The concept of insurance was introduced in this country a little before the start of the nineteenth century. Until 1871 the life insurance firms in the country offered insurance only to the British who lived in India. As a result of the Swadeshi movement in 1872 the Bombay Mutual Life Assurance Company was established to be run by Indians for Indians. Between 1903 and 1912 as many as thirty-eight offices commenced operation all over the country.
In January 1956, the entire life insurance business in India was nationalized whereby the Government took over the life insurance business from the private sector. Thus the LIC of India came into being on September l, 1956.
In the not so very distant past insurance was restricted to life insurance. This is no longer the case and there exist a variety of insurance services such as health, house, car, travel insurance etc. The General Insurance Corporation along with its subsidiaries was taken over by the Government of India on May 13, 1973, thus nationalizing the entire insurance sector of the country.
The major schemes of insurance are those of the Life Insurance, General Insurance and the Postal Life Insurance.
The LIC deals with insurance of life and employs 90,000 people. The GIC deals with every type of insurance except life i.e. motor, marine, personal accident and fire insurance. It has four subsidiaries namely National Insurance, the New India Assurance, The Oriental Fire and General Insurance and United India Insurance.
With the rapid increase and growth of specialized industry and engineering and the heavy finances involved in such sectors the insurance sector has received a major impetus for growth. Every pragmatic businessman gets his business insured. An insurance cover is taken so that. in the event of any mishap, damage or loss, the sufferer can easily seek reimbursement.
There is also greater awareness and concern for ensuring life coverage in the event of death or disability of the family income earner. 'This has resulted in a variety of life insurance policies to suit all income groups. Income-tax deductions have also been introduced to make life insurance policies more attractive.