Insurance in India has its history dating back till 1818, when Oriental Life Insurance Company was started by Europeans in Kolkata to cater to the needs of European community. Pre-independent era in India saw discrimination among the life of foreigners and Indians with higher premiums being charged for the latter. It was only in the year 1870, Bombay Mutual Life Assurance Society, the first Indian insurance company covered Indian lives at normal rates.
The insurance sector went through a full circle of phases from being unregulated to completely regulated and then currently being partly deregulated. It is governed by a number of acts, with the first one being the Insurance Act, 1938.
- The Insurance Act, 1938
- Life Insurance Corporation Act, 1956
- General Insurance Business (Nationalisation) Act, 1972
- Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority (IRDA) Act, 1999
The insurance business in India can be broadly sub-divided into two categories:
- Life Insurance and
- General Insurance