Insurance sector to outpace GDP growth: study

The insurance industry is likely to reach $350-$400 billion (Rs15,42,000 crore or more) in premium income by 2020, putting India among the world's top three life insurance markets and top 15 non-life insurance markets, according to a study.

The growth of the insurance industry will even outpace the rapid overall economic growth, says the study by the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry and the Boston Consulting Group.

The report titled 'India insurance - turning 10, going on 20', released at a function in New Delhi today, further states that the total penetration of insurance (in terms of premium as a percentage of GDP) has increased from 2.3 per cent in 2001 to 5.2 per cent in 2011.

In addition, there has been a vast increase in the coverage of insurance. The number of active life policies has increased nearly 12 times over the past decade, and health insurance by nearly 25 times, says the study.

This progress has been aided by a dramatic shift in the availability of products, it adds. These include better term, ULIPs (the recently controversial unit-linked insurance products), whole-life, maximum NAV guarantee, auto assistance, auto pay per kilometre of insurance, disease management, and wellness.

"The report highlights the importance of insurance in India's economy, the progress made in the last decade, key challenges associated with the sector and an action agenda for insurance companies and the government", said Sandeep Bakhshi, managing director and chief executive of ICICI Prudential Life Insurance Co and chairman of FICCI's insurance and pensions committee.