For the first time, privately held general insurers have overtaken their state owned rivals in market share in terms of GWP in April.
While private insurers grabbed 51.63% of the general insurance market, the public sector managed 48.37% in April, reported Press Trust of India citing IRDAI data.
In April, the four government owned general insurers saw their GWP grow by 5.42% to INR5,904 crore (US$917 million), while their peers in the private sector expanded GWP by 27.88% to INR6,302 crore, the data show.
Over the last three years, the market share of government owned general insurers declined from 55.09% in FY2015 to 53.21% in FY2017. Private sector players saw their market share rise from 44.91% to 46.79% over the same period.
State owned National Insurance's Chairman and Managing Director Sanath Kumar said that the difference has been mainly due to agriculture business, where the private players have shown an increase of more than INR400 crore, compared to “hardly anything” for government owned insurers. Unlike their peers in the private sector, public sector insurers are new entrants to the crop insurance segment, which was a major driver of growth in the nonlife market last year.
Mr Kumar expects the government-owned sector to pick up growth in the coming months.
Commenting on the higher growth recorded by the private players, United India Insurance's acting Chairman and Managing Director AV Girija Kumar said one month's data is not sufficient to make any annual projection.
The four state-owned companies are New India Assurance; United India Insurance; Oriental Insurance and National Insurance. Privately held general insurers entered the market after the sector was opened in 2001. At present, there are 18 general insurance firms in the private sector.