Top 10 Leading Life Insurance Companies in India (2024)

Life insurance products have always been in demand, considering the financial protection it extends to the beneficiary in the event of the policyholder’s death. However, with the sudden onset of the pandemic and its visualisation of the fragility of mortality, the demands (and hence the supplies) for life insurance policies have increased substantially. More and more life insurers have emerged with life insurance plans and term insurance policies that can be customised per the potential policyholders’ tailored requirements and financial goals.

Now, on paper, most life insurers and their policies seem more than perfect. However, when entrusting your income replacement amount to an insurer, hoping your nominee won’t have to go through any hassles when claiming the amount, you need more than just the ”pen and paper guarantee.”

Thus, we considered a few factors used by experts to determine the credibility of an insurer – Claim Settlement Ratio, Amount Settlement Ratio, Complaint Volume, Average Annual Business, and the life/term insurance policies offered. Accordingly, we have a lineup of India’s top 10 life insurance companies. Take a look!


Top Life Insurance Companies

Rank Top 10 Life Insurance Companies Claim Settlement Ratio Amount Settlement Ratio Complaint Volume Average Annual Business (in crores)
1 Life Insurance Corporation of India 98.71% 95.1 10.5 ₹205,137
2 Max Life Insurance Co. Ltd. 99.40% 95.5 7.0 ₹7,897
3 Aditya Birla Sun Life Insurance Co. Ltd. 98.08% 93.9 7.1 ₹5,967
4 Tata AIA Life Insurance Co. Ltd. 98.53% 92.7 2.3 ₹6,014
5 ICICI Prudential Life Insurance Co. Ltd. 97.09% 92.1 14.3 ₹15,380
6 Bajaj Allianz Life Insurance Co. Ltd. 98.85% 93.0 5.0 ₹8,729
7 SBI Life Insurance Co. Ltd. 95.80% 90.2 3.8 ₹25,223
8 Kotak Mahindra Life Insurance Co. Ltd. 98.61% 93.1 5.8 ₹6,356
9 HDFC Life Insurance Co. Ltd. 98.69% 87.3 2.7 ₹24,315
10 PNB MetLife India Insurance Co. Ltd. 98.20% 91.5 57.0 ₹8,508

CTA

What are the Best Life Insurance Companies in India?

To determine the top life insurers in the country, we have to focus on their credibility and the diversity of their product portfolio. Thus, we have taken the metrics like

  • Claim Settlement Ratio (CSR): This will help you analyse the number of claims an insurer has settled across a year against the number of claims the insurer has received in a year. While this is one of the primary metrics used to determine an insurer’s credibility, it can’t be the only data you rely on when choosing a life insurance provider.

For an insurer to be credible, it is absolute that it must have a CSR of 97 and above. Any insurer with a CSR of 80 or less, or 100 or more – is best avoided, considering that they reflect delayed claim settlements or higher chances of rejected claims.

  • Amount Settlement Ratio (ASR)—The ASR gives you an idea of whether the insurer is just settling multiple claims of smaller amounts to game its CSR or is settling all its claims irrespective of the size of the claim amount. This is particularly effective and is a great metric to rely on, considering that an insurer with an ASR of 90 or above will never pose any hassles for your nominee to settle your claim, irrespective of how high or low the claim amount is.
  • Complaint Volume – Whether an insurer offers hassle-free claim settlement or not is well established by this metric. Since complaints against an insurer often root in issues across claim settlement, the lower the complaint volume, the better the insurer is in settling claims (regarding speed and efficiency). After all, the last thing you want for your family is to go through hassles when they claim the death benefit, considering their existing financial and emotional vulnerability from the loss of a family member.
  • Annual average business This is not precisely a metric to determine the credibility of an insurer. However, acknowledging the annual average business of an insurer guarantees that you are aware of the size of the insurer’s business and its possible client base. Considering you are entrusting such a sizeable cover amount to the insurer, it is preferred that the provider is a medium- or large-size brand with a solid client base that reflects its credibility and extensive insurance track history.

We have taken these data from the last 3 years and drawn an average of these numbers. We then tallied the metrics against the industry average to get a more accurate reading of their consistency in overall performance proficiency.

We have also considered some of the best term insurance policies offered by them since term insurance is one of the most popular life insurance types due to its affordability, pure protection functionality, and flexibility provided by riders. This is important, considering that metrics alone can prove the insurer’s credibility, but it’s crucial that the provider also has a variety in its product portfolio to cater to the customised financial goals of policyholders.

Here is a look at the top 10 life insurance companies in India –

1. Life Insurance Corporation of India

 Life Insurance Corporation of India Metrics

Insight: In terms of CSR, ASR, and complaint volume, LIC is undoubtedly a top pick among the life insurers across the industry. While the complaint volume is slightly higher than what we would have liked, considering its business average, the somewhat high complaint volume can be ignored.

