India’s insurance business has grown rapidly since government reform opened the sector to private companies in 2000. Liberalization recognized the potential need for insurance products by an expanding middle class concerned with protecting recently acquired assets.
Penetration, still relatively low, is expected to increase because of steady demand and further relaxation of government regulations, which would permit a higher level of Foreign Direct Investment and also expand the role of banks as insurance providers for multiple insurance brands.
Meanwhile, operators in all sectors – property and casualty, life, and health – are improving their distribution methods, increasing online presence and attempting to analyze their client data to better anticipate needs and improve sales and retention.
A total of 52 insurance companies operate in India, more than half in life insurance, according to India’s Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority. Dominated by the state-owed Life Insurance Corporation of India, the sector also includes private and joint venture operators such as HDFC Life, ICICI Prudential, SBI Life, and Bajaj Allianz.
The insurance category incudes companies offering life, property and casualty, and health insurance products.