Many in India consider the insurance sector as the secured one but the recent downfall in the premium income of private and public life insurance and general insurance companies clears this myth. The figures came out in the light, regarding the premium income of insurance industry clearly shows that Insurance India is not recession proof.

Downfall started from the life insurance sector of India where the major and most trusted companies have not recorded much impressive premium income. To start with, Life Insurance Corporation of India (LIC) has reported the growth rate of 4.45% in FY09 collecting total Rs.1.56 trillion as its premium income. The decline is also seen in the current year’s first quarter as the private life insurance player like ICICI Prudential Life has shown the downfall of 49% in its growth in June quarter. Meanwhile SBI Life, the life insurance PSU has also recorded the premium income of Rs.1,072.72 crore in the same quarter against the last year’s same quarter premium income of Rs.1,148.64 crore.

The insurance industry of India is not only witnessing this decline in life insurance sector but is also looking south with its general insurance biz. The recent data shows the slow negative growth of the general insurance industry in India with both public and private companies giving out mixed results. In the first quarter of the current fiscal where the public sector general insurance companies like United India, New India Assurance and Oriental Insurance have recorded the growth of 14%, 7% and 10% respectively, another PSU National Insurance has resulted in the negative growth of 2%.

Speaking of private general insurance companies, some big players like Reliance General Insurance and Tata AIG General Insurance have witnessed the negative growth. The other players in the same category like Bajaj Allianz General and ICICI Lombard Insurance have reported the southward growth of 13 and 21 percent respectively in the June quarter. However there are some private companies present which have recorded the higher growth rate against all predictions, this includes Royal Sundaram which has grown by 10% while Cholamandalam has posted the positive growth of 17%. Interestingly, HDFC General insurance products provider wing, HDFC Ergo has also recorded a growth of 246% in its premium section.

The volatility of the insurance sector in India can be measured in the growth figures of past 5 years where the motor insurance business is grown by 16% while the health insurance industry has registered the growth of 37% in the same period.

The negative growth of ICICI Lombard Insurance and Bajaj Allianz General against Cholamandalam and HDFC General Insurance is seen, by experts, as the result of poor reach in the cities while the poor show of life insurance is analysed as the result of lack of good insurance advisors.


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