The Indian non-life market has seen 12-15% growth each year since liberalisation in 2000, a phenomenon which Ms Inga Beale, CEO of Lloyd's, described as impressive.
Speaking at a press conference on the sidelines of the 11th India Rendezvous 2018 in Mumbai, she said: “Very few markets in the world have shown such a double-digit growth.’’
Mentioning that it has been a long journey for Lloyd’s in India to arrive at this stage where Lloyd’s India branch is functioning today, Ms Beale said: “From Lloyd’s perspective, we are very excited about working in India because we believe we can play a valuable supporting role – working in partnership with the local market.” Lloyd's set up its presence in the country last year.
Later yesterday, business was mixed with pleasure at the welcome cocktail reception of the Rendezvous, which is organised by Asia Insurance Review. The three-day Rendezvous opened in Mumbai yesterday with more than 700 participants from over 30 countries, which is a record to date.
In her Global Keynote Address at the Rendezvous last evening, Ms Beale sounded a note of both caution and optimism for India.
Concentration of assets
Highlighting the country’s rapid urbanisation and the concentration of assets in these urban locations and the consequential enhanced risks, she said the Indian economy can be adversely affected if these critical aspects are not well taken care of.
Zeroing in on Mumbai, the Maximum City, she said: “It is a risky place where a lot of value is concentrated in a very small area. Lloyd’s is here to enhance the expertise of the local insurance market so that the emerging risks can be adequately covered and protected.”
Ms Beale also noted the dramatic upsurge in agriculture insurance in India, and said that while this has contributed to a rise in insurance penetration in India, insurance penetration still remains very low by global benchmarks. This, however, provides a tremendous opportunity for the industry to make the most of it for the larger good.
Attracting the young
Speaking about bringing in fresh talent into the insurance industry, Ms Beale said: “It is our collective responsibility to sell the insurance story to young bright minds. There is a lot that young minds can contribute to the growth and development of the industry provided we can ignite their passion for the industry.”
Insurance can make the economy more resilient
As the world’s largest democracy and third largest economy in Asia, India has achieved a significant and stable economic growth despite the macroeconomic turbulence around the world.
However, there are no guarantees that these impressive growth rates are sustainable because India is exposed to increasing frequency of natural catastrophes, said Ms Beale.
Lloyd’s Global Underinsurance Report of 2012 had said that a one percentage point increase in insurance penetration is associated with a reduced burden on the taxpayer of one fifth of estimated total damage in case of a loss.
Ms Beale said: “The insurance industry can contribute a lot towards making the Indian economy more resilient. Lloyd’s can help support the expansion of insurance penetration in India and limit the economic impact of catastrophes.”
She added: “Lloyd’s will help create a thriving hub for reinsurance in India, accelerate the international growth of domestic insurers, and safeguard economic growth in the face of disasters.”