The number of individual life insurance policies issued to women in the financial year ended 31 March 2021 (FY2021) was around 9.3m which was 33.00% of the total number of 28.1m new policies sold to both men and women in the fiscal year, according to the 2020-2021 Annual Report of the IRDAI issued last month.
The 33% proportion was an improvement on the 32.23% recorded for FY2020.
In comparison, women comprise roughly 49% of the total population in India.
The findings are the result of a brief study on the participation of women in life insurance. Only individual new business data—number of policies and first-year premiums—for FY2021 were considered for the purpose.
The report also shows that the proportion of life insurance policies for women was 27% for privately-held life insurers and 35% for the country’s biggest life insurer LIC.
Other findings highlighted in the report include:
- Life insurance is available to women on the same terms as that of men, subject to however their income-earning capacity. In fact, there is a positive practice of according preferential treatment to the female lives by most of the life insurers while charging the premium as their life expectancy is higher.
- Insurance for women also depends on literacy levels, financial independence, financial decision making and possible moral hazard.
IRDAI publishes the data on women in the Annual Report to highlight the gender gap in life insurance in order to draw the attention and action of the life insurance industry, policy and opinion makers to this important segment. The report also describes that women’s contribution to the economic activity of the country as significant and is increasing every year. Under the circumstances, there is a need for life insurers to recognise the growing significance of the participation of women in the economy, identify their special needs or requirements, if any, and develop suitable product solutions to provide adequate life insurance coverage.