  • Best Term Insurance Policies
  1. Saral Jeevan Bima – This vanilla term insurance plan offers a maximum sum assured of ₹25 lakhs. No riders are available under this plan, but it provides death benefits and includes the Accidental Death Benefit as an in-built perk.

2. Jeevan Kiran – This plan from LIC has a minimum sum assured of ₹15 lakhs, while the underwriting team decides the maximum coverage based on your eligibility. The plan offers maturity benefits, death benefits, and return of premiums as an in-built perk. As riders, policyholders can choose from the Accidental Death and Disability Benefit Rider and the Accident Benefit Rider.

3. New Tech Term This online-only term insurance plan offers 2 policy variants – level sum assured and increasing sum assured. While the plan provides only a single rider, the Accident Benefit Rider, it may be a bit pricey compared to the other plans in its category.

4. New Jeevan Amar This is the offline version of the New Tech Term plan with the same features, riders and coverage.

CONCLUSION: Despite encouraging data across all metrics, LIC is still behind in building comprehensive and affordable term insurance plans. Additionally, since the insurer is a public-owned brand, issues related to speed and efficiency in claim settlement can’t be ignored. However, its business size and credibility earn it the top among life insurers.

2. Max Life Insurance Co. Ltd.

Max Life Insurance Metrics

Insight: Based on the CSR, ASR, and complaint volume data drawn over the last 3 years, it’s evident that Max Life Insurance is one of the best insurers in the market. All the numbers across the board are the best in the industry. Additionally, when considering the average annual business, you can conclude the brand has a solid client base and an extensive insurance history.

  • Best Term Insurance Policies
  1. Smart Term Plan – This is a unique term insurance policy with 7 variants – Life Cover, Income Protector, Income + Inflation Protector, Life Cover + Income, Life Cover + Increasing Income, Increasing Cover, and Reducing Cover. The variants offer a permutation and combination of various riders – Lumpsum received upon the policyholder’s death, Monthly Income Perk, Accelerated Critical Illness + Life Stage Benefit Riders, Accident Cover Option, and Return of Premiums.

The plan offers the return of premium as an in-built feature and extensive coverage.

2. Max Life Online Term Plan Plus The Online Term Plus plan from Max Life is a basic term offering Life Stage Benefits and Accelerated Critical Illness. The policy also has 3 variants across its death benefit option – Sum assured, Sum assured plus level monthly income, and Sum Assured plus Increasing Monthly Income.

Moreover, considering the comprehensive clubbing of riders like accident death benefit, waiver of premium plus rider, and critical illness and disability rider and the policy’s affordability, the Max Life Online Term Plan Plus is a good pick.

3. Max Life Smart Secure Plus Plan This is one of the best term insurance plans offered by Max Life and quite possibly across the industry. The plan is comprehensive and affordable despite having a diverse list of in-built features and riders like – terminal illness perk, critical rider (3 variants), voluntary top-up sum assured, Joint life cover option, Premium Break option, Waiver of Premium Plus, and Disability Rider.

CONCLUSION: Based on the data across its metrics and the affordable and comprehensive term insurance plans offered, Max Life Insurance is one of the best insurers in the country.

3. Aditya Birla Sun Life Insurance Co. Ltd.

Aditya Birla Sun Life Insurance Metrics

Insight: Aditya Birla Sun Life has one of the best data across CSR, ASR, and complaint volume metrics. While the average annual business value might not be high enough, the insurer is on the right track.

  • Best Term Insurance Policies
  1. DigiShield – The DigiShield term insurance plan from the Aditya Birla Sun Life stable is one of the most popular plans with 10 variants on death benefit perks. The plan offers a few riders, including – Waiver of Premium, Accidental Death Benefit /Accidental Death Benefit Rider Plus, Critical Illness In Built Benefit and Rider, and Hospi Care Benefit. While the plan also has an in-built terminal illness cover, a few essential features still need to be added to this policy. However, the policy is still comprehensive and affordable.

2. Saral Jeevan Bima – This basic term insurance plan offers coverage extending from ₹5 lakhs to ₹25 lakhs. The plan extends the basic death benefit perk and a single rider, the Accidental Death Benefit.

CONCLUSION: Aditya Birla Sun Life Insurance is a credible life insurer with great data across its metrics of ASR, CSR, complaint volume, and annual average business. However, the options are limited in terms of its term insurance plans.

CTA

4. Tata AIA Life Insurance Co. Ltd.

Tata AIA Life Insurance Metrics

Insight: TATA AIA Life Insurance is an incredible life insurer when it comes to the metrics of ASR, CSR, and complaint volume. The numbers are close to the industry’s best. Additionally, the brand’s overall operational efficiency, accompanied by its brand equity, gives the insurer an extensive client base contributing to its average annual business income. Needless to say, the insurer has accurately acquired its status as one of the top 5 life insurers in India.

