How we zeroed in on the country's best Insurers- Business News

Business Today-Money Today Financial Awards: India's Best Insurers

How we zeroed in on the country's best Insurers

As per the Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority annual report, India is ranked 11 among 88 countries in the life insurance business. India's share in the global life insurance market was 2.08 percent in 2014. The share of non-life insurance premium was just 0.69 percent; India ranked 20 among non-life insurance markets.

In the first decade of insurance liberalization, the sector reported a consistent increase in insurance penetration from 2.71 percent in 2001 to 5.20 percent in 2009. However, since then, it has been declining, and reached 3.3 per cent in 2014. We still are far from understanding and adopting the concept of insurance.

To encourage insurers to keep serving the population at large, we decided to honor the best life insurance company, the best general insurance company and the best health insurance company based on five broad parameters. PolicyBazaar is our knowledge partner for the insurance category.

The parameters along with sub-parameters and weightages are given below. Scores for each insurer were calculated according to the weightages. The insurer with the highest score was the winner.

Health Insurance

Customer service & satisfaction (30%)

Percentage of claims settled (30 days);

No. of claims complaints per 10,000 claims registered;

Percentage of grievances resolved during 2014-15

Business Growth (25%)

Growth in retail health insurance premium

Financial strength, prudence & performance (20%)

Solvency margin ratio; incurred claims ratio; net profit ratio

Product Strength (20%)

Product feature ratings; no. of new products approved

Regulatory Compliance (5%)

No. of penalties imposed by IRDAI

Life Insurance

Customer Service & Satisfaction (30%)

Percentage of claims paid (individual/death);% of claims rejected (individual/death); no. of claims complaints per 10,000 claims registered; % of grievances resolved during 2014-15

Size & Scale (25%)

Percentage growth in new business market share;

Percentage increase in AUM; new business premium (including single premium)

Financial Strength, Prudence & Performance (20%)

Operating cost to 1st-year premium; Incurred claims ratio; Net profit ratio

Product Strength (20%)

Persistency Ratio (based on policy count)

Regulatory Compliance (5%)

No. of penalties from IRDAI

General Insurance

Customer Service & Satisfaction (30%)

Percentage of claims settled (90 days); No. of claims complaints per 10,000 claims registered;

Percentage of grievances resolved during 2014-15

Product Strength (25%)

Motor insurance net premium to total net premium; no. of new products approved

Financial Strength, Prudence & Performance (20%)

Solvency margin ratio; Incurred claims ratio; net profit ratio  Business Growth (20%)

Gross direct premium (within & outside India); net premium growth

Regulatory Compliance (5%)

No. of penalties imposed by IRDAI



Best Life Insurer

It is the largest insurer in India with asset value of Rs 17, 86,313 crore and total life fund of Rs 13, 59,829 crore as on March 31, 2015. It is known for offering diverse products such as traditional plans, pension plans and group schemes. On the basis of total premium income, its market share decreased from 75.39 per cent in 2013-14 to 73.05 per cent in 2014-15. But it still remains the market leader by a wide margin. It had a claim settlement ratio of as high as 98.19 per cent during 2014-15 as against 89.40 per cent for private insurers. This is what sets it apart from others.

"We believe that the success of any insurer depends on fulfilling the promises made. This is where LIC trumps. We concentrate on delivering on our promises and this is reflected in our claim settlement" Shiv Prabhat, Executive Director, Micro Insurance, LIC


Best Health Insurer

Star Health and Allied Insurance Co. Ltd. started operations in 2006. It is India's first stand-alone health insurance company with core focus on health insurance, overseas mediclaim and personal accident. Star Health expanded its business with an increase in gross direct premium collections from Rs 1,091 core in 2013-14 to Rs 1,469 crore in 2014-15. It became the first insurance company to launch a special policy for people suffering from cardiac ailments. Likewise, it has special policies for HIV and diabetic patients. Star Health has a vision to become the largest and most preferred health insurance company in India and to provide financial security for health care management.

"I have confidence that the health insurance industry will continue to see unabated growth due to prohibitive hospitalization costs. Further, with the Indian economy gaining momentum, more and more people will be able to avail of health insurance policies" V. Jagannathan, CMD, Star Health


Best General Insurer

New India Assurance Co Ltd is a government owned general insurer operating in 28 countries and headquartered in Mumbai. It claims to have over 170 products catering to almost all segments of the general insurance business, including petrochemical/oil & energy assets, power & steel plants, aviation fleets, satellites, large projects (including in infrastructure) and small and medium enterprises.

It has been expanding fast with gross premium income (in India) of Rs 13,209 crore in 2014-15 as against Rs 11,540 crore in 2013-14. Its market share increased to 15.60 per cent from 14.88 per cent during the period. It is the first Indian non-life company to reach Rs 16,050 crore gross premium. In 2014-15, it recorded the highest profit in India among all general insurers. It has presence across India through 2,097 offices, including more than 1,041 micro offices. It has 19,000 employees and around 50,000 tied agents with over 170 products catering to varied customers.