Competition in insurance sector may rise

Life and non-life sectors registered a growth of around 16% in premiums in February 2023.
Image used for representation.
Image used for representation.

MUMBAI:  Competition in the insurance sector is set to increase as the Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India (IRDAI) is evaluating licence applications of 20 companies looking to enter insurance business, said Debashish Panda, Chairman, IRDAI on Wednesday. 

Speaking at the insurance conference organised by Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI), he said the industry has come a long way in past 20 years and the total premium has crossed Rs 10 lakh crore with asset under management of Rs 59 lakh crore in financial year 2022-23.

Life and non-life sectors registered a growth of around 16% in premiums in February 2023. The insurance sector regulator has given three licence to three companies- CreditAccess Grameen Life Insurance, Acko Life Insurance and Kshema General Insurance- in the last fiscal. There are 23 life insurers and 33 general players operating in the country now.

Addressing the gathering, the regulator asked the industry to take the ‘Insurance for All by 2047’ mandate not as a slogan but as a call to action and expressed confidence that the stated target could be met well before the deadline. To attain this, the industry has to be innovative and adopt more and more technologies so that they can develop more and more products that are seamlessly accessible and affordable to the vast majority of the uninsured and underinsured.

“We need to look at catering to the needs of 1.4 billion people, their businesses, properties, health and assets. We need more players, capital, distribution channels and products. We need more innovation and healthy competition among the players,” he said

Tech-driven innovation can bring down cost of products and product deliveries. He urged the industry members to use the vast network of Asha workers, Aanganwadi workers and self help groups to reach the last mile for deeper penetration of insurance products. “And I feel one of the easiest ways to achieve this is to engage the Asha and anganwadi workers. You can engage millions of women in the self help groups,” Panda said. 

He said the new set of regulations are making the insurance sector more attractive for investors and promoters and that insurance firms should also look at augmenting their own capital.

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