"2015 was an eventful year for the Indian general insurance industry in many ways. The much awaited FDI bill was passed, increasing the cap on investment by the foreign partner to 49% from 25%. IRDAI continued to play a progressive role by bringing in the required amendments to the existing regulations to align them to the amended Insurance Act . The improved awareness among the customers strengthened the value proposition of general insurance and helped it to witness better growth and improve penetration. Technology too, continues to shape the way the segment is evolving to cater to diverse needs and greater accessibility by the consumers. However, given the frequent natural disasters, the need for product innovation and higher customisation has been established.
2016 is expected to be an exciting year for the Indian general insurance industry. Taking off from 2015’s natural calamities, we expect the property insurance to register a significant growth. Health insurance segment is expected to stay robust on account of rising healthcare cost, inflation and improved awareness among the consumers. The year will also witness huge inflows of capital into the country, with large global general insurance companies expected to increase their stakes to 49% as permitted by the Insurance Act. Industry’s hopes however are pinned on the commercial insurance segment. We expect 2016 to be an year of shifting gears in terms of economic performance of the country. The handwork undertaken in the past two years should culminate into tangible action and development of the infrastructure thereby leading to healthier commercial insurance business. We are confident that 2016 will enable us to further build upon our growth plans and moreover, help us empower our customers to lead a more secured life."
The author is Managing Director & CEO, Royal Sundaram General Insurance Co. Ltd.