The total assets of the Indian life insurance industry have hit Rs 34 lakh crore while the asset under management (AUM) has touched around Rs 32 lakh crore in 2017-18.

In an exclusive interview with the Asia Insurance Post, V. Manickam, Secretary-General Life Insurance Council, said every year investment portfolio of the life insurance companies are growing around Rs 3 lakh crore. 


`As on 31st March 2018, it was around Rs 32 lakh crore. Out of it, Rs 25.3 lakh crore relating to public sector insurer-Life Insurance Corporation- and the remaining Rs 6.6 lakh crore pertaining to  all the private sector life insurance companies,’’ he said.


Churning out further break-ups of indutsry's total investment, he said the total investment in Central & State Government Securities being Rs19.42 lakh crore which constitute more than 60 per cent of investments which is 10 per cent over the mandatory investment norms set by the insurance regulator IRDAI.The industry's exposure towards Infrastructure, Housing and loans to State Governments for housing etc is at Rs. 3.84 lakh crore.


Approved investments such as equity and corporate bonds etc being Rs7.58 lakh crore and other investments are more than Rs.1.06 lakh crore for the life insurnace industry as on March 2018 .

However, the non performing assets (NPA) in the life insurance industry during the previous financial year was around Rs18,000 crore. In FY 2017-18 the same is around Rs 22,700 crore.


In-force policies continue to be at around 33 crore for past 5 years in the industry despite spike in number of policy payouts, said Manickam. 

“For year ended 31st March 2017, 97.74% of individual death claims and 99.31% of group death claims were settled.With regard to the pending claims, I wish to inform that 0.47% of individual and 0.26% of group death claim relates outstanding and the balance being repudiated or rejected claims,’’ he said.


Disagreeing with the view that the growth of life insurance business has slowed down in 2017-18, he said that there is no slowdown in new business growth and the industry is registering growth over growth. 

“In fact, in terms of New Business Premium, the life insurance has been registering an impressive double-digit growth for past three years. However, in terms of number of policies, we have been able to register a single-digit growth.’’ he said.

The total New Business Premium underwritten by the Indian life insurance industry till 31st March 2018 was Rs.1, 93,865 crore as compared to Rs 1, 74,675 crore last year.

“We have been selling more than 2.5 crore policies every year in the past three years.In FY 2017-18 the industry sold more than 2.8 crore policies as on 31st March, 2018,’’ he said

However , the number of agents has remained stagnant for the past three years. Total number of agents in the industry was at 20.82 lakh during the year gone by from 20.88 lakh in the previous fiscal. added Manickam. 

In terms of new business premium, the percentage share of Ulip is around 14 per cent for the period ended 31st March 2018.

New Business under Pension segment (both individual and Group) was around Rs 52,000 crore (Provisional) as on 31st March, 2018.  


Of the total New Business Premium, approximately 13 per cent  business is underwritten through Bancassurance channel.

“Post the increase in FDI limits, the Indian life insurance sector has attracted approximately Rs 14,000 crore as FDI,’’ said Manickam. 

According Manickam, 18 out of 24 companies are profitable in life insurance space in 2017-18. The profitability has grown keeping in view the facts like increase in premium, increase in investment income and reduction in management expenses,  

As on 31st March 2018, the total number of branches of life insurers was 11,111. Total direct employment in the industry was 2.65 lakh now as compared to 2.49 lakh in last fiscal. 


Approximately 3 crore policies were sold by the life insurers under the Pradhan Mantri Jeevan Jyoti Bima Yojana during 2017-18. Nine out of 24 companies are offering the PMJJBY scheme out of which 8 are private players. 

“We have been able to sell around 5.33 core policies under PMJJBY scheme during last couple of years.It is possible to sell more policies given the large number of insurable population in India, provided the premium under PMJJBY scheme is increased from currently Rs 330 to Rs. 450 for a sum assured of Rs. 2 lakh. The claim payout in PMJJBY is higher than the premium received under the scheme and at present the PMJJBY Scheme is not viable for the life insurers.’’ opined Manickam,