India is the tenth largest life insurance market worldwide and fifth largest in Asia. India continues to be an under penetrated market as compared to Japan, Thailand and Korea. The Indian life insurance industry has been riding on a lot of positives over the last few decades on the back of favourable demographics, rapidly increasing incomes and savings and growing digitisation. Increase in financial savings as a percentage of household savings, coupled with increase in share of insurance as a percentage of financial savings, is expected to drive growth in the life insurance sector. Demographic factors such as a growing middle class, a young insurable population and growing awareness of the need for protection and retirement planning should support the growth of the life insurance industry for the future years. SBI Life Insurance is a joint venture between India’s largest bank State Bank of India and leading global insurance company BNP Paribas Cardif. SBI Life offers a comprehensive range of life insurance and pension products at competitive prices, ensuring high standards of customer service and world class operating efficiency. The company offers individual and group products which include savings and protection plans to address the insurance needs of diverse customer segments. It has a multi-channel distribution network comprising an expansive Bancassurance channel with SBI, which has an unrivalled strength of over 22,000 branches across the country. SBI Life also has a large and productive agent network comprising 121,137 agents, as on 30 June 2019. The company’s other distribution channels include direct sales and sales through corporate agents, brokers, insurance marketing firms and other intermediaries. As on 30 June 2019, the company has a widespread network of 922 offices across the country to address customer needs. The company posted excellent financial results for Q1FY20 with new business across segments and profit rising year on year. The SBI Life Insurance stock quoting at Rs 815 is a good buy for portfolio investors with a long term investment perspective. With structural growth drivers in place, the Indian life insurance industry is supporting and mirroring the Indian growth story and analysts are bullish on the SBI Life stock for decent appreciation over long term.
Rajiv Kapoor is a share broker, certified mutual fund expert and MDRT insurance agent.