India to be among top 3 life insurance market

Mumbai: India`s insurance sector, which is witnessing a rapid growth, is likely to touch about USD 400 billion in premium income by 2020, making the country one of the top three life insurance and top 15 non?life insurance markets by 2020, according to a report.

"The insurance industry will continue to outpace the rapid economic growth to reach USD 350?400 billion in premium income by 2020 (approximately Rs 17-22 lakh crore), making India amongst the top three life insurance markets and top 15 non?life insurance markets by 2020," the report by Federation of Indian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (FICCI) and the Boston Consulting Group (BCG) has said.

The total penetration of insurance (premium as percentage of GDP) has increased to 5.2 per cent in 2011 from 2.3 per cent in 2001, said the report titled `India Insurance ? Turning 10, Going on 20`.

In addition, there has been a surge in insurance coverage due to availability of more products like better term plan, ULIPs, whole life, maximum NAV guarantee, auto assistance, disease management and wellness, it said.

The number of life policies had increased nearly 12- fold over the past decade and health insurance nearly 25?fold.

Progress has been made with emergence of multiple channels like bancassurance, broking, corporate agency, direct and auto dealers to complement the existing third party agency and in?house salaried sales force, ICICI Prudential Life Insurance Managing Director and CEO Sandeep Bakhshi said.

Along with the emergence of multiple channels, the distribution reach has also gone up, nearly 6?fold for life, and 1.5 times for non?life, evolving the Indian market from a monopoly to a competitive one, he said.