Life insurance is a contract bound between an insurance policy holder and an insurer, where the insurer pledges to pay a designated and fixed sum of money upon the demise of the insured individual. Depending on the contract, various other events like terminal illness or critical illness may also prompt for payment. The policy holder has to pay a premium, either in installments or as a lump sum.Some times other expenses such as the funeral expenses are also included in the premium.The main advantage for the policy owner is a “peace of mind” in understanding that the death of the insured individual will not result in any financial difficulties for the loved ones.Life policies are legal contracts and the terms and conditions of the contract describe the limitations of the insured events. However, specific exclusions are more often not described due to the limit of the liability of the insurer. Some common examples regarding claims such as suicide, fraud, war, riot and civil commotion, etc are not included in cover for claim of life insurance.Life insurance is the fastest growing sector in India since 2000. The Indian government has given the private players and FDI’s upto 26% stake in the insurance sector. Life insurance in India was nationalized by incorporating LIC in 1956. All private life insurance companies during that time were taken over and governed by LIC.The government of Republic of India set up the RN Malhotra committee in 1993 to lay down a road map which would lead to privatization of the life insurance sector in India.Though the committee submitted its report in 1994, it took another 6 years before the legislation was passed in the year 2000, legislation amendment of the insurance act of 1938 took place and legislating the insurance regulatory and development authority act was passed in 2000. In the same year, the newly appointed insurance regulator – insurance regulatory and development authority IRDA began issuing licenses to private life insurance.Some of the Life insurers in private sector are mentioned below:· SBI Life· Metlife India· ICICI Prudential· Bajaj Allianz· Max New York· Sahara Life· Tata AIG· HDFC Standard· Birla Sunlife· Kotak· Aviva· Reliance· ING Vysya· Shriram· Bharti AXA Life· Future Generali· IDBI Fedaral· AEGON Religare· DLF Pramerica· CANARA HSBC Oriental Bank of Commerce· IndiaFirst_· Star Union Dia-ichi· Edelweiss TokioAccording to the current FDI norms, foreign participation in an insurance company has been restricted to 26% of its equity. The insurance regulators have stipulated that foreign investment in Indian Insurance companies to be limited to 26% of total equity issued by investment includes foreign insurance companies for a change in regulations to increase the FDI limit by 49%.The Indian government has agreed to an increase in the FDI limit, which requires a change in the Insurance Act. The union budget for the fiscal year 2005 had suggested that the ceiling on foreign holdings can be increased upto 49%.A change in the insurance act will require the passing of the bill in both the houses of the parliament. The Indian government has tabled the bill in the upper house of parliament in August 2010.At Angel Broking, the financial advisors not only explain all the nuances on Life Insurance but also help the investor in choosing the right Insurance Policy for self. For more details, please contact: Tel: (022) 3935 7600 or SMS EBRO to 5757587.
Life Insurance Industry in India
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