Money & Banking

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

G Naga Sridhar Hyderabad | Updated on January 11, 2019 Published on January 11, 2019

There are several reasons why more women are opting for life cover   -  File photo

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.

Published on January 11, 2019

A letter from the Editor


Dear Readers,

The coronavirus crisis has changed the world completely in the last few months. All of us have been locked into our homes, economic activity has come to a near standstill. Everyone has been impacted.

Including your favourite business and financial newspaper. Our printing and distribution chains have been severely disrupted across the country, leaving readers without access to newspapers. Newspaper delivery agents have also been unable to service their customers because of multiple restrictions.

In these difficult times, we, at BusinessLine have been working continuously every day so that you are informed about all the developments – whether on the pandemic, on policy responses, or the impact on the world of business and finance. Our team has been working round the clock to keep track of developments so that you – the reader – gets accurate information and actionable insights so that you can protect your jobs, businesses, finances and investments.

We are trying our best to ensure the newspaper reaches your hands every day. We have also ensured that even if your paper is not delivered, you can access BusinessLine in the e-paper format – just as it appears in print. Our website and apps too, are updated every minute, so that you can access the information you want anywhere, anytime.

But all this comes at a heavy cost. As you are aware, the lockdowns have wiped out almost all our entire revenue stream. Sustaining our quality journalism has become extremely challenging. That we have managed so far is thanks to your support. I thank all our subscribers – print and digital – for your support.

I appeal to all or readers to help us navigate these challenging times and help sustain one of the truly independent and credible voices in the world of Indian journalism. Doing so is easy. You can help us enormously simply by subscribing to our digital or e-paper editions. We offer several affordable subscription plans for our website, which includes Portfolio, our investment advisory section that offers rich investment advice from our highly qualified, in-house Research Bureau, the only such team in the Indian newspaper industry.

A little help from you can make a huge difference to the cause of quality journalism!

Support Quality Journalism
This article is closed for comments.
Please Email the Editor