One in three life insurance policies in India are sold to women even as the insurance industry is set to undergo an overhaul after the Covid-19 pandemic.
According to a study by the Economic Research Department of the State Bank of India, the number of policies issued to women in FY21 is around 93 lakh representing a share of 33% compared to a share of 32.23%. in 2019-20.
The proportion of policies on women in the case of private life insurers is 27% and that of LICs is 35%, says the report authored by Dr. Soumya Kanti Ghosh, Chief Economic Advisor of the group, SBI.
In 19 states/UTs, the share of the number of policies purchased by women out of total policies sold is above the India-wide average of 33%.
Insurance penetration in India decreased from 2.71% in FY01 to 5.20% in FY09 due to liberalization but thereafter the level of penetration has decreased and reached 3.30% in FY14.
However, thanks to strong government support and universal insurance schemes (PMJJBY, PMSBY), insurance penetration started to increase again from FY15 and stands at 4.20% for FY21 .
The pandemic has made people aware not only of the indispensability of health insurance policies, but also of the need for adequate coverage, better features, and seamless services. This awareness has led more people to take out new policies or switch to insurers that offer better coverage and claims settlement.
In FY21, retail health insurance policies recorded a massive jump of 28.5% to Rs 26,301 crore and also continued to grow in FY22. Between April 2021 and January 2022, the health insurance portfolio of insurers increased by 25.9%, with an increase in retail health insurance policies by 17.3% and group policies by 30.1%.
Death benefits paid by the life insurance industry increased by 40.8% to Rs 41,958 crore in FY21. In case of individual life insurance business, during In FY21, life insurers paid 10.84 lakh in claims, with a total claim amount of Rs 26,422 crore (46.4% growth). The death claims ticket amount increased to Rs 2.44 lakh in FY21 from Rs 2.13 lakh in FY20. rise in deaths during Covid-19.
The SBI report also highlights that despite digitization, the share of policies sold through online and web-based aggregators stands at 1.9% in terms of premium value and around 1.6% in terms of number of fonts. The growing channel is Bancassurance, where the share of premium recoveries increased from 16.6% in FY14 to 29% in FY21. However, in the case of private insurers, the share of “bancassurance” is around 55%, while the LIC depends mainly on “individual agents”.
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