The insurance sector in India has come a full circle from being an open competitive market to nationalization and back to a liberalized market again. Tracing the developments in the Indian insurance sector reveals the 360 degree turn witnessed over a period of almost two centuries. A brief history of the Insurance sector
The business of life insurance in India in its existing form started in India in the year 1818 with the establishment of the Oriental Life Insurance Company in Calcutta. Some of the important milestones in the life insurance business in India are:
1912: The Indian Life Assurance Companies Act enacted as the first statute to regulate the life insurance business.
1928: The Indian Insurance Companies Act enacted to enable the government to collect statistical information about both life and non-life insurance businesses.
,1938: Earlier legislation consolidated and amended to by the Insurance Act with the objective of protecting the interests of the insuring public.
1956: 245 Indian and foreign insurers and provident societies taken over by the central government and nationalized. LIC formed by an Act of Parliament, viz. LIC Act, 1956, with a capital contribution of Rs. 5 crore from the Government of India.
The General insurance business in India, on the other hand, can trace its roots to the Triton Insurance Company Ltd., the first general insurance company established in the year 1850 in Calcutta by the British.
Some of the important milestones in the general insurance business in India are:
1907: The Indian Mercantile Insurance Ltd. set up, the first company to transact all classes of general insurance business.
1957: General Insurance Council, a wing of the Insurance Association of India, frames a code of conduct for ensuring fair conduct and sound business practices. 1968: The Insurance Act amended to regulate investments and set minimum solvency margins and the Tariff Advisory Committee set up.
1972: The General Insurance Business (Nationalization) Act, 1972 nationalized the general insurance business in India with effect from 1st January 1973. 107 insurers amalgamated and grouped into four companies viz. the National Insurance Company Ltd., the New India Assurance Company Ltd., the Oriental Insurance Company Ltd. and the United India Insurance Company Ltd. GIC incorporated as a company. INDIAN INSURANCE INDUSTRY:
Insurance industry, as on 1.4.2000, comprised mainly two players: the state insurers: Life Insurers:
Life Insurance Corporation of India (LIC)
• General Insurance Corporation of India (GIC) (with effect from Dec'2000, a National Reinsurer)
GIC had four subsidiary companies, namely (with effect from Dec'2000) these subsidiaries have been de-linked from the parent company and made as independent insurance companies. 1.
The Oriental Insurance Company Limited