Life is uncertain and unpredictable. One can only have a proactive measure in place to deal with unpleasant situations. Hence, the concept of ‘insurance’ was introduced with a motive to mitigate the risk and to provide protection. Insurance is the primary way of managing life risk. There are various types of insurance policies available today to protect your loved ones and the things you love. In a life insurance policy, Insurance indemnifies to pay the insured person’s family a certain sum of money in the event of insured’s demise. When it comes to choosing the right insurance plan, you are spoilt with choices as there are various insurance players in the market offering plenty of unique plans.
In India, there are 24 life insurance companies operating which have been approved and recognised by IRDAI (Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority in India), which is a regulatory body for insurance and reinsurance industries.
Importance of insurance
Insurance is an essential cost that one needs to make in order to secure the future of his/her family. Even the financial advisers suggest you to avail insurance before you start with your financial planning. Insurance is an important necessity for various reasons. Following are some of the reasons:
- Insurance provides you with financial security and safety net:
If something unforeseen happens to the bread earner of the family, the financial situation of the family may come to a standstill. Insurance compensation can become a source of income for the family and stabilise the finances. With insurance, your family is financially secure even when you are not around.
- Insurance safeguards you and your family’s future goals:
The sudden demise of a family’s breadwinner can have the worst repercussions on the family’s financial stability. With insurance, your family can achieve financial stability even when you are not around. Also, their future financial goals will stay intact.
- Insurance encourages savings:
There are various products offered by the life insurance companies that not only provide life cover but also provide a provision for wealth creation to achieve future goals. The requirement of periodic investment into such products encourage savings. For example, endowment plans, money back plans, unit-linked investment plans etc.
- Insurance is an effective risk management tool:
The insurance covers uncertainties such as the risk of death, risk of getting hit, falling sick and many more. Insurance is all about managing these risks effectively. Every insurance policy provides coverage against insured risk.
- Insurance provides peace of mind:
As insurance manages risk effectively, you can only make regular payments towards insurance and stay tension-free. Peace of mind is what you get by insuring.
Top #15 insurance companies in India:
Following is the list of top insurance companies in India
- Life Insurance Corporation of India
Life Insurance Corporation of India popularly known as LIC is the largest life insurance company in India owned by the Government of India. LIC, one of the top 10 insurance companies in India, came into existence in the year 1956. LIC makes insurance accessible for every person in any corner of the country with 2048 branch offices, 113 divisional offices, 8 zonal offices and 1381 satellite offices. Currently, LIC’s total asset under management is INR 3,111,847 crores (USD 450 billion). LIC being the dominant insurance player has a huge customer base of over 29 crores policyholders. LIC is a trusted insurance brand that offers great convenience to its customers through its excellent customer services on the digital platform and also through branch offices and various other tie-ups. LIC offers numerous life insurance products that can meet the unique needs of a variety of customer segments. For all the milestones it has achieved, LIC has been consistently recognised and awards. Following are some of the awards received by LIC:
- LIC has been consistently winning the Reader’s Digest Trusted Brand Award
- According to the Brand Trust Report, LIC has been consistently voted as ‘India’s Most Trusted Brand’ in BFSI category
- LIC has won ‘Best Life Insurance Company of the Year’ and ‘Most Preferred Life Insurance Company of the Year’ award
- Max Life Insurance Company
Max Life Insurance Company founded in the year 2000 is the largest non-bank private sector insurance company in India. Max Life Insurance Company is a joint venture between Indian Max India Ltd, a multi-business Indian corporate and Mitsui Sumitomo Insurance Company, a Japanese Insurance Company. It is one of the fastest-growing insurance companies in India and Max Life’s asset under management has now touched the mark of INR 50,000 crores. Max Life has a customer base of more than 30 lakhs. With strong online presence, wide portfolio of products, multi-distribution channel and 1090 offices across the country, Max Life Insurance Company provides high-quality customer services. Max Life has been receiving awards and recognitions consistently. With high claim settlement ratio, Max Life has been awarded as ‘Claims Service Leader’ and ‘Excellence in Claims Service’ by CMO Asia Awards
- HDFC Life Insurance Company
HDFC Life Insurance Company, one of the top insurance companies in India is a joint venture between HDFC Ltd, leading housing finance institution in India and Standard Life Aberdeen, a global investment company. Founded in the year 2000, HDFC Life offers a wide array of insurance and investment solutions to various customer segments. HDFC Life serves its customers across the country through 412 branches and additional distribution touchpoints and bancassurance partners. With strong digital platform, services are accessible easily to the customers. HDFC Life has received many accolades and awards for its continuous contribution to the Indian Insurance Industry. Following are some of the details:
- HDFC Life is ranked as ‘Most Valuable Private Life Insurance Indian Brand’
- HDFC Life has received ‘Creative Excellence Award’ at INDIAA awards 2018
- HDFC Life has received ‘Best Life Insurance Company’, ‘Best Analytic Initiative of the Year’ and ‘Best Underwriting Initiative of the Year’ at BFSI awards.
