More and more Indian women are buying life insurance, suggests IRDAI study

Posted on: January 12, 2019, by :

Maharashtra, Bengal, UP Pradesh accounted for a third of new policies in FY18

Indian women are increasingly opting for life insurance products, competing with men in getting their lives covered.

While women make up 48 per cent of the nation’s population, they now account for 32 per cent of the number of polices purchased and first-year premium in life insurance, according to a study on the participation of women in life insurance by the Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India.

Though there are no comparative data, industry captains see an at least 4-5 per cent surge in women policyholders in recent years.

“We surely see a spurt in women’s policies of late due to an increase in the number of working women as well as awareness on long-term social security,” RM Vishakha, MD and CEO, IndiaFirst Life Insurance, told BusinessLine.

In FY18, 2.82 crore policies were sold, with a first-year premium of 92,135 crore. Of the 90 lakh policies purchased by women, almost a third came from three States – Maharashtra (12 per cent), West Bengal (10.3 per cent) and Uttar Pradesh (9.4 per cent). There is, however, a difference in first-year premium data — here, the top three States were Maharashtra, West Bengal and Tamil Nadu.

At the national level, 210 persons purchased a life insurance policy for every 10,000 population. But broken up in terms of gender, 277 males purchased life cover for every 10,000 male population while, for women, it was 139.

As agents, too

In the marketing of policies, too, women are increasing their footprint. As of March 2018, women formed 27.81 per cent of the total agency force in the life insurance industry, at 5,79,220. Of these, 50.5 per cent work for LIC, and the rest with private insurers.

Among the private life insurers, Max Life has the highest percentage of women agents at 46.11 per cent, followed by IDBI Federal Life.

There are several reasons why more women are opting for life cover, such as rising awareness on the need for social security, wide availability of micro-insurance policies, increasing marketing in rural areas, and the bundling of insurance with low-cost or subsidised schemes.