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Delhi News

LIC plans to increase agent strength by 40%, ramp up HR systems



India’s largest insurer is also looking to revamp its human resources systems in its drive to make the oldest insurance company more technologically advanced, said people aware of the development



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Categories
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Insurance industry will continue to see M&A deals, new entrants



Merger and acquisitions will continue to be a part and parcel of the sector, which is a highly capital intensive sector and can accommodate new entrants with specialised skill sets having long-term vision.


The past developments in this sector and recent decision of the Mumbai National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT) allowing merger of Exide Life with HDFC Life is an indication that entities without requisite expertise may quit the sector.


In order to equip itself with the complexities of merger and acquisitions, the Regulatory and Development Authority of India (IRDAI) has started looking for consultants who can undertake valuation of state-owned and private sector insurers, and train its officials about valuation methodology and processes.


Market players and analysts are of the view that the sector has significant potential for development and there will be new entrants in the and also (M&A) deals.


“The sector, like others, has witnessed some merger and acquisitions in the past and will continue to witness them and newer opportunities will emerge in the future.


“Players with sound underwriting practices, strong financials and right management practices will continue to grow in the long-run,” said Anand Pejawar, Deputy Managing Director, SBI General Insurance.


Pejawar further said India’s insurance landscape is vast and there is immense scope and enough volume for players to co-exist. Given the scope for growth in the sector, both large and niche players can continue to operate in the market.


Currently there are 24 life insurance companies and 31 non-life or general insurance firms, including specialised players like the Agriculture Insurance Company of India Ltd and ECGC Limited.


There have been consolidation in the insurance space in the recent past — Bharti AXA General Insurance merger with ICICI Lombard General Insurance was completed in September 2021 and HDFC Ergo acquired Apollo Munich Health Insurance Company in 2020. In 2016, HDFC Ergo General Insurance acquired a 49 per cent stake from L&T in L&T General Insurance.


Avinash Singh, analyst with Emkay Global Financial Services said “… given the advantage from economies of scale, in all possibility, the top 10 players in life and general will command 90 per cent or more of the profit pool”.


Experts were of the view that the main requirement in both life and general insurance is to bring in more capital and invest the capital into developing the business.


“M&A, while useful in building scale does not necessarily bring more capital to the business. So, I think there is the opportunity for many more insurers to enter, as opposed to a consolidation that is implied in an M&A,” said Kapil Mehta, Co-founder, SecureNow.


Economies of scale are important but that can also be achieved by business growth rather than just M&A, Mehta added.


Pavanjit Singh Dhingra, Joint Managing Director, Prudent Insurance Brokers said “there will be new entrants and there will be M&A – it is a natural process.”

Insurance companies are also collaborating with insurtechs to provide innovative solutions and deliver a unified experience throughout the customer journey from distribution, service, to claims.


Shailaja Lall, Partner, Shardul Amarchand Managladas & Co said the insurance sector is highly capital intensive and there is going to be continued investment activity in the insurance sector, especially with respect to insurtech companies, led by private equity funds.


“In the recent past, several promoters of insurers have completely or partially exited their insurance ventures to focus on their core business, including the recent exit of Exide Life Insurance’s promoters from its insurance business, and the subsequent merger of Exide Life with HDFC Life Insurance which recently received approval from the NCLT,” Lall said.


Insurance penetration in India increased from 3.76 per cent in 2019-20 to 4.20 per cent in 2020-21, registering a growth of 11.70 per cent.


Last year, the government brought an amendment in the Insurance Act to allow increasing foreign holdings in insurers from 49 per cent to 74 per cent.


Besides, Parliament passed the General Insurance Business (Nationalisation) Amendment Bill, 2021, allowing the central government to pare stake to less than 51 per cent of the equity capital in a specified insurer, paving the way for privatisation.


According to a study, India is likely to become the sixth largest insurance market in the world in the next 10 years, supported by regulatory push and rapid economic expansion.

(Only the headline and picture of this report may have been reworked by the Business Standard staff; the rest of the content is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)



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Categories
Delhi News

Retail protection demand should come back in H2 of FY23: HDFC Life MD & CEO


Vibha Padalkar, Managing director and chief executive officer (MD & CEO) at HDFC Life Insurance



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Over next few quarters, Axis Bank will increase stake: Max Life CEO


Prashant Tripathy, MD & CEO, Max Life Insurance



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Business Standard has always strived hard to provide up-to-date information and commentary on developments that are of interest to you and have wider political and economic implications for the country and the world. Your encouragement and constant feedback on how to improve our offering have only made our resolve and commitment to these ideals stronger. Even during these difficult times arising out of Covid-19, we continue to remain committed to keeping you informed and updated with credible news, authoritative views and incisive commentary on topical issues of relevance.

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Life insurers are at the cross-roads


As government pension and retirement schemes become less sustainable, ensuring financial security for the older population will become the central focus for life insurers in India

Topics
Life Insurance | Life insurers | BS Opinion

The global life insurance industry has seen major transformations over the past decades, but none have been as course-altering as the Covid-19 pandemic. The pandemic reminded life insurers across the globe that protecting people against risk will continue to remain at the heart of insurance offerings.

It also brought into focus two dominant themes, health and retirement, as the imperative business drivers in the decades ahead. By 2030, the number of persons aged 60 and over will have increased by more than 50 per cent. Furthermore, lifestyle diseases such as diabetes and heart disease …




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First Published: Sun, September 26 2021. 21:39 IST





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