- HDFC Life is recognised as the Best 50 PCI Companies for 2019
- ICICI Prudential Life Insurance
ICICI Prudential Life Insurance Company is promoted by ICICI Bank Limited and Prudential Corporation Holdings Limited. Founded in the year 2000, ICICI Prudential Life is one of the best insurance company in India having its presence all over the country today with its strong bancassurance channel and multiple distribution channels. Total assets under management of the company is INR 1,604.10 billion. With the customer-centric approach, ICICI Prudential Life offers various long-term protection and savings plans for a diverse customer segment. For its excellence in the field of insurance, ICICI Prudential Life Insurance Company has been receiving many accolades and awards. Let’s take a look at few of such recognitions.
- ICICI Prudential Life has received ‘Life Insurance Company of the Year’ award at India Summit and Awards 2019
- ICICI Prudential Life has received ‘Life Insurance Provider of the Year’ by Outlook Money Awards 2018
- ICICI Prudential Life has received ‘Best Term Insurance Provider of the Year’ award by Money Today Financial Awards 2017-18
- ICICI Prudential Life is awarded as ‘Best Customer Orientation in Life Insurance’ award by Emerging Asia Awards 2018
- ICICI Prudential Life is awarded as ‘Best Growth in Life Insurance’ category by Emerging Asia Awards 2018
- Tata AIA Life Insurance Company
Tata AIA Life Insurance Company is a joint venture between Tata Sons Private Limited, one of the largest business groups and AIA Group Limited, Asia’s largest insurance group. Tata AIA Life Insurance Company’s asset under management in 2019 is INR 28,430 crores. Being one of the trusted insurance brands in India, Tata AIA Life offers numerous insurance solutions starting from protection to wealth creation. The policies provide simple solutions for unique insurance needs along with excellent customer service.
- Bharti AXA Life Insurance Company
Bharti AXA Life Insurance was founded in the year 2006. It is a joint venture between AXA Group and Bharti Enterprises. Strong financial expertise and domestic business excellence of these companies have laid a strong background for the company. Bharti AXA Life has introduced various innovative insurance products to cater to the unique needs of customers. Bharti AXA Life’s distribution network is spread across 123 cities in the country. The company has a customer base of more than 10, 50,000. The company offers various plans starting from protection plan to save, health and group plans and most of them are offered conveniently on an online platform.
- Bajaj Allianz Life Insurance Company
Bajaj Allianz Life Insurance Company founded in the year 2001 is a joint venture between Bajaj Finserv Limited of Bajaj Group. Bajaj Allianz Life has 759 branches across the country to offer innovative insurance solutions to various customer segments. Bajaj Allianz Life Insurance is known for its strong innovative products and timely customer service. The company has won various awards and recognition for its contribution to the insurance industry. Following are some of the awards received by Bajaj Allianz Life Insurance:
- Bajaj Allianz Life has been recognised as the ‘Digital Marketer of the Year 2018’ in the insurance category
- Bajaj Allianz won the ‘Customer Service Excellence Award’ at the NASSCOM BPM Strategy Summit 2018.
- Bajaj Allianz Life ranked amongst the Top-75 Most Valuable Indian Brands
- SBI Life Insurance Company
SBI Life Insurance Company is a joint venture between State Bank of India (SBI), India’s largest bank and BNP Paribas Cardif, French multinational bank and financial services company. Currently, SBI Life Insurance has an authorised capital of INR 20 billion (USD 290 million). SBI Life was first started as a bancassurance business which is now extended to the multi-distribution channel. With customer service excellence and product innovations, the company has been growing year on year. SBI Life has received many awards and accolades for the work in the field. Following are some of them:
- SBI Life has won ‘Brand of the Year 2016-17’ award in the insurance category
- SBI Life has won ‘Private Sector Life Insurance Company of the Year’ award at Fintelekt Insurance Awards
- SBI Life has won ‘Bancassurance Leader, Life Insurance’ in large companies category.
- Reliance Nippon Life Insurance Company
Reliance Nippon Life Insurance Company, founded in the year 2001 is one of the leading insurance companies in India catering to various segments of people. Reliance has more than 10 million policyholders. The company has made insurance accessible for many through its strong distribution network of 727 branches. Reliance Life has a product for every possible need of the individual. Currently, the company’s assets under management is INR 20,281 Cr. The company has received many awards.
