Is greater foreign investment in India’s insurance sector still a pipe dream?

The Indian insurance industry has come a long way since the Oriental Life Insurance Company opened its doors in Calcutta in 1818, becoming the first insurer in India. The Triton Insurance Company established itself as India’s first general insurer in 1850, and in 1907 the first homegrown insurer arrived in the form of the Indian Mercantile Company of Bombay.

In those early days regulation was so light that the sector could have been described as unregulated, and this continued until the passing of the Indian Life Assurance Companies Act, 1912. Although focused on the regulation of life business in India, it was the first step on the regulatory path for the Indian insurance industry and it was followed by the more wide ranging Insurance Act, 1938.

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Neeraj Tuli is the managing partner and Celia Jenkins is a partner at Tuli & Co.