In the last fiscal 2.86 crore life policies were sold with a first year premium of Rs 97,690 crore.
Chennai: The financial literacy among women seems to be increasing. Women’s share in the number of life insurance policies sold in 2018-19 as well as the first year premium has increased over the previous year. The number of women in the agency workforce too has moved up.
Share of women purchasing life policies moved up to 36 per cent in FY19 and their share in the first year premiums too rose to 37 per cent from 32 per cent in both cases in FY18. In the last fiscal 2.86 crore life policies were sold with a first year premium of Rs 97,690 crore. The number of policies bought by women went up from 90 lakh to 103 lakh and the first year premium from Rs 29,800 crore to Rs 36,525 crore, according to Irdai.
“We see that women today are far more independent and have much better financial awareness and understanding,” said Karthik Raman, CMO & Head – Products, IDBI Federal Life Insurance.
In an emerging trend, transgenders bought 1286 policies with a first year premium of Rs 45 crore in FY19.
The share of women buyers among private life insurers was 27 per cent and it was 39 per cent in case of LIC. Out of the 103 lakh policies bought by women, more than one-third was purchased by three states- West Bengal, Uttar Pradesh and Maharashtra. Out of the Rs 36,525 crore first year premium received from women buyers also these three states had more than one- third share.
West Bengal has made significant improvement in women participation as it is also topper in the percentage of women purchasers against total number policies bought in the state.
Though the number of women working as life insurance agents went up in FY19, their share remained almost flat. As many as 6,03,208 women were working as agents last fiscal against 5,79,220 women in FY18. Their share among the total agency force stood at 27.5 per cent against 27.8 per cent in FY18.
While private insurers increased their women agent force from 49.53 per cent in FY18 to 52 per cent in FY19, LIC became leaner with 48 per cent women agents against 50.47 per cent in FY18. Max Life continued to have the highest number of women agents followed by IDBI Federal Life Insurance as in the case of the previous year.
“With many women keen on a second career post marriage and children, life insurance is an attractive career option as it affords them financial independence while allowing them the flexibility to work at their own pace and be their own boss. As a result, more and more women are being drawn towards life insurance sales as a career,” finds Raman of IDBI Federal Life.
However, V. Viswanand, Deputy Managing Director of Max Life Insurance finds that insurance industry is still striving towards achieving a gender-balanced workforce.
According to him, women are intuitive and bring healthy competition to the table. “Challenging the conventional thinking process to enable innovation and creativity in business approach, they naturally exhibit soft skills such as creativity and communication, adding value to the organizational operations and enabling effective customer service and relationship,” he said.