The Indian financial services sector is a highly volatile sector, influenced by fiscal and monetary policies, government regulations, trade rules, tax changes, and technology changes. The insurance industry in India is regulated by the Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India (IRDAI), which is an autonomous body established in 1999.
Market segment insights
In India, currently there are 24 life insurance players, which comprise 1 public sector and 23 private sector players. The Indian life insurance market is exhibiting immense growth, next to banks for mobilized savings, and is a formidable part of the Indian capital market. In FY 2019, the life insurance sector accounted for approximately 2.68% to India’s gross domestic product (GDP).
LIC is the sole public sector life insurance company in India. However, private life insurance companies have been penetrating the market since 2000, mainly through unique customer services.
In terms of the number of new policies issued, shares of both LIC and private insurers have increased during the FY 2017-FY 2018 period. In FY 2018, LIC held a share of ~75.67% in terms of the number of new policies issued, the rest being acquired by private insurers. The demand for LIC policies is usually high, owing to the handsome maturity value offered by the company at the end of the policy terms.
Considering the amount of premium collected in FY 2018, LIC alone held a share of ~69.36%. However, the share of private insurers, in terms of premium collected, had increased during the FY 2017-FY 2018 period at a rate of ~19.17%, mainly due to innovative product mixes offered by the companies. In FY 2018, out of the top private insurers operating in India, ICICI Prudential had the highest market share (~5.9%), followed by SBI Life (~5.53%) and HDFC Standard (~5.14%).
Key growth drivers of the market
On the macroeconomic front, the Indian economy has been gaining momentum since FY 2018. Moreover, India’s young population with increased purchasing power and greater inclination towards security products is growing. However, the penetration of life insurance in India is shallow, compared to the advanced and emerging economies of the world. In a way, life insurance companies are utilizing the opportunity of penetrating the Indian market, thereby taking advantage of its expanding economy and rising individual income level.
Key deterrents to the growth of the market
High lapse ratio, due to low persistency, is having a detrimental impact on the overall business of insurers. This is because lapsation of insurance policies result in a negative impact on customer retention, product performance, pricing factors, product image and workforce planning.
• Life Insurance Corporation of India
• HDFC Life Insurance Company Limited
• ICICI Prudential Life Insurance Company Limited
• SBI Life Insurance Company Limited
• Aditya Birla Sun Life Insurance Company Limited
• Bajaj Allianz Life Insurance Company Limited
• Max Life Insurance Company Limited
• PNB Metlife India Insurance Company Limited
• Reliance Nippon Life Insurance Company Limited
• Tata AIA Life Insurance Company Limited