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Insurance Agents bring 66% of new business premium in life insurance

Agents bring 66% of new business premium in life insurance

LIC has procured 96% of its new business premium through individual agents.
Team Cafemutual Feb 18, 2019

Individual agents continue to dominate sales in the Rs.35 lakh crore life insurance industry with over 66% of new business premium brought by them in FY 2017-18. The contribution of insurance agents was even higher in case of LIC compared to private players. Individual agents procured 96% of the new business premium of LIC compared to 28% in case of private players.

The banking channel drives majority sales of private life insurers. Close to 55% of the new business premium of private players came through the banking channel last fiscal. This is because five of the top 10 private life insurers by AUM have a bank sponsor.

Direct sales has also gained marginal traction in the life insurance industry. The new business premium through direct channel has also increased from 4.54% in FY 2016-17 to 5.6% in FY 2017-18, a growth of 1.06%. While LIC procured 1.47% of its new business premium from direct sales, the number was 10.91% for private companies. The share of online sales has remained static for the period. Private insurers procured 1.03% of their new business premium through online sales while LIC procured 0.16%.

Meanwhile, direct channel drove majority of the sales in group life insurance policies. Life insurance companies have sold 94% of such policies directly in 2017-18. Corporates tend to buy life insurance policies for their employees directly from life insurers to save cost. The contribution of direct channel in new business premium for group life policies was 99% for LIC and 74% for other private insurers. Banks were an important channel for private insurers in group insurance too. They contributed 12.57% of the total group new business premium.

Individual new business performance of life insurers for FY 2017-18 (in % of premium)

Life Insurer

Individual Agent


Direct Agents


Private Total










Industry Total





Source: IRDAI


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