Insurance Sector Reforms in India: Challenges and Opportunities (Insurance: India)

Venue: Seminar Hall

Location: Hyderabad, Andhra Pradesh, India

Event Date/Time: Apr 30, 2006
Abstract Submission Date: Jul 15, 2006
Paper Submission Date: Jul 31, 2006
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Insurance in India started without any regulations in the nineteenth century. It was a typical story of a colonial era: a few British insurance companies dominating the market serving mostly large urban centers. After the independence, the Life Insurance Company was nationalized in 1956, and then the general insurance business was nationalized in 1972. Only in 1999 private insurance companies were allowed back into the business of insurance with a maximum of 26 per cent of foreign holding (World Bank Economic Review 2000). The entry of the State Bank of India with its proposal of bank assurance brings a new dynamics in the game. On July 14, 2000 Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority bill was passed to protect the interest of the policyholders from private and foreign players. The following companies are entitled to do insurance business in India. The more details are presented in table 1.

The private insurance joint ventures have collected the premium of Rs.1019.09 crore with the investment of just Rs.3,000 crore in three years of liberalization. The private insurance players have significantly improving their market share when compared to 50 years Old Corporation (i.e.LIC). As per the figures compiled by IRDA, the Life Insurance Industry recorded a total premium underwritten of Rs. 10,707.96 crore for the period under review. Of this, private players contributed to Rs.1, 019.09 crore, accounting for 10 percent. Life Insurance Corporation of India (LIC), the public sector giant, continued to lead with a premium collection of Rs.9,688.87 crore, translating into a market share of 90 per cent. In terms of number of policies and schemes sold, private sector accounted for only 3.77per cent as compared to 96.23 per cent share of LIC (The Economic Times, 21 March,2004).

Indian Foreign
1 ICICI Prudential ICICI Prudential (UK) 625
2 Max New York Life Max New York life (New York) 305
3 HDFC Standard Life HDFC Standard life (UK) 255
4 Allianz Bajaj Bajaj Allianz Holding (Germany) 250
5 Birla Sun Life C K Birla Group Zurich insurance(Switzerland) 290
6 Tata AIG Life Tata American Int.Group (USA) 231
7 OM Kotak Mahindra Kotak Mahindra Chubb (USA) 203
8 AVIVA life Dabur Allstate (USA) 240
9 ING Vysya Life Vysya Bank ING (Netherlands) 200
10 SBI Life SBI Bank Cardiff SA(BNP Paribas bank) 175
11 AMP Sanmar Sanmar Group Gio (Australia) 160
12 MetLife MA Chidambaram Met Life [USA] 120
Source: The Economic Times, 21 March 2004, supplement
The ICICI Prudential topped among the private players in terms of premium collection. It recorded a premium of Rs. 364.9 crore and a market share of 25 per cent, followed by Birla SunLife with a premium under- written Rs.170 crore and a market share of 15 percent, HDFC Standard with 132.7 crore and Max New York Life with Rs.76.8 crore with a market share of approximately 15 per cent each. Unlike their counterpart in the life insurance business, private non-life insurance companies have not yet started addressing the retail market. All is set to change in the coming years. Like in the banking sector, non-life insurance companies will soon have no choice but to focus on individual buyers.

In case of private non-life insurance players, that their market share rose to 14.13 per cent, recording a growth of 70.75 per cent on an annual basis, while the market share of public sector stood at 85.87 per cent, registering a marginal growth of 6.34 per cent. The overall market has recorded a growth of 12.32 per cent by the end of January 2004. Among the private non-life insurance players, ICICI Lombard topped the list with a premium collection of Rs.403.62 crore in one year period with a market share of 3.05 per cent and with an annual 131.6 per cent, followed by Bajaj Allianz with a premium of Rs.385.02 crore and 2.91 per cent market share and Tata AIG with 300.49 crore premium and 2.27 per cent market share with an annual growth rate of 62.60 per cent.

Among the public sector players, New India garnered a market share of 24.38 per cent, Rs.3,229.49 crore premium and an annual growth rate of 0.38 per cent, followed by National with a market share of 21.43 per cent, Rs.2,839.11 crore premium and an annual growth rate of 19.88 per cent, United India with a market share of 19.47 per cent (Rs.2,578.83 crore premium) and Oriental with a market share of 18.25 per cent, Rs.2,417.17 crore premium and an annual growth rate of 1.86 per cent. It is significant to note that HDFC Chubb and Cholamandalam have registered annual growth rates of 4030.26 per cent and 1101.20 per cent respectively, whereas New India has registered it as 0.38 per cent. If this trend continues, private insurer would dominate the public sector like New India Insurance Corporation. It is obviously reflect the insurance sector has facing the challenges with foreign counter parties as well as private counter parties and lot more opportunities are prevailing to penetrate the insurance business among the uncovered people and area of India. Further, it leads to economic development of the country. In this regard, it assumes greater significance to conduct debate among the inter- disciplinary persons.

It is, therefore, an urgent need to explore the challenges and opportunities faced by the insurance sector in India. Accordingly, the proposed seminar title is INSURANCE SECTOR IN INDIA – CHALLENGES AND OPPORTUNITIES.

