What is general insurance?
All the insurance policies excluding a life insurance policy fall under the category of general insurance policy. General insurance in India is in the form of motor insurance, health insurance, travel insurance, mediclaim, marine insurance, home insurance etc.
Unlike life insurance which is available for a lifetime, general insurance policies or general insurance products are only valid for a specific duration of time. After this time you are required to renew the policy. However, there are a few policies that are valid for a lifetime.
Hence, to be precise general insurance products offer coverage to the insured for the loss or damage caused due to a specific event.
Meaning of general insurance
The concept of general insurance is that it applies to a large pool of people who may suffer the same damage in the same situation or region. The amount collected towards the cost of the premium is defined as the pool. So whenever anyone from this pool faces damage or a problem, compensation is paid to him/her from this collected pool.
For instance, if 10 people pay a health insurance premium of Rs. 5000 annually to an insurance company, then the company generates Rs.50,000 a year. Out of these only a few may fall sick in a particular year and may require hospitalization. Let us imagine if 1 or 2 among them fall sick and have a medical bill of Rs.10,000 and Rs.5000. In this case, the insurer pays Rs.15,000 from the 50,000 health insurance premium collected.
This is the concept involved in all general insurances like motor insurance, travel insurance, health insurance etc. The main idea of a general insurance policy is to keep you away from any financial crisis or mishaps by letting you not pay out of your pockets.
Types of general insurance
Different types of general insurance policies are available in the market. Out of which a few are
The motor insurance covers all types of damages and losses that occurred to a vehicle on-road and off-road. Motor insurance is mostly a third-party insurance policy and it is mandatory to purchase it while owning a vehicle. It also covers the vehicles from any natural or man-made calamities.
Different types of motor insurance are Private car insurance policy, Two wheeler insurance policy, and Commercial vehicle insurance policy.
Health insurance policies offer coverage to the policyholders against the healthcare costs incurred due to illness or injury. A health insurance policy comes with different add-ons and riders. You can use it with the existing policy per your convenience. It helps you curb the financial loss due to an accident or injury.
These health insurance plans come with a cashless claim facility, where the insurance company settles the medical bills directly to the hospital itself. Additional inclusions include annual health check-ups, ambulance cover etc.
Also read: Why health insurance? A complete guide
Travel insurance plan compensates you for bad experiences like flight delay, loss of baggage, loss of passport, unforeseen medical emergency while travelling and so on. Hence it covers unforeseen medical and non-medical emergencies while travelling. Various types of travel insurance are individual travel policy, student travel policy, family travel insurance etc.
Marine insurance covers damages in the import and export of goods at the national borders. These damages can be financial losses in the form of destruction of the shipments or other mishaps. Hence, a marine cargo insurance policy covers goods, cargo etc, against damage by road, rail, sea or air.
List of general insurance companies in India
Here is the list of general insurance companies in India. The data mentioned here are in accordance with the IRDAI annual report 2020 21.
Public sector general insurance companies
National Insurance Company Limited
The New India Assurance Company Limited
The Oriental Insurance Company Limited
United India Insurance Company Limited
Major general insurance private sector companies in India
Acko General Insurance Ltd
Bajaj Allianz General Insurance Co. Ltd
Bharti AXA General Insurance Co. Ltd.
Cholamandalam MS General Insurance Co. Ltd.
Edelweiss General Insurance Co. Ltd.
Future Generali India Insurance Co. Ltd
Go Digit General Insurance Ltd.
HDFC ERGO General Insurance Co. Ltd.
ICICI Lombard General Insurance Co. Ltd.
IFFCO Tokio General Insurance Co. Ltd.
Kotak Mahindra General Insurance Co. Ltd.
Liberty General Insurance Ltd.
Magma HDI General Insurance Co. Ltd.
Navi General Insurance Ltd.
Raheja QBE General Insurance Co. Ltd.
Reliance General Insurance Co. Ltd.
Royal Sundaram General Insurance Co. Ltd
SBI General Insurance Co. Ltd.
Shriram General Insurance Co. Ltd.
Tata AIG General Insurance Co. Ltd.
Universal Sompo General Insurance Co. Ltd.
Specialized insurers are those who underwrite worker’s compensation liabilities and manage employee’s compensation claims in a specific industry. Hence, they become responsible for worker’s health, safety, injury management and return to work programs in a specific industry.
Agriculture Insurance Co. of India Ltd.
Standalone health insurance companies in India
Aditya Birla Health insurance Co. Ltd
Care Health Insurance Ltd.
HDFC ERGO Health Insurance Co. Ltd.
ManipalCigna Health Insurance Co. Ltd
Max Bupa Health Insurance Co. Ltd
Reliance Health Insurance Ltd.
Star Health and Allied Insurance Co. Ltd.
Reinsurer is a company that offers financial protection to insurance companies. In this way the insurance company can expand its business by purchasing insurance from reinsurers. Hence, the risk is balanced.
General Insurance Corporation of India
Hence, a general insurance company will offer different products based on individual needs. There can be different products like health insurance policies, motor insurances, mobile insurances etc. One can also claim tax benefits for paying premiums against health insurance. As a result these general insurance policies serve as a solid financial protection against unforeseen circumstances.
Also read : Health insurance tax benefits