Indian insurance industry poised for greater penetration

A series of financial and economic developments have signaled growth for the Indian economy in the last 15 months or so

August 14, 2015 11:54 IST | India Infoline News Service
A series of financial and economic developments have signaled growth for the Indian economy in the last 15 months or so, with the result that the Indian insurance industry is poised for vast expansion in its reach across the country.

Welcoming delegates to a National Insurance Conclave held by Dun & Bradstreet and the Life Insurance Corporation (LIC) on ‘Quest for Market Penetration & Growth’, Mr. Kaushal Sampat, President and Managing Director – India, Dun & Bradstreet said “There are several encouraging factors pointing to growth for the Indian insurance sector at present."

Pointing out that insurance penetration in India (life and non-life) is just 3.9% compared to a global average of 6.3%, Mr. Sampat further elaborated, “The hike in FDI limit in the insurance sector will provide the flexibility to raise much needed capital. This has opened a plethora of business opportunities for foreign investors. With financial inclusion proceedings in full force, the timing of increase in limit for FDI in insurance sector could be a game changer. The Insurance Act 2015 is a Win-Win situation for each of the stakeholders of the insurance industry.”

Nilesh Sathe, Member (Life), IRDAI also present at the event said “It should be a joint effort of Insurance Industry and the Regulators to continuously make efforts in increasing market penetration of insurance.  The National Insurance Conclave will help all the stake holders to understand their role in this regard.”

“Targeting greater insurance penetration entails being a part of the Indian growth story while staying ahead of it. It is a quest to push growth-rate of life insurance premium at a level much higher than that of the Indian GDP in real terms to make sure India catches up with the world average. Not winning is not an option," said Mr. V.K. Sharma, managing director, LIC.

“CAMS Rep through its IR initiative will play a significant role in shaping the future of how insurance is bought and stored in the country. Digitization will impact the way Policy holders interact with insurers as more and more digital natives enter the category. The IR initiative of IRDAI is aligned to the Digital India initiative by Govt of India” Mr. S.V Ramanan- CEO – CAMS Insurance Repository Services Limited.

Mr. Sanath Kumar - Director & General Manager (acting CMD) - General Insurance Corporation of India said “I have participated in D&B events before. I have always found them coming up with very relevant & contemporary topics and also a very representative slice of the industry both, at the dias and at the audience. I wish that this event also would excel as the previous ones and make a mark in the industry”.

Contributing to the topic, Ms. Vibha Padalkar, Executive Director and Chief Financial Officer, HDFC Life said “Penetrating in the rural markets is a large untapped opportunity provided we get the distribution model right and offer products that are relevant to the rural section”.

Srinu Kalyan CEO PolicyBachat.com said, ”There is a paradigm shift in insurance industry from traditional agency model to online model. PolicyBachat has married the two by having a fully digital online quote to bind and back end insurance advisors to help the consumers; hence achieving efficiency, speed in delivery and transparency in the market place.”

The event also witnessed a panel discussion on the topic which included Mr. M. Ravichandran, President – Insurance, Tata AIG General Insurance Company Ltd., Mr. Kamlesh Vora, Head - Distribution Excellence Group, Kotak Mahindra Old Mutual Life Insurance Ltd., Ms. Vibha Padalkar, Executive Director and Chief Financial Officer , HDFC Life, Dr. Nayan Shah, Managing Director, Paramount Health Services (TPA) Private Ltd., Mr. S.V. Ramanan, CEO,CAMS Insurance Repository Services Ltd., Mr. Srinu Kalyan, Chief Executive Officer, Policybachat.com.

The conclave was focused on the life and general insurance sectors and its growth plans and took a look at the road ahead for insurance companies in the country.

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