Life premium collection to touch USD 110-bn by 2015

Mumbai: The life insurance industry is likely to reach around USD 110 billion in total premium collection by 2015, says a recent research report. "The domestic life insurance industry`s gross written premium (GWP) is forecast to grow at a rate 13-14 percent by fiscal 2015 to reach a total GWP of around USD 110 billion," according to a new research by McKinsey & Company.

This would see the domestic life insurance market contributing 10 percent of total global premium growth and will be one of the few major markets (top 15 in terms of total premia) globally to grow at double-digit rates over this period, it adds.

While the Indian life insurance industry has become one of the top markets globally, growth is primarily driven by short-term investment-linked products, with limited emphasis on long term savings and protection coverage.

The level of protection in the country, measured by sum assured to GDP ratio, is only around 55 percent of GDP against the developed market benchmarks of 150 to 250 percent of GDP.

"Going forward, the focus of the industry must broaden beyond growth to include two very important aspects, which it has largely ignored in the past decade-providing long-term savings and protection to consumers, and driving profitability in the core life insurance business through sustainable business models," says McKinsey India partner and its financial services practice leader Naveen Tahilyani.

Moreover, industry participants must factor in three major discontinuities that will radically affect their operating models, he added.

Major discontinuities will shape the market landscape are continued regulatory changes, shifts in consumer behaviour and changing technology.