Indian Life Insurance Sector: An Overview

18 Pages Posted: 8 Feb 2009 Last revised: 21 Jun 2009

See all articles by Saif Siddiqui

Saif Siddiqui

Centre for Management Studies, Jamia Millia Islamia (Central University), New Delhi, India

Date Written: February 8, 2009


In India, the history of life insurance dates back to the year 1818, with the Oriental Lie Insurance Company in Calcutta. At that time a higher premium was charged for Indian lives than the English lives, as Indian lives were considered riskier for coverage. In 1870, the first company to charge same premium for both Indian and non-Indian lives was, The Bombay Mutual Life Insurance Society. The life insurance regulation formally began in India in 1912 after the passage of The Life Insurance Companies Act of 1912 and the Provident Fund Act of 1912.

The Government of India liberalised the insurance sector in March 2000, with the passage of the Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority (IRDA) Bill. This act lifted all entry barriers for private and foreign companies to enter the Indian market. Two legislations, which govern this sector, are: The Insurance Act - 1938, and the IRDA Act - 1999. This paper produces an overview of present position of Life Insurance Sector in India and study various economic indicators related to all Life Insurance Companies operating in India.

Keywords: Life Insurance, IRDA Act- 1999, Indian Life Insurance Sector

JEL Classification: G22

Suggested Citation

Siddiqui, Saif, Indian Life Insurance Sector: An Overview (February 8, 2009). Available at SSRN: or

Saif Siddiqui (Contact Author)

Centre for Management Studies, Jamia Millia Islamia (Central University), New Delhi, India ( email )

New Delhi
New Delhi, Delhi 110025

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