The life insurance sector has certainly come a long way in India. The first ever life insurance company that was established in the country was the Oriental Life Insurance Company which came into existence in 1818. Oriental was a British company and basically provided insurance policies to the Europeans residing in India. Nearly a decade later i.e. in the year 1956, around 250 existing life insurance companies were combined to form one single company. The Life Insurance Corporation of India, popularly known as LIC, then become the sole insurance provider in the country.
Though the first life insurance company was set up in the 19th century, the concept of insurance existed in the country long before that. Insurance even finds mention in many ancient texts such as the Manusmriti and the Arthasastra. Back then, however, there were no companies but people pooled in resources and stored them for emergencies such as a natural calamity.
Given below is the timeline of the development of the insurance industry as a whole in India:
Both public and private companies in the insurance sector are doing well. While the private sector grew by about 17.4% from 2015-16 to 2016-17, LIC grew by 12.78% in terms of the premium earned. A whole lot of life insurance plans are available in the market such as term insurance plans, whole life insurance plans, endowment plans, Unit-linked insurance plans (ULIPs), money-back plans, retirement plans, and children’s plans. Each of the plan types has a different objective and offers the protection option, or the savings option or both.
A milestone development seen in the last few years is the introduction of the online mode in the life insurance business. Since most people prefer doing research and carrying out transactions online, insurance companies slowly developed the online platform to help make the insurance buying and managing process simple and easy.
Insurance companies offer a whole range of services through the online medium. Individuals who are interested in buying a policy can look up details about the insurance policy through the official website and retrieve quotes too. Once he/she zeroes in on one particular policy, he/she can buy the plan online, pay premiums online, register claims online, track claims online, etc.
The insurance sector in India is growing at a steady rate from about 15% to 20%. It contributes to the country’s GDP along with the banking sector. A stable insurance sector will automatically translate to the production of funds for better infrastructure and higher strength in handling risks in the country.
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