The industry is divided into two categories- life insurance and non-life insurance, also known as general insurance. Both these are governed by the Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India (IRDAI) whose main role is to monitor the sector while safeguarding the rights of consumers. Overall, the country has 70 registered insurers, of which 24 are part of the life insurance sector, 27 are general non-life insurers, and the remaining make up the standalone health insurers and re-insurance agents. In the life insurance sector, the Life Insurance Corporation (LIC) is the only public sector company, while the non-life insurance sector has six public sector insurers. Notably, LIC has been one of the leading brands in the country in terms of its brand value and was worth over eight billion U.S. dollars in 2020.
Private insurers have been recording a good growth in the non-life insurance sector. In fact, in financial year 2019, private non-life insurers overtook public insurers with a 48 percent market share compared to a share of around 41 percent by public insurers. Traditionally, the non-life market in the country has been dominated by the motor vehicle insurance due to mandatory third-party liability. However, health insurance has emerged as the fastest growing segment in recent years due to a growing awareness regarding healthcare along with high out-of-pocket healthcare expenses. Apart from this, crop insurance was also an important segment in the overall private general insurance product mix, constituting a 22 percent market share in fiscal year 2019.
The government of India has also invested in a number of initiatives to boost the insurance industry. In September 2018, the National Health Protection Scheme was launched under Ayushman Bharat Yojana to provide coverage of up to 500 thousand Indian rupees to vulnerable families below poverty line. In fiscal year 2018, around 359 million people were covered under government-sponsored health insurance schemes, and this was expected to reach over 526 million people by financial year 2030. Apart from these schemes, the government approved 100 percent foreign direct investments in the insurance sector in the 2020 union budget, opening up robust opportunities for the sector in the coming years.