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1. Introduction

2. Types of Insurance

3. History of Indian Insurance

4. Regulator Acts

5. Regulations for Indian Insurers

6. Insurance companies

7. Conclusion

8. References
Insurance may be described as a social device to reduce or eliminate
risk of loss to life and property. Under the plan of insurance, a large
number of people associate themselves by sharing risks attached to
individuals. The risks, which can be insured against, include fire, the
perils of sea, death and accidents and burglary. Any risk contingent
upon these may be insured against at a premium commensurate with
the risk involved. Thus collective bearing of risk is insurance.

Insurance industry in India is broadly classified as-

 Life Insurance:- policies protect individuals against the risk of life.

Life 100 Insurance policies not only protects the insured’s family
against his death but also provides a good means to avail tax
benefit, avail loans from banks and acts, as a good saving tool to
meet future needs.

 General Insurance:- on the other hand protects the property and

casualty by covering losses from disasters and accidents thereby
protecting from property damage and liability, providing the means
for victims to resume their lives and businesses and contribute to
the economy.
The various types of insurance available are –

1. Auto Insurance

 Two Wheeler Insurance

 Car Insurance
 Commercial Vehicle Insurance

2. Commercial Insurance

 Agriculture Insurance
 Fire Insurance
 Industrial Insurance
 Marine Insurance
 Shop Insurance

3. Home Insurance

4. Life Insurance

 Accident Insurance
a. NRI Accident Insurance
b. Personal Accident Insurance

 Health Care Insurance

c. Medical Insurance
d. Critical Illness Insurance

 Travel Insurance

The business of life insurance in India in its existing form started in

India in the year 1818 with the establishment of the Oriental Life
Insurance Company in Calcutta. Some of the important milestones in
the life insurance business in India are:

 1912: The Indian Life Assurance Companies Act enacted as the

first statute to regulate the life insurance business.

 1928: The Indian Insurance Companies Act enacted to enable the

government to collect statistical information about both life and
non-life insurance businesses.

 1938: Earlier legislation consolidated and amended to by the

Insurance Act with the objective of protecting the interests of the
insuring public.

 1956: 245 Indian and foreign insurers and provident societies taken
over by the central government and nationalized. LIC formed by
an Act of Parliament, viz. LIC Act, 1956, with a capital
contribution of Rs.5crore from the Government of India.

The General insurance business in India, on the other hand, can trace
its roots to the Triton Insurance Company Ltd., the first general
insurance company established in the year 1850 in Calcutta by the
British. Some of the important milestones in the general insurance
business in India are:-
 1907: The Indian Mercantile Insurance Ltd. set up, the first
company to transact all classes of general insurance business.

 1957: General Insurance Council, a wing of the Insurance

Association of India, frames a code of conduct for ensuring fair
conduct and sound business practices.

 1968: The Insurance Act amended to regulate investments and set

minimum solvency margins and the Tariff Advisory Committee set

 1972: The General Insurance Business (Nationalization) Act

nationalized the general insurance business in India with effect
from 1st January 1973. 107 insurers amalgamated and grouped into
four companies viz. the National Insurance Company Ltd., the
New India Assurance Company Ltd., the Oriental Insurance
Company Ltd. and the United India Insurance Company Ltd. GIC
incorporated as a company.


The insurance sector is governed by a number of acts -

 The Insurance Act, 1938

The Insurance Act, 1938 was the first legislation governing all forms
of insurance to provide strict state control over insurance business.

 Life Insurance Corporation Act, 1956

Even though the first legislation was enacted in 1938, it was only in
19 January 1956, that life insurance in India was completely
nationalized, through a Government ordinance. The Life Insurance
Corporation Act, 1956 effective from 1.9.1956 was enacted in the
same year to, form Life Insurance Corporation after nationalization of
the 245 companies (both Indian and foreign origin) into one entity.

 General Insurance Business (Nationalization) Act, 1972

The General Insurance Business (Nationalization) Act 1972 was

enacted to nationalize the 100 odd general insurance companies and
subsequently merging them into four companies. All the companies
were amalgamated into National Insurance, New India Assurance,
Oriental Insurance, United India Insurance.

 Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority Act, 1999

Till 1999, there were not any private insurance companies in Indian
insurance sector. The Govt. of India, then introduced the Insurance
Regulatory and Development Authority Act in 1999, thereby de-
regulating the insurance sector and allowing private companies into
the insurance. Further, foreign investment was also allowed and
capped at 26% holding in the Indian insurance companies.


To protect the interests of holder of insurance policy and to regulate,
promote and ensure orderly growth of the insurance industry
Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority (IRDA) was
established. Under the new dispensation Indian insurance companies
in private sector were permitted to operate in India with the following

 Company is formed and registered under the Companies Act, 1956

 The aggregate holdings of equity shares by a foreign company,

either by itself or through its subsidiary companies or its nominees,
do not exceed 26%, paid up equity capital of such Indian insurance

 The company's sole purpose is to carry on life insurance business

or general insurance business or reinsurance business.

 The minimum paid up equity capital for life or general insurance

business is 100 crores

 The minimum paid up equity capital for carrying on reinsurance

business has been prescribed as 200 crores

Some of the life insurance companies and general insurance
companies including their web address is given below:-
Life Insurers Websites
Public Sector
Life Insurance Corporation of India
Private Sector
Allianz Bajaj Life Insurance Company Limited
Birla Sun-Life Insurance Company Limited
HDFC Standard Life Insurance Co. Limited
ICICI Prudential Life Insurance Co. Limited
ING Vysya Life Insurance Company Limited
Max New York Life Insurance Co. Limited
MetLife Insurance Company Limited
Om Kotak Mahindra Life Insurance Co. Ltd.
SBI Life Insurance Company Limited
TATA AIG Life Insurance Company Limited
General Insurers Websites
Public Sector
National Insurance Company Limited
New India Assurance Company Limited
Oriental Insurance Company Limited
United India Insurance Company Limited
Private Sector
Bajaj Allianz General Insurance Co. Limited
ICICI Lombard General Insurance Co. Ltd.
IFFCO-Tokio General Insurance Co. Ltd.
Reliance General Insurance Co. Limited
Royal Sundaram Alliance Insurance Co. Ltd.
TATA AIG General Insurance Co. Limited
Cholamandalam General Insurance Co. Ltd.
Export Credit Guarantee Corporation
Reinsurers Websites
General Insurance Corporation of India

The Indian insurance industry has traveled a long way ever since
businesses were regulated tightly & concentrated by few insurers of
the public sector. The insurance industry is a key component of the
financial infrastructure of an economy, and its viability and strengths
have far reaching consequences for not only its money and capital
markets,' but also for its real sector.

The launch of new developments in the insurance industry saw many

new international insurers entering the market. It also gave way to
propagation of innovative goods & channels for distribution & the
supervisory values rising.

Indian per capita revenue is likely to grow up to more than 6% in

coming 10 years & with developing awareness, the Indian insurance
rate is estimated to rise at a striking rate in India.

Till recently, only 20% of the Indian population is covered by

different schemes of life insurance. It is also seen that the healthcare
penetration rate as well as schemes of non-life insurance in Indian
insurance market are well under the worldwide levels. These aspects
show vast potential of the Indian insurance industry.