India plans to host first global insurance summit to attract investments

New Delhi: India plans to host the first state-sponsored global insurance summit later this year to flag challenges facing the industry, turn the global spotlight on Indian insurers and attract investments, an official aware of the matter said, at a time much of the developed world is bracing for an economic downturn.

The department of financial services, along with insurance sector associations and insurance companies, are working on the roadmap for organizing this conference that is slated to be the world’s biggest, the official cited above said on condition of anonymity.

The event will bring together leaders and top executives from top insurers, reinsurers, broking firms, actuarial organizations and regulators on one platform.

The event would coincide with India’s ongoing G-20 presidency, and leverage the global focus on India. It may be organized closer to the heads of government meeting under G-20 some time in September, though the exact time and venue are still being worked out.

“We hope to bring in close to a dozen global heads on companies involved in insurance operations. Efforts are also on to bring regulators from the developed world too along with government representatives and key policymakers,” the official cited above said.

A query sent to the finance ministry remained unanswered till press time.

Though Indian industry associations do organize similar events, this would be the first with participation from various governments and policy makers.

The insurance sector, with its large investment portfolio and universal coverage of personal and business risks, ensures financial stability, trade and commerce, contributing to economic growth.

In India, the sector has seen rapid transformation over the last couple of years. The pandemic has accelerated the pace of digitalization of the sector, even as insurance penetration has picked up with rising demand for health and life insurance policies.

The insurance regulator recently launched an ‘Insurance for all by 2047’ mission, and unveiled several measures to boost growth in the sector. The regulator expects the Indian insurance market to reach $200 billion by 2027.

Though the industry has seen rapid developments in recent past, the Indian insurance market is also facing certain inherent challenges in the form of insufficient penetration brought about by lack of financial awareness, trust in insurance, fragmented ecosystem and high distribution cost.

India’s insurance penetration was pegged at 4.2% in FY21, with life insurance penetration at 3.2% and non-life insurance penetration at 1.0%. To address the issue of cost, the Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India (Irdai) had introduced online platform Bima Sugam, where insurance products could be bought and sold directly to customers reducing costs and altering the distribution process.

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