Insurance Companies in India

The earliest history of Insurance in India can be traced back to the time of the Vedas (The name of the corporate headquarters of Life Insurance Corporation of India’ yogakshema, is derived from the Rig Veda). In modern times, history of insurance in India dates back to the pre-independence days. The first major initiative towards insurance took place in India when the Oriental Life Insurance Company was established by Europeans in Kolkata in 1818. The Bombay Mutual Assurance Society, the first Indian life assurance society, was formed in 1870. Besides companies such as Empire of India was also set up in the late 19th century. The insurance industry in India got a big boost when during the anti-British Swadeshi movement several new insurance companies were set up.

The government, in order to exercise control on those growing companies, has passed the Insurance Act in 1912, followed by a detailed and amended Insurance Act of 1938. By the mid-1950s, nearly 170 insurance companies and 80 provident fund societies had prevailed in India’s insurance industry. The Life Insurance Corporation of India, the biggest insurance company in India, was set up in 1956.

In 2000, the Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority (IRDA) was set up to supervise the insurance business. The Govt. of India has also opened up the insurance sector in 1999 by allowing private companies to sell insurance and also inviting FDI upto 26%. Currently there are a large number of private insurance companies (life and general) in India, many of which are even joint ventures with internationally known insurance companies.

The insurance sector India in the beginning was an open competitive market. It got nationalized and again reverted to the policy of liberalization. The life insurance business in India started in the year 1818 with the establishment of Oriental Life Insurance Company in Calcutta.

List of Top Insurance Companies in India

Life Insurance Corporation of India (LIC) ICICI Lombard General Insurance Met Life India Insurance Company Ltd.
SBI Life Insurance Co. Ltd. Bharti AXA Life Insurance Company Ltd.� Kotak Mahindra Old Mutual Life Insurance Limited�
Bajaj Allianz United India Insurance Co. Ltd Future General India Insurance Company Limited
Reliance Life Insurance (RLIC) New India Assurance Co. Apollo Munich Health Insurance Company Limited
ICICI Prudential Life Insurance Iffco Tokio General Insurance IDBI Fortis Life Insurance Company Ltd.
Tata AIG Oriental Insurance Co. Canara HSBC Oriental Bank of Commerce Life Insurance Company Ltd.�
ING Vysya Life Insuranc ING Vysya Life Insurance Aegon Religare Life Insurance Company Limited
Birla Sun Life Financial Services IndiaFirst Life Insurance Company Ltd� DLF Pramerica Life Insurance Company Limited�
Max New York Life Insurance Co. Ltd Sahara India Life Insurance Co, Ltd.� Star Union Dai-Ichi Life Insurance Company Limited�
HDFC Standard Life Insurance Shriram Life Insurance Co, Ltd.� Edelweiss Tokio Life Insurance Co. Ltd.
ICICI Prudential Life Insurance AVIVA Life Insurance Cholamandalam MS General Insurance Co. Ltd.

In 1912, Indian Life Assurance Companies Act was the first statute to regulate life insurance business in India. In 1956, 245 Indian and foreign insurance companies were nationalized. In the same year, LIC was formed under the LIC act.

The various forms of life insurance are as follows:
Endowment policy
Whole Life Policy
Term Life Policy
Money-back Policy
Joint Life Policy
Group Insurance Policy
Loan Cover Term Assurance Policy
Pension Plans
Unit Linked Insurance Plan

The major life insurance company in the public sector is LIC (Life Insurance Corporation). It is a public life insurance company.

Private Life Insurance Companies:
HDFC Standard Life
Max New York
ICICI Prudential
Om Kotak Mahindra Life Insurance
Birla Sun-Life
Aviva Life Insurance
Bajaj Allianz

General insurance provides protection against accidents, illness, fire, burglary, etc. Major insurance policies covered under this are:

  • Home Insurance– Policies Broadly cover building structure and contents inside home.
  • Health Insurance– covers for expensive treatments, cashless hospitalization, critical illness
  • Motor Insurance– covers against loss and damage of vehicles, protection against legal liabilities
  • Travel Insurance– gives security to travels abroad, unforeseen expenses while travelling.

The history of general insurance can be traced back to the Triton Insurance Company Ltd. of Calcutta (1850) which is the first general insurance company to be established in India. In 1907, the Indian Mercantile Insurance Ltd, the first company to transact all classes of general insurance business. In 1972, the General Insurance Business (Nationalization Act) was passed and this nationalized general insurance business in India.

General Insurance Companies in India
Bajaj Allianz General Insurance Co. Ltd. Tata-AIG General Insurance Co. Ltd. Bharti Axa General Insurance Co Ltd
ICICI Lombard General Insurance Co. Ltd. United India Insurance Co. Ltd. IFFCO Tokio General Insurance
National Insurance Co.Ltd. Star Health and Allied Insurance Co Limited Reliance General Insurance Co. Ltd.
The New India Assurance Co. Ltd Apollo DKV Insurance Co Ltd Royal Sundaram Alliance Insurance Co. Ltd
The Oriental Insurance Co. Ltd.

In 1973, 107 insurers amalgamated and grouped into 4 companies:
National Insurance Company, New India Assurance Company, Oriental Insurance Company and United India Insurance Company
In 1993, Malhotra Committee was formed to evaluate the Indian insurance industry and create an efficient and competitive financial system.

Among the many recommendations chief are :
Government stake in the insurance companies to be brought down to 50%
Greater freedom should be given to insurance companies
Private companies with paid up capital of Rs 1 billion should be allowed to enter the industry.
Foreign companies can enter the industry but only through collaboration with domestic ones.
No company should deal with both general and life insurance through the same entity.
In each state, only one state level life insurance company can operate.


Car Insurance Companies in India
United India Insurance Ltd� Bharti Axa Future Generali�
HDFC Ergo Oriental Insurance PNB Motor Insurance
ICICI Lombard Mahindra Insurance� Axis Motor Insurance


Health Insurance Companies in India
Star Health & Allied Insurance Company Limited� ICICI Lombard New India Assurance
Max Bupa Health insurance Bajaj Allianz Health Insurance National Insurance
Apollo Munich Oriental insurance Max New yok Life Health Insurance
Reliance Health insurance United India Insurance


Travel Insurance Companies in India
Bajaj Allianz General Insurance Co. Ltd. TATA AIG General Insurance Co. Ltd. HDFC ERGO General Insurance Co. Ltd
The Oriental Insurance Co. Ltd. Reliance General Insurance Co. Ltd. IFFCO TOKIO General Insurance Co. Ltd.
ICICI Lombard General Insurance Co. Ltd. United India Insurance Co. Ltd The New India Assurance Co. Ltd
National Insurance Co. Ltd. Star Health & Allied Insurance Company Limited


Business Insurance Companies in India
Aviva India� IRDA india� Royal Sundaram Alliance Insurance Co Ltd.�
General Insurance Corporation of India� Kotak Life Insurance� Tata AIG General Insurance Company Limited�
ING Life Insurance� LIC india�

Last Updated on : 12th Sept. 2013

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