13.6         ndian      onom
        (iii) The exporter should be capable of                   the development and expansion of the sector,
                executing the contract, as evident from           there is no doubt in it. But still the sector faces
                his previous track record.                        many challenges which, if only tackled well may
           The use and benefits of the NEIA need to be            one say that insurance is serving the interests of
     publicised among its beneficiaries. Meanwhile,               the insuring companies and the covered alike. As
     many export projects pertaining to Indonesia,                per the concerned experts, the major challenges
     Vietnam, Iran, Sudan, etc., are under way. The               Indian insurance is facing today may be seen as
     NEIA will facilitate potential project exporters to          given below:
     enter the international trade area, as it is expected9             (i) As per various estimates, only 20 per cent
     to be so. In the era of globalisation it has been                        of the insurable Indian population is life-
     praised as a welcome development by the experts                          insured; the share of India in global life
     and the trade people alike.                                              insurance is just 0.66 per cent; and life
                                                                              insurance penetration is at present 2.53
        the chaLLenGe aheaD                                                   per cent (2004) in the country.10
                                                                                 The message of life insurance needs
     Since the opening up of the insurance sector, the                        to be publicised among the population,
     number of participants in the insurance industry                         specially in the rural areas. Moreover,
     has gone up from seven insurers (including the                           social security schemes should be
     Life Insurance Corporation of India [LIC], four                          expanded to cover the poor masses who
     public-sector general insurers, one specialised                          lack the premium-paying capacity.
     insurer, and the General Insurance Corporation as
                                                                      (ii) Experts suggest that health insurance
     the national re-insurer) in 2000 to 52 insurers as on
                                                                              could emerge among the most
     30 September 2012 operating in the life, non-life,
                                                                              important factors of improving human
     and re-insurance segments (including specialised
                                                                              development in the country if expanded
     insurers, namely the Export Credit Guarantee
                                                                              in a focussed way and via an action
     Corporation and Agricultural Insurance Company
                                                                              plan. It is estimated that around 15 per
     [AIC]). Four of the general insurance companies,
                                                                              cent of the Indian population is covered
     viz., Star Health and Alliance Insurance Company,
                                                                              under some form of pre-payment on
     Apollo Munich Health Insurance Company,
                                                                              healthcare which includes employees
     Max BUPA Health Insurance Company, and
                                                                              and beneficiaries covered under ESIS,
     Religare Health Insurance Company function as
                                                                              CGHS, Armed forces, Central Police
     standalone health insurance companies. Of the 23
                                                                              organisations, Railways, employer self-
     insurance companies that have set up operations
                                                                              funded schemes, the PSUs and pensions
     in the life segment post opening up of the sector,
                                                                              covered under health insurance.11 As
     21 are in joint ventures with foreign partners.
                                                                              the out of pocket expenditure in India is
     Of the 21private insurers who have commenced
                                                                              as high as 70 per cent, it is believed that
     operations in the non-life segment, 18 are in
                                                                              the health insurance sector in the country
     collaboration with foreign partners.
                                                                              needs strong presence. As per the NSSO
          After the state monopoly in the insurance                           (2015), the coverage of the government-
     sector was dismantled and private players’ entry
     allowed, the IRDA has played a crucial role in                 10.    S. Krishnamurthy, CEO & MD, SBI Life Insurance Co.
                                                                           Ltd. Survey of Indian Industry 2007, The Hindu, p. 91
        9.   S. Prabhakaran, Executive Director, ECGC, Mumbai       11.    Aloke Gupta, Health Insurance Consultant, Survey of
             in Survey of Indian Industry 2007, The Hindu, p. 84.          Indian Industry, The Hindu, p. 94.