Mumbai : Lloyd’s of London, better known as Lloyd’s, an insurance market located in the city’s financial district, is set to start its India operations in Mumbai by early 2017.John Nelson Global Chairman tells in an interview, he is hopeful the Indian insurance regulator will clear their pending application by the year end and pave the way for their formal India foray in early 2017.
Of all the major economies, India has the lowest penetration of insurance with total premiums amounting to only about 0.7 percent of the country’s gross domestic product, Nelson says while pointing at the huge potential for growth here. With commercialisation and urbanisation growing rapidly over the last few years, many kinds of risks are becoming applicable in India, he says, adding, the fact that the new government supports liberalisation of the insurance industry will help Lloyd’s tap the market better.
John Nelson, chairman, Lloyd’s, said: “We will start our India operations with just a couple of syndicates and would scale up gradually. We would target 8-10% growth in Indian market.” Currently, Lloyd’s underwrites under $200 million of business in different segments such as marine, liability, property, aviation and energy. Officials with the reinsurer said once they start operations in India, they will look at doing businesses for neighboring countries like Sri Lanka and Nepal. “With high economic growth, India is a high priority country for us. We will start our Indian operations with two syndicates and would grow our business in the country gradually by offering solutions for complex and specialist risks like infrastructure, energy, director and officer liability, trade credit, terrorism, and disaster management. For us, the Indian market from the Day 1 will be a high competitive market as other global reinsurers are also starting their operations in the country, ’’ Nelson said in Mumbai on Thursday.
Senior insurance players said with the passage of Insurance Act more reinsurers are likely to set up shops in India.Commenting on the regulations, Nelson said they are happy to be allowed to operate in the country. However, they do hope that the regulator will further liberalise its regulations for global reinsurers.For the Indian market, GIC Re, the country’s official reinsurer, has the first right to refusal in doing any reinsurance business. Officials also said Lloyd’s can help safeguard the economy in the wake of disasters and inject greater capacity, expertise and innovation to the Indian market. Lloyd’s will provide opportunities through investment. The $12.5 bn Indian non-life market is heavily state influenced, with 65% of reinsured risks staying onshore.