  • Best Term Insurance Policies
  1. Sampoorna Raksha SupremeThe plan has 3 variants – Life Option, Life Plus Option, and Life Income Option, based on the death benefits payouts. The policy has an in-built list of features, including – terminal illness perks, life stage benefits, top-up sum assured, and premium payment flexibility. The policy is comprehensive and affordable and offers a list of riders, including Accidental Death Benefits, Accidental Total and Permanent Disability Benefits, and more. However, the minimum income eligibility of policyholders is ₹10 lakhs.

2. Maha Raksha SupremeWhile the policy is a good pick, there is a capping on the minimum income eligibility of policyholders (₹15 lakhs per annum). The plan has a whole-life variant, an in-built terminal illness perk and a host of riders like – Accidental Death Benefits, Accidental Total and Permanent Disability Benefits, Criticare Plus Benefits, and Criticare Benefits. The minimum coverage, in this case, starts from ₹2 crore.

3. Sampoorna Raksha Supreme VitalityThis is similar to the Sampoorna Raksha Supreme plan. The policy has riders like Criticare Plus Benefits and Criticare Benefits and is available for those with income eligibility of ₹15 lakhs per annum for a maximum cover of ₹2 crores.

CONCLUSION: TATA AIA Life Insurer is an excellent pick with a diverse list of plans that cater to policyholders with different income eligibility and term cover requirements.

5. ICICI Prudential Life Insurance Co. Ltd.

 ICICI Prudential Life Insurance Metrics

Insight: ICICI Prudential Life is a credible insurer with excellent numbers across CSR and ASR. However, compared to the other providers in the top 5, the complaint volume is slightly higher. On the other hand, the business volume is one of the highest in the industry. However, the complaint volume is a bit concerning, considering that it reflects their slightly dipping overall operational efficiency.

  • Best Term Insurance Policies
  1. iProtect SmartThis is the sole option in term insurance from the stable of ICICI Prudential Life. The policy has 4 variants based on the death benefit payout options – Lump sum, Income, Lump sum plus income, and Increasing Income. Additionally, based on the permutation and combination of riders (Waiver of Premium + Terminal Illness Benefit, Waiver of Premium due to Disability, Accidental Death Benefit, and Critical Illness Benefit), there are 4 plan options – Life, Life Plus, Life and Health, and All In One.

CONCLUSION: The absence of options in term insurance policies accompanied by a slightly high complaint volume is a tad bit concerning. However, the iProtect Smart plan can be a good pick, considering its diverse list of customisations.

6. Bajaj Allianz Life Insurance Co. Ltd.

Bajaj Allianz Life Insurance Metrics

Insight: Bajaj Allianz Life is a credible life insurer and one of the industry’s best if you look at the CSR, ASR, and complaint volume data. The average annual business income, too, is promising and reflects the solid client base of the insurer across the industry.

  • Best Term Insurance Policies
  1. e-TouchIt is one of the most basic and popular plans across the market. The plan is affordable, and the maximum coverage is ₹50 lakhs or ₹10 crores (depending on your income slab). The policy has 3 variants – Life Shield, Life Shield Plus, and Life Shield Return of Premium, which offer a combination of in-built features and riders (Death benefits, Terminal illness, Waiver of Premium, Accidental Death Benefit Rider, and Return of Premiums). Unfortunately, the plan has a few missing features, the most important of which is the Critical Illness Rider/Benefit.

2. Smart Protect GoalThis is a good pick from the stable of Bajaj Allianz Life with 4 variants – Life Coverage, Child Education Extra Cover, Life Cover With Joint Life, And Increasing Cover, that cater to your evolving financial requirements and goals. The list of offered riders includes – Critical Illness Benefits, Accidental Death Benefits, Waiver of Premium Benefits on CI, and Accidental Total Permanent Disability Benefits.

3. iSecure—With coverage ranging from ₹25 lakhs to ₹50 lakhs, this is a vanilla term insurance policy that is affordable and comes with a few riders, like Waiver of Premium, Accidental Death Benefit, and Total/Partial and Permanent Disability Rider. However, the plan offers no critical illness benefit.

CONCLUSION: Bajaj Allianz Life Insurance is affordable among the diverse list of life insurance companies. However, if you are looking for a comprehensive term insurance policy, your options might be a tad bit limited.

7. SBI Life Insurance Co. Ltd.

SBI Life Insurance Metrics

Insight: SBI Life Insurance is a decent pick if you consider the metrics of CSR, ASR, and complaint volume. The numbers are more or less satisfactory, and the complaint volume is one of the lowest in the industry. While the average annual business income is excellent, this results from its extensive insurance track record and brand equity.