The following objectives have been formed, such as:
1. To discuss the challenges that the insurance sector is facing in India.
2. To focus the opportunities that the insurance sector in India is having.
3. To assess the growth of private insurance sector in India.
4. To discuss on the cost (premium amount) and on the Rate of Return (RoR) on insurance policies.
5. To review the role of the Insurance Regulatory Authority of India (IRDA) in regulating insurance business in India.
6. To discuss the determinants (Economic, demographic, Risk factor etc.) of the insurance policy holders.
7. To review why the rural people have remained outside the purview of the insurance sector in India.


Insurance sector is now receiving serious attention by colleges and universities. Many educational institutions are offering Post Graduate Diploma in insurance on part time or full time basis or in the distance mode to cater the needs of the students. Vast literature made available on Insurance in the form of books, magazines and research papers. However, the existing literature covered by principles, nature and scope of insurance, documents and marketing of insurance. Thus very few studies attempted to evaluate the risk factor.

It is, therefore, the proposed seminar would concentrate to deliberate on Rate of Return (RoR), inflation rates, discount rates, mortality rates, and Net Present Values etc. No adequate debate has been carried out on the proposed topic of the seminar to the extent that it demands. Hence, the proposed seminar assumes a greater significance in the academic field.


The latest series of bomb attacks, attack on parliament, attack on Ayodya, attacks of the Maoists, nature calamities like tsunami, floods and drought, ragging are prevailed in the country and need not to say about the farmer who has been insecure about rains, seeds, crops and suitable price for his crop. In developed countries, the owners have insured even pet dogs. Whereas in India, about 80 percent of human beings and major natural resources have not been insured in globalization era.

Based on the above fact, this seminar has quite relevance to the present day problems of life insurance, non-life insurance, rural health insurance, ragging insurance, natural calamities insurance, pension insurance and terrorism insurance.
Insurance sector is a major contributor to the financial savings of the household sector in the country, which are further channelized into various investment avenues. As per the Annual Report 2003-04 of IRDA, contribution of insurance funds to the financial savings was 14.9 per cent in 2003-04, viz 2.2 per cent of the GDP at current market price. The premium underwritten has grown from Rs 45,677.57 crore in 2000-01 to Rs.83,645.11 crore in 2003-04. After liberalization of insurance sector, insurers have introduced innovative product and tailor made products which are absolutely sit to rural population. Efforts at increasing consumer awareness and putting the regulatory framework for protection of policyholder’s interest have been made both the industry and regulatory level. Global market conditions have also resulted in driving down premium rates/charges in respect of certain products and in improving the quality of services offered by the insurer. Finally, insurance sector has been penetrating in India, thus the proposed seminar has quite relevant to the society.
Insurance organizations (Public & Private),
Insurance Regulatory Authorities (IRDA Officials),
Development Officials,
Educational Institutes (Which are offering PG Diploma in Insurance),
Bankers (who are offering Insurance business),
Financial Institutes (who are offering Insurance business), and
Academicians, Professors and Research Scholars.
Technical Session I: Insurance Business in India : Role of IRDA
Technical Session II: Nature of Risk and Insurance
Technical Session III: Evaluation of Insurance schemes
Technical Session IV: Role of private insurers particiption in insurance business : Challenges and Opportunities
Panel Discussion
In the light of the above discussion, a national seminar is a platform to discuss various issues aforesaid wherein the eminent professionals, distinguished academicians, regulators, government officials, Insurance organizations, development Officials, Bankers and Research Scholars from all over the country would participate in the deliberations.


Seminar Hall
centenary Block, Nizam College
Andhra Pradesh

Additional Information

List of the titles for writing paper: 1. Risk and Insurance 2. Global insurance 3. Penetration of Insurance sector at world level as well as in India. 4. Saving habits of Indian people 5. Liberalisation of Indian Insurance sector 6. Role of the Insurance Regulatory Authority of India (IRDA) 7. Performance of private players in Insurance sector 8. A comparative studies on private and public sector of insurance companies. 9. Performance evaluation of Non-Life insurers (public and Private) 10. Evaluation of General Insurance sector in India 11. Urban and Rural penetration of Insurance sector in India 12. Role of Insurance sector in terms of infrastructure development in India 13. Role of FDI in Insurance sector 14. Detail papers on a) Insurance - Risk analysis b) Health Insurance c) Rural Insurance d) Crop Insurance e) Reinsurance f) Student Insurance g) Terrorism Insurance h) Travel Insurance i) Devotees insurance j) Fire Insurance k) Theft insurance l) House Insurance m) Property insurance 15. De- tariff of Insurance sector and road –map for de-tariff 16. Evaluation of Pension Scheme 17. Evaluation of Provident Funds 18. Evaluation of Postal Life Insurance (PLIC) 19. Study on Unit Link Insurance policies (ULIP) 20. Studies of Private Savings 21. Studies on Premium fixation 22. Studies on maturity of insurance policies. 23. Insurance sector: Challenges and Opportunities 24. Insurance sector : Problems and Suggestions. Any other titles relevant broad area of savings and Insurance.