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The Indian insurance industry has witnessed significant growth in the past few years with the introduction of a wide range of advanced insurance products and services. It consists of both life and non-life insurance companies. Out of the 52 insurance companies operating in India, 24 are in the life insurance business, and 28 companies are operating in the non-life insurance segment. Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority (IRDA) is an autonomous body that regulates and promotes the insurance and re-insurance industries in India.

Market insights:
The life insurance market in India was valued at INR 4,185 Bn in FY 2017 and is likely to expand at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of ~11.6% during FY 2018 to FY 2023. In 2016, Indias share in the global life insurance market was ~2.36% and ranked 10 among 88 countries. The Indian life insurance sector offers around 360 million policies, which is the largest number of policies offered by any insurance sector globally. In this sector, 49% foreign direct investment (FDI) through automatic route is allowed, letting overseas companies buy 49% stake at the domestic insurance companies without prior approval from the government.

Impact of goods and services tax:
Implementation of the goods and services tax (GST) is expected to make both banking and insurance products expensive in the country. As of June 01, 2017, service tax has been replaced by 18% GST in premium receipts and other related documents. Life insurance schemes offered by the government, exempted from GST, include the Janashree Bima Yojana (JBY), Aam Aadmi Bima Yojana (AABY), Varishtha Pension Bima Yojana (VPBY), Pradhan Mantri Jeevan Jyoti Bima Yojana (PMJJBY), Pradhan Mantri Jan Dhan Yogana (PMJDY), and Pradhan Mantri Vaya Vandana Yojana (PMVVY).

Insurance penetration overview:
Insurance penetration, which is measured as the ratio of premium underwritten in a given year to the gross domestic product (GDP) of the country, stood at ~3.49% in FY 2017. Life insurance penetration in India was ~2.72% in the same year.

Market segment insights- player-wise:
During FY 2017, life insurance companies issued 264.56 lakh new policies out of which LIC issued 201.32 lakh policies, while private insurance issued the remaining 63.24 lakh policies. In FY 2018, the Life Insurance Corporation of India (LIC) reported a growth of ~8% in its new business premium as compared to FY 2017. They continued to be the market leader by grabbing 69.40% of the market share in the total first-year premium, and 75.67% in new policies.

Key growth drivers of the market:
Currently, Indian insurance companies such as LIC, ICICI Prudential Life Insurance, and SBI Life Insurance Company, among others, are introducing comprehensive custom-made micro-insurance products for the rural sector, which covers not just health but accidents as well. Increasing rural income and improving infrastructure are expected to drive the growth of the Indian life insurance market.
Factors such as better management of claims and regulatory trends, coupled with increasing income and the working-class population of the country are expected to drive the growth of the market.

Key deterrents to the growth of the market:
Although there has been a rise in the number of insurers in the country, financial literacy, and awareness regarding understanding the products and services offered by the insurance companies act as a significant challenge to the growth of the life insurance market in India.

Companies profiled:
ICICI Prudential Life Insurance Company Limited
SBI Life Insurance Company Limited
Life Insurance Corporation of India
Aditya Birla Sun Life Insurance Company Limited
Bajaj Allianz Life Insurance Company Limited
HDFC Standard Life Insurance Company Limited
Max Life Insurance Company Limited
PNB MetLife India Insurance Company Limited
Reliance Nippon Life Insurance Company Limited
Tata AIA Life Insurance Company Limited

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