Insurance Companies In India

Insurance in India started as life insurance back in 1818, when it was introduced for English Widows. Even till the end of the nineteenth century, Insurance Companies in India were mainly the overseas companies investing in the insurance works in India. An interesting fact here was that higher premiums were charged for Indian lives, as they were considered riskier for insurance cover.

Insurance Laws in India

The Indian Government took various steps for the regulation of insurance in India by passing various insurance laws and acts. These include:

  • Life Insurance Companies Act, 1912

  • Provident Fund Act 1912

  • Insurance Act of 1938

  • Life Insurance Corporation Act, 1956

  • General Insurance Business (nationalization) Act, 1972

  • Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority (IRDA) Act, 1999

In 1972, the General Insurance Company was nationalized with four main subsidiaries National Insurance Company, New India Insurance Company, Oriental Insurance Company and United India Insurance Company.

Today Insurance Companies in India have grown manifold. The insurance sector in India has shown immense growth potential. Even today a giant share of Indian population nearly 80% is not under life insurance coverage, let alone health and non-life insurance policies. This clearly indicates the potential for insurance companies to grow their market in India.

In 1999, various reforms were suggested in the insurance industry in India. This has changed a lot of things for the insurance companies in India. These reforms were:

  • Bringing down of the governments stake holding to 50%

  • Only the private companies with a minimum capital of Rs.100 crores should be allowed to enter the insurance sector.

  • No insurance company can deal in both life and non-life insurance under the same business entity.

  • Foreign Insurance Companies can enter India only in collaboration with domestic insurance companies

  • Interest should be paid on delays of payments by the insurance companies in case of non settlement of insurance claims.

  • And many more to bring greater freedom and a well-planned regulation to the insurance companies in India.

Insurance Industry in India

Insurance Companies in India: Services Offered

The various fields covered by insurance companies in India include:

  • Life Insurance: For students, children, family, individual etc.

  • Health insurance: For self, for family, accidental insurance premium, medical claim policies etc.

  • Non-life insurance: Home or House Insurance and other property insurance, Auto Insurance (for cars, motorcycle and other two-wheelers, commercial vehicles), Infrastructure Projects Insurance, Travel Insurance, real estate insurance, mobile insurance etc.

Another field coming up in insurance is re-insurance. This is insurance for the insurer. Re-insurance helps the primary insurers to accept risks that are normally beyond their capacity and also in maintaining the financial stability in case of losses due to mass settlement cases in catastrophic events. The general insurance company (GIC) is the major player in re-insurance in India. It assumes the role of national reinsurer and all the insurance companies in India are supposed to pay 20% of their re-insurance businesses to GIC.

The insurance companies employ insurance agents and brokers to sell their insurance policies and products. A work license from the insurance regulation department is must to sell any insurance plans. The insurance premiums offered vary from company to company and also from the policy to policy. The premium asked depends on the risk factor involved like mentioned earlier in the case of riskier life of Indians in the British rule demanded higher premium.

The insurance jobs include an insurance quote by the insurance company, usually conveyed by the insurance broker or agent, filling up of forms for your complete information and contact details, written documents for the insurance premium offered in the quote, term of the insurance taken, the prices charged for the services, and a brief on the details of the claim process and settlement terms. The insurance claims can be made as direct claim or third party claims, information regarding this is given by your insurance providers.

You can also contact an insurance agency for info on the types of insurance available, the estimate prices of the insurance policies, and a lead on the insurance product best suited for your requirement. Besides this, many websites also provide this information and also an online insurance estimator along with the ratings for the top insurance companies in India that help you in deciding the insurance company from where to buy the insurance product chosen.