Indian Insurance sector has huge potential to grow further : say experts

Ankur Bhattacharya

Kolkata:The overall penetration of Insurance section in India is poised to climb up to over 6.25 per cent during the next five years from around 3.72 per cent now following a number of steps taken by the Regulatory Authority to protect the interests of customers.

This view was expressed here on Friday by A V Girirajkumar, Chairman Cum Managing Director of the government owned Oriental Insurance Company Limited during an interaction with members of the city’s premier Merchants’ Chamber of Commerce and Industry(MCCI).

Elaborating the wholesome picture of the Insurance sector in India,he said in spite of the population of over 1.2 billion the penetration of non-life insurance, as a percentage of GDP was only about 0.97 per cent at present.This was expected to grow to 2.5 per cent in the next five years,he said adding the same for life insurance in spite of all out efforts was currently at 2.75 per cent and was poised to increase to about 3.75 per cent by 2025.

The total premium of Non life business currently amounted to Rs 170,000 crore which is expected to grow to Rs 335,000 crore by 2025 in India, he said.

Similarly,Girirajkumar said,the total premium in the country’s Life Insurance business currently stood at Rs 508,000 crores of which New Business contributed Rs 215,000 crores and Renewal provides Rs 293,000 core.

After about 5 years, total premiums in life insurance was expected to touch the figure of Rs 900,000 crores of which New Business would contribute to the tune of Rs 380,000 crores and renewal would provide Rs 520,000 crore, he said.

Turning his attention to lack of vehicle insurance in the country, he regretted that as only about 50 per cent of the vehicles on the road were covered by insurance , IRDAI had now decided to seek usage based insurance from the car owners. ‘This is a global custom which will come to India soon’ ,Girirajkumar said and claimed that there was a vast potential for growth and the pool will only get larger.

In this connection he gave the example of a Chinese insurer which not only operated as an insurer but also as a healthcare consultant, banking service provider.

Earlier welcoming the guest at the Chamber Aakash Shah, Senior Vice President MCCI highlighted the huge potential of the Insurance sector and said the sector was expected to grow to Rs 19,56,920 crores by this year owing to fairly strong macro fundamentals and higher personal disposable incomes in the country.

‘It is encouraging to note that the Union Government has taken a number of initiatives to boost the General Insurance industry with several pro-active measures’, he pointed out in his speech.