History of India’s Insurance Business

History of India’s Insurance Business

We find the term ‘Yogakshemam Bahamayam’ in our ancient texts. This suggests that a form of "community insurance" was prevalent around 1000 BC and practised by the Aryans. In modern times, Triton Insurance Co. Ltd. was the first general insurance company to be established in India in 1850. The Bombay Mutual Life Insurance Society started its business in 1870. It was the first company to charge same premium for both Indian and non-Indian lives. The Oriental Assurance Company was established in 1880. Thereafter, many players emerged. By 1956, there were around 240 private life insurers and more than 100 general insurers. The Government of India, concerned by the unethical standards adopted by some players against the consumers, nationalised the industry in two phases in 1956 (life) and in 1972 (non-life). The government brought together life insurers under one nationalised monopoly corporation and LIC was born. The general insurance business remained in the private sector till 1972. Then, nearly 107 insurers were amalgamated and grouped into four companies- National Insurance Company, New India Assurance Company, Oriental Insurance Company and United India Insurance Company. They were subsidiaries of the General Insurance Company (GIC).

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