The insurance sector of India has 34 insurers writing non-life classes of business, according to the regulator. Four of these are public sector companies, and six are specialist health insurers. In addition, there is one domestic reinsurer, nine branches of foreign reinsurers and Lloyd's India. Of the five leading companies in the non-life market in 2018-19, four were wholly or partially state-owned.

Last reported non-life insurance premiums (fiscal year 2018-19, ending 31 March 2019) were 9.2% higher than in 2017-18. Premiums for PA and healthcare written by non-life insurers were up from the previous period by 20.91%.

The local market had expected approval for the merger of the three state-owned insurers (United India, National Insurance and Oriental Insurance) by the end of May 2020, but the government instead cancelled the process in July 2020. Rather, the companies continued as separate entities to improve their performance and readying them for possible public listings.

Changes to local insurance regulations increased the maximum investment allowed in an Indian insurance company by foreign interests and set out the conditions for such investments.

Motor is the largest business class, with a market share of 38.3% in 2018-19, followed by PA/healthcare (29.5%) and miscellaneous (20.3%). Most of the miscellaneous portfolio represents crop insurance, the bulk of which relates to the government-subsidised Comprehensive Crop Insurance Scheme.

GIC Re increased its fire rates for 291 occupancies, in line with new burning costs issued by the Insurance Information Bureau (IIB), with effect from 1 January 2020. The industry welcomed the change, as competition had lowered property rates to unsustainable levels, but the Automotive Tyre Manufacturers' Association brought a complaint against GIC Re to the Competition Commission of India (CCI), claiming that its increases were anti-competitive and an abuse of its market dominance. In February 2021 the CCI dismissed the complaint, reflecting a similar judgement by the High Court made in response to a legal action relating to rate increases imposed by GIC Re on certain categories of industrial risk in 2019.

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic and the general lack of insurance cover available in India for such an event, the Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India (IRDAI) set up a working group to investigate the possibility of establishing a market pool that might cover risks such as business interruption which does not follow material damage. The working group report was issued in September 2020, recommending the creation of a pool backed by a government guarantee.


The immediate future of the Indian non-life insurance and reinsurance market will depend on a number of factors. Stay up to date with all changes with Axco's Insurance Market Reports.