insurance Co. Ltd.
- Aditya Birla Health Insurance Co. Ltd.
- Bajaj Allianz General Insurance Co. Ltd.
- Bharti AXA General Insurance Co.Ltd.
- Cigna TTK Health Insurance Co. Ltd.
- L&T General Insurance Co. Ltd.
- Max Bupa Health Insurance Co. Ltd.
- Cholamandalam General Insurance Co. Ltd.
- Future Generali India Insurance Co.Ltd.
- Royal Sundaram Alliance Insurance Co. Ltd.
- Shriram General Insurance Co. Ltd.
- Liberty Videocon General Insurance Co. Ltd.
- Magma HDI General Insurance Co. Ltd.
- Raheja QBE General Insurance Co. Ltd.
- Universal Sompo General Insurance Co.Ltd.
Undoubtedly, there is a vastly underserved insurance market in India. Increasing awareness, evolving products, expanding distribution channels, enhanced flexibility for regulatory authority and tax incentives from the government are likely to push insurance penetration and make it more attractive in the coming years.
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Sources: Assocham-APAS study, IRDAI, The Economic Times: Wealth, Indian Brand Equity Foundation, Pwc.in, Wikipedia and other information channels.