Straight from the Specialists
(The views expressed in this column are the author’s own and do not represent those of Reuters)
From the year 2000 onwards, the Indian insurance industry saw a number of private players entering through the gates thrown open by the government. Public sector player LIC had already gained an edge by being a pioneer in the life insurance space. With an army of agents, LIC was way ahead of these latecomers and found itself settled comfortably.
It was evident that LIC relied heavily on its strong agent base. The latecomers, in their struggle to make a mark in the newly opened insurance market, followed suit. It was a herculean task for these private players to ape the insurance giant and more than a decade later, they still find themselves striving to gain substantial market share.
Getting exceptionally good agents on board, training them, retaining existing agents has been a constant struggle faced by the industry as a whole. The industry also explored other distribution channels like brokers, corporate agents and bancassurance but is still constantly being haunted by profitability issues.