Insurance is that financial product that you wished you had bought when bad times come in the form of an untimely death, a medical emergency, an accident or a theft. India is moving slowly from a country that simply saves more to absorb the risk to one where modern financial products are used to mitigate the risk of future events. This shift shows up in the numbers of the life and general insurance industries in India that together see an annual premium flow of more than a huge ₹6 trillion.
It will be 20 years next year of the insurance industry opening up to the private sector. These years saw a state-owned monopoly market turn into a vibrant industry with the private sector entering the industry aggressively. Today there are 23 life and 28 non-life private sector insurance firms in India. Both life and non-life industries have evolved in these two decades. The early years were about establishing the business, getting the wallet share of a market that had only dealt with government firms, issues of underwriting, distribution channels, disclosures, mis-selling and changing regulations. The next 20 will be crucial as the industry matures and deals with a changing demography, technology, regulation and market order. Issues of fraud, risk of the judiciary as the unexpected externality in the business, the millennial mind and the pressure to list are some of the issues that the next two decades will see.
On Tuesday, at Mint Insurance Conclave, with the theme 20 years of privatization, Agenda for the next 20 years, in Mumbai, insurance heavyweights will debate the next 20 years of this ₹4.58 trillion life and ₹1.51 trillion general insurance industry.
Two panels of thought leaders and insurance experts will discuss and debate emerging trends, challenges the industry faces in reaching out to customers and opportunities that technology can bring.
The Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India (Irdai) chairman Subhash Chander Khuntia will deliver the keynote address. This will be followed by two panels. Panel one will have Alice G. Vaidyan, chairman-cum-managing director, General Insurance Corp. of India, Antony Jacob, managing director (MD), Apollo Munich Health Insurance Co. Ltd, Bhargav Dasgupta, MD and chief executive officer (CEO), ICICI Lombard General Insurance Ltd, Rakesh Jain, executive director and CEO, Reliance General Insurance Co. Ltd, and Warendra Sinha, MD and CEO, IFFCO Tokio General Insurance Co. Ltd unpack this topic. The panel will look at the major developments in the non-life sector in the past two decades and talk about the role regulations, technology and increasing consumer awareness can play to make insurance a win-win for consumers and the industry in the next 20 years.
Panel two will see B. Venugopal, MD, Life Insurance Corp. of India, N.S. Kannan, MD and CEO, ICICI Prudential Life Insurance Co. Ltd, Pankaj Razdan, deputy CEO, Aditya Birla Capital and MD and CEO, Aditya Birla Sun Life Insurance Co. Ltd, Prashant Tripathy, MD and CEO, Max Life Insurance Co. Ltd, R.M. Vishakha, MD and CEO, IndiaFirst Life Insurance Co. Ltd, and Vibha Padalkar, MD and CEO, HDFC Life Insurance Co. Ltd discuss issues of disclosure, mis-selling, distribution channels, underwriting and fraud. The panel will debate some of these issues with the aim of identifying both the major issues and their solutions that will make the industry ride the next 20 years.