CUSTOMER BUYING BEHAVIOR WITH A FOCUS ON MARKET SEGMENTATION

INTRODUCTION: In today’s corporate and competitive world, I find that insurance sector has the maximum growth and potential as compared to the other sectors. Insurance has the maximum growth rate of 70-80% while as FMCG sector has maximum 12-15% of growth rate. This growth potential attracts me to enter in this sector and HDFC Standard Life Insurance Company Ltd has given me the opportunity to work and get experience in highly competitive and enhancing sector.

The success story of good market share of different market organizations depends upon the availability of the product and services near to the customer, which can be distributed through a distribution channel. In Insurance sector, distribution channel includes only agents or agency holders of the company. If a company like RELIANCE LIFE INSURANCE, TATA AIG, MAX etc have adequate agents in the market they can capture big market as compared to the other companies.

Agents are the only way for a company of Insurance sector through which policies and benefits

of the company can be explained to the customer

INTRODUCTION TO THE INDUSTRY

THE HISTORY OF INDIAN INSURANCE INDUSTRY

Life Insurance

In 1818 the British established the first insurance company in India in Calcutta, the Oriental Life Insurance Company. First attempts at regulation of the industry were made with the introduction of the Indian Life Assurance Companies Act in 1912. A number of amendments to this Act were made until the Insurance Act was drawn up in 1938.

Noteworthy features in the Act were the power given to the Government to collect statistical information about the insured and the high level of protection the Act gave to the public through regulation and control. When the Act was changed in 1950, this meant far reaching changes in the industry. The extra requirements included a statutory requirement of a certain level of equity capital, a ceiling on share holdings in such companies to prevent dominant control (to protect the public from any adversarial policies from one single party), stricter control on investments and, generally, much tighter control. In 1956, the market contained 154 Indian and 16 foreign life insurance companies. Business was heavily concentrated in urban areas and targeted the higher echelons of society. “Unethical practices adopted by some of the players against the interests of the consumers” then led the Indian government to nationalize the industry. In September 1956, nationalization was completed, merging all these companies into the so-called Life Insurance Corporation (LIC). It was felt that “nationalization has lent the industry fairness, solidity, growth and reach.”

Some of the important milestones in the life insurance business in India are:

1912: The Indian Life Assurance Companies Act enacted as the first statute to regulate the life insurance business.

1928: The Indian Insurance Companies Act enacted to enable the government to collect statistical information about both life and non-life insurance businesses.

1938: Earlier legislation consolidated and amended to by the Insurance Act with the objective of protecting the interests of the insuring public.

1956: The market contained 154 Indian and 16 foreign life insurance companies.
General Insurance

The General Insurance industry in India dates back to the Industrial Revolution and the subsequent increase in trade across the oceans in the 17th century. As for Life Insurance, the British brought General Insurance to India, and a similar path was followed in the development of this industry. A number of private companies were in existence for years and years until, in 1971, the Indian Government decided that the public interest would be served by nationalizing the industry, merging all the 107 companies into four companies, depending on the sort of business transacted (Marine, Fire, Miscellaneous). These were the National Insurance Company Ltd., the Oriental Insurance Company Ltd., the New India Assurance Company Ltd., and the United India Insurance Company Ltd. located in Calcutta, New Delhi, Bombay and Madras respectively. The General Insurance Corporation (GIC) was set up in 1972 as a ‘holding’ company, having these four companies as its subsidiaries.
Some of the important milestones in the general insurance business in India are:

1907: The Indian Mercantile Insurance Ltd. set up, the first company to transact all classes of general insurance business.

1957: General Insurance Council, a wing of the Insurance Association of India, frames a code of conduct for ensuring fair conduct and sound business practices.

1968: The Insurance Act amended to regulate investments and set minimum solvency margins and the Tariff Advisory Committee set up.

1972: The General Insurance Business (Nationalization) Act, 1972 nationalize the general insurance business in India with effect from 1st January 1973. 107 insurers amalgamated and grouped into four companies viz. the National Insurance Company Ltd., the New India Assurance Company Ltd., the Oriental Insurance Company Ltd. and the United India Insurance Company Ltd. GIC incorporated as a company.

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