FY 2016-17 ended on good note for the general insurance industry. General Insurance Council (GIC) data shows that the non-life insurance companies have sold over 16 crore policies in FY 2016-17.
The policy count went up by 27% from 12.6 crore in FY 2015-16 to 16.1 crore in FY 2016-17. While four PSU insurers sold close to 9 crore policies, their private counterparts distributed over 6 crore polices.
Industry officials attribute this growth to the increasing demand of health and motor insurance policies. The industry received gross direct premium of Rs.9285 crore and Rs.13,850 crore through health insurance and motor insurance respectively in FY 2016-17. Both account for over 70% of overall gross direct premium of the industry.
In addition, the launch of social security schemes such as Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana (PMFBY) has added to this growth, said officials. The industry has collected close to Rs.20,000 crore through this scheme.
Another reason for increase in sales of non-life policies is the recruitment of new insurance agents to the non-life business. Over 64,000 agents joined non-life business taking its total agent count to 6.60 lakh in FY 2016-17.
GIC data shows that agents sell almost 40% of non-life insurance products. A rough estimates shows that the industry has sold close to 6.5 crore policies through individual agents.
R Chandrasekaran, Secretary General, General Insurance Council pointed out that banks and insurance brokers sold non-life products last fiscal. He said, “These intermediaries do not like to sell life insurance to retail customers as they feel the effort and expenses incurred in acquiring and servicing customers is too high. Instead, they focus on selling large ticket size non-life products like group health insurance, motor insurance and liability insurance to corporates.”
Currently, IRDAI allows individual agents to sell policies of three insurers – one life insurance company, one non-life insurer and one standalone health insurer.