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Business Line, 03 January, 2006


Article
In the four years since the insurance sector was opened up to private players, premium earned is not the only criterion to measure the benefits of liberalisation. From being a monopoly till 2000, three private life insurance companies-Birla Sun Life Insurance-entered the life insurance sector in 2000-01.In 2001-02, eight more players entered the sector, taking the number of players to 12. Today, there are 13 private life insurance companies. Including LIC, the total number of players in the life insurance business stands at 14. The life insurers underwrote a premium of Rs 8,425.06 crore during the six months ended September 2004, as against Rs 5,435.95 crore in the corresponding period of the previous year recording a growth of 55 percent.

The statistics available on the premium underwritten in the life and non-life segments indicate that insurance penetration has increased with the opening up of the sector. The private campaigns, has increased awareness. In addition, tailor-made products have facilitated increased coverage. Customer satisfaction is further enhanced through various confidence building measures aimed at protecting the interest of policyholders.

Policies sold

Years - 2005* - 2004 2003 - 2002
Max New York Life - 2,80,000 - 2,14,000 - 1,13,000 - 75,000
ICICI Prudential - 6,14,519 - 4,36,115 - 2,46,827
Allianz Bajaj - 2,86,594 - 2,88,189 - 1,86,443 -1,15,965
Aviva - 1,75,000 - 4,25,000 - 1,80,000 - 2,50,000

Non-life insurance: Premiums earned Rs lakh
Years 2003-04 2002-03 2001-02

Royal Sundaram 13,223 7,649 1,308
Bajaj Allianz - 23,064 15,410 982
Tata AIG - 14.362 8,288 1,267
Reliance 2,632 932 121
IFFCO-Tokio 10,023 3,950 374
ICICI Lombard 7,908 2,723 141
Cholamandalam 2,383 110 - -
HDFC Chubb - 3,985 42 -
National - 2,38,781 1,96,596 1,81,679
New India 3,58,946 3,21,796 2,85,887
Oriental 1,97,246 1,85,577 1,82,071
United India - 2,13,663 2,10,938 1,97,279

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