1.0 Industry Profile
1.1 General Introduction
Insurance in India can be traced back to the Vedas. For instance, yogakshema, the name of Life Insurance Corporation of India’s corporate headquarters, is derived from the Rig Veda. The term suggests that a form of “community insurance” was prevalent around 1000 BC and practiced by the Aryans. Burial societies of the kind found in ancient Rome were formed in the Buddhist period to help families build houses, protect widows and children. Bombay Mutual Assurance Society, the first Indian life assurance society, was formed in 1870. Other companies like Oriental, Bharat and Empire of India were also set up in the 1870 – 90 s. it was during the swadeshi movement in the early 20th century that insurance witnessed a big boom in India with several more companies being set up. As these companies grew, the government began to exercise control on them. The Insurance Act of 1938 that looked into investments, expenditure and management of these companies’ funds. By the mid – 1950 s, there were country’s life insurance scene. However in the absence of regulatory systems, scams and irregularities were almost a way of life at most of these companies. As a result, the government decided nationalizes the life assurance business in India. The life Insurance Corporation of India was set up in 1956 to takeover around 250 life companies. 1.2 Industrial background
The first methods of transferring or distributing risk were practiced by Chinese and Babylonian traders as long ago as the 3rd and 2nd millennia BC, respectively. Chinese merchants travelling treacherous river rapids would redistribute their wares across many vessels to limit the loss due to any single vessel's capsizing. The Babylonians developed a system which was recorded in the famous Code of Hammurabi, c. 1750 BC, and practiced by early Mediterranean sailing merchants. If a merchant received a loan to fund his shipment, he would pay the lender an additional sum in exchange for the lender's guarantee to cancel the loan should the shipment be stolen. Achaemenian monarchs were the first to insure their people and made it official by registering the insuring process in governmental notary offices. The insurance tradition was performed each year in Nowruz (beginning of the Persian New Year); the heads of different ethnic groups as well as others willing to take part, presented gifts to the monarch. The most important gift was presented during a special ceremony. When a gift was worth more than 10,000 Derrik (Achaemenian gold coin) the issue was registered in a special office. This was advantageous to those who presented such special gifts. For others, the presents were fairly assessed by the confidants of the court. Then the assessment was registered in special offices. The purpose of registering was that whenever the person who presented the gift registered by the court was in trouble, the monarch and the court would help him. Jahez, a historian and writer, writes in one of his books on ancient Iran: "Whenever the owner of the present is in trouble or wants to construct a building, set up a feast, have his children married, etc. the one in charge of this in the court would check the registration. If the registered amount exceeded 10,000 Derrik, he or she would receive an amount of twice as much." A thousand years later, the inhabitants of Rhodes created the 'general average', which allowed groups of merchants to pay to insure their goods being shipped together. The collected premiums would be used to reimburse any merchant whose goods were jettisoned during transport, whether to storm or sinkage. The ancient Athenian "maritime loan" advanced money for voyages with repayment being cancelled if the ship was lost. In the 4th century BC, rates for the loans differed according to safe or dangerous times of year, implying an intuitive pricing of risk with an effect similar to insurance. The Greeks and Romans introduced the origins of health...
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