  • Best Term Insurance Policies
  1. Arogya Shield – This combines pure-term insurance (from SBI Life Insurance) and health insurance coverage (from SBI General Insurance). The health insurance coverage ranges from ₹1 lakh to ₹3 lakhs, while the term insurance coverage ranges from ₹5 lakhs to ₹2.5 crores. Unfortunately, the term insurance component has no riders to ensure its customisation to fit tailored financial requirements.

2. eShield NextThis is a comprehensive term insurance plan that extends the standard death benefit over Lump sum, Monthly instalment, and Lump sum  +  Monthly instalment options. Based on this payout, there are 3 plan options: Level Cover Benefit, Increasing Cover Benefit, and Level Cover with Future Proofing Benefit. The terminal illness benefit and life stage perks are built-in features in this case, while the riders include the Better Half Benefit, Accidental Death Benefit Rider, and Accidental Total & Permanent Disability Benefit Rider.

3. Saral Jeevan Bima – This mandatory inclusion (by the IRDAI) offers a coverage ranging from ₹5 lakhs to ₹25 lakhs. The plan has no riders.

4. SBI Life Smart Shield – This basic term insurance plan is quite popular and offers coverage ranging from ₹25 lakhs to unlimited coverage. There are two variants across the policy – Level Term Assurance and Increasing Term Assurance. However, only two riders are offered under this policy – Accidental Death Benefit Rider and the Accidental Total & Permanent Disability Benefit Rider.

5. SBI Life—Grameen Bima—This is one of the most affordable plans available across the industry, offering coverage of ₹10,000 to ₹50,000 only.

CONCLUSION: SBI Life Insurance is a public-owned brand and hence comes with delayed or rejected claim settlement issues. Additionally, none of the term insurance policies offered can be considered comprehensive.

CTA

8. Kotak Mahindra Life Insurance Co. Ltd.

Kotak Mahindra Life Insurance Metrics

Insight: While Kotak Mahindra Life is a credible insurer on paper, if you consider the data of CSR, ASR, complaint volume and annual average business income, the insurer has yet to come up with a list of comprehensive term insurance plans.

  • Best Term Insurance Policies
  1. Kotak e-Term—This is an affordable policy with few features. The plan has three options: Life, Life Plus, and Life Secure, and a few riders: Critical Illness Plus Benefit Rider and Permanent Disability Rider.

2. Kotak Term Plan – This is not such a comprehensive policy offering coverage of only ₹3 lakhs to ₹24,99,999 and only 3 riders – Critical Illness Plus Benefit Rider, Accidental Death Benefit, and Permanent Disability Rider.

3. Kotak Saral Jeevan Bima – This affordable term insurance plan offers coverage of ₹5 lakhs to ₹25 lakhs and a special premium rate chart for women. Unfortunately, the plan provides no riders, leaving no room for customisation.

CONCLUSION: Kotak Life Insurance may prove to be a credible insurer. However, as a life insurance provider, the insurer doesn’t have much to offer – no comprehensive plans, lacking riders, and not exactly a top pick.

9. HDFC Life Insurance Co. Ltd.

HDFC Life Insurance Metrics

Insight: HDFC Life Insurance is a good life insurer. The brand has excellent CSR, good ASR, and one of the lowest compliant volumes in the country. Additionally, the insurer has built a solid client base, considering its average annual business income. This can be a great insurer if you are looking for comprehensive and affordable term insurance policies.

  • Best Term Insurance Policies
  1. Click2Protect LifeOffering an extensive coverage option of ₹25 lakhs to ₹2 crores, this policy is a pretty comprehensive pick.

The plan has multiple variants: Life & Critical Illness (CI) Rebalance, Life Protect, and Income Plus and a long list of riders that include – Income Benefit on Accidental Disability Rider, Critical Illness (CI) Plus Rider, Protect Plus Rider, Return of Premium (ROP), Waiver of Premium on CI, Accidental Death Benefit (ADB), Alteration of premium payment frequency, and Option to change the Premium Payment Term from Regular Pay to Limited Pay.

2. Click2Protect SuperWith an in-built terminal illness benefit and a smart exit perk, the Click2Protect Super plan is a comprehensive policy that is slightly more expensive than the Click2Protect Life policy.

There are 3 variants of the plan – Life, Life Plus, and Life Goal. The list of riders includes – Waiver of Premium on Critical Illness, Return of Premium, Waiver of Premium on Total and Permanent Disability, Spouse Cover Option, Option to alter premium frequency, Option to change Premium Payment Term from regular pay to limited pay, Renewability Option at Maturity, Life Stage Option, and Death benefit as an instalment option.