- Reliance Life has received ‘Innovative Insurance Provider of the Year’ at ET BFSI Excellence Awards 2019
- Reliance Life has received ‘Best Risk Innovation of the Year’ award
- Reliance Life has won ‘Best Life Insurance Company (innovative Products)’ title
- AEGON Life Insurance Company
AEGON Life Insurance Company, founded in the year 2008 is one among the best to offer various life insurance solutions to various customer segments. AEGON Life is the new age company with a strong digital presence and a diverse product portfolio. The company has received many awards and recognition
- AEGON Life has received ‘E-business Leaders Award’ at Indian Insurance Awards
- AEGON Life has received ‘Celent Model Insurer Asia Award’
- AEGON Life has won ‘Most recommended Life Insurance Brand 2013’
- Aviva Life Insurance Company
Aviva Life Insurance Company is a joint venture between Aviva plc, a British Assurance Company and Dabur Group, an Indian conglomerate. With more than 121 branches and 9000+ employees, Aviva Life has been offering a wide array of insurance products starting from protection plan to savings and retirement plans. Online products, customer service and many more areas makes the company one of the top insurance companies in India. Aviva Life has been awarded as the ‘Best and Most Trusted Brand, 2019’
- Birla Sun Life Insurance Company
Aditya Birla Sun Life Insurance Company, founded in the year 2000 is a subsidiary of Aditya Birla Capital Limited. Aditya Birla Sun Life Insurance Company was formed by coming together of Aditya Birla Group and Sun Life Financial, leading international financial services organisation in Canada. Birla Sun Life is one of the best insurance companies in India that offers a diverse range of insurance solutions starting from protection plan to pension plan, savings plan and many new-age products. Total assets under management of the company is INR 4, 10,110 million. The company has its presence across the country with 425 branches, 9 bancassurance partners, 6 distribution channels and 85,000+ direct selling agents. Birla Sun Life Insurance Company has received many accolades and awards for its continued contribution to the industry.
- Kotak Life Insurance Company
Kotak Life Insurance Company is one of the fastest-growing and top insurance companies in India with a base of 20 million + policyholders. Kotak Mahindra Bank is the parent company for Kotak Life Insurance. Kotak Life Insurance Company offers a diverse range of insurance products to every section of society with unique features. Currently, the company has 32+ products, 18 riders, 10 Unit Linked Investment Plans and 9 group products to offer. The company’s assets under management stands at INR 25,936 crore. Kotak Group has achieved many milestones in the financial services field and has been awarded and recognised consistently for its achievements.
- PNB MetLife Insurance Company
PNB MetLife Insurance Company is one of the best insurance companies in India founded in the year 2001. The company serves customers over 7,000 locations through its multi-distribution channels by offering numerous life insurance and savings products. PNB MetLife has received many awards for its excellence in the field of insurance.
- PNB MetLife has won an award for ‘Best in Diversity and Inclusion’ by People Matters Awards 2019
- PNB MetLife has received ‘Best Product Innovation’ award for Mera Heart and Cancer Care plans at National Awards for Excellence in Insurance
- PNB MetLife has been awarded as ‘Most Sustainable Company of India’
- Canara HSBC OBC Life Insurance Company
Canara HSBC OBC Life Insurance Company was founded in the year 2008 is one of the top insurance companies in India. The company came into existence by coming together of the two largest public sector banks in India – Canara Bank and Bank of Commerce along with HSBC Insurance Holdings Limited. Canara HSBC OBC Life has a customer base of around 60 million customers. With the huge network of banks and distribution channels, the company is offering insurance products accessible for everyone across the country.
Following is the list of best insurance companies in India
Sl. No Company Name Claim Settlement Ratio (2017-18) Premium (in INR) 1 Life Insurance Corporation of India 94.45% 17,228 2 Max Life Insurance Company 95.26% 10,148 3 HDFC Life Insurance Company 88.63% 12,478 4 ICICI Prudential Life Insurance 92.03% 12,502 5 Tata AIA Life Insurance Company 94.00% 9,912 6 Bharti AXA Life Insurance Company 96.29% 9,440 7 Bajaj Allianz Life Insurance Company 83.94% 14,067 8 SBI Life Insurance Company 92.13% 15,070 9 Reliance Nippon Life Insurance Company 86.11% 11,012 10 AEGON Life Insurance Company 94.58% 8,331 11 Aviva Life Insurance Company 92.25% 9,007 12 Birla Sun Life Insurance Company 90.51% 10,270 13 Kotak Life Insurance Company 88.88% 9,558 14 PNB MetLife Insurance Company 82.40% 10,146 15 Canara HSBC OBC Life Insurance Company 92.03% 9,491
(Please note: Sample premium for the term plans of the insurance company are calculated for INR 1 Cr sum assured taken for 30 years tenure by 30-year-old healthy man)
Frequently Asked Question (FAQs):
- What is the claim settlement ratio?
Claim settlement ratio in insurance is a total number of death claims approved by an insurance company out of the total number of death claims received by an insurance company for the financial year. The claim settlement ratio denotes the company’s ability to pay or compensate.
- What is life insurance?
Life insurance is a legal agreement between two parties insured (policyholder) and the insurer (insurance company), wherein insurer indemnifies to pay a certain sum of money to the designated nominee in the event of the demise of the policyholder (insured) in return of premium paid by the insured.
- How does life insurance work?
Life insurance covers the risk of death. In case the policyholder dies during the policy term, compensation, as agreed in the life insurance agreement, will be paid to the designated nominee of the policyholder.
- What are the tax benefits offered under life insurance plans?
Premium paid towards life insurance investment qualifies for tax deduction under Section 80C of the Income Tax Act, 1961. The benefits paid out in a Lump Sum are exempt from income tax under Section 10 (10D) of the Income Tax Act, 1961.