Mumbai–Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India (IRDAI) Chairman T.S. Vijayan on Thursday said the insurance industry has opened up with a 17 per cent compound annual growth rate (CAGR) on premiums.

“The Indian economy is also growing, but the growth rate of the insurance industry is higher. Look at the beautiful way in which the insurance industry has opened up, with 17 per cent CAGR on premiums,” he said while addressing “Fincon 2017” event organised by Ficci.

He pointed out that this growth was taking place amidst major disruption in the business environment brought about by technology, and the industry needed to keep up with these changes to sustain its growth.

Highlighting the central government’s initiatives like JAM (Jan-Dhan, Aadhar and Mobile), Digital India and Start-up India helped the industry reach 12 crore customers in one year, Vijayan said.

He observed that the biggest challenge of insurance was “not on the first sale but on renewal”.

Life Insurance Corporation of India’s Chairman V.K. Sharma said: “This year is the year of insurance. We will be ending with flying colours.”

He also added that life insurance would move from a “push” to a “pull” product. The most important catalyst in this move would be the adoption of technology.

G. Srinivasan, Chairman-cum-Managing Director, New India Assurance Co Ltd, foresaw phenomenal changes in the Indian insurance industry in the coming years. This change would be catalysed by technology, competition, regulations, customer aspirations, and high growth, he said.

In order to attain this growth, a skilled group of people with domain expertise will be needed, Srinivasan said, adding: “We don’t have the infrastructure to produce those people.” (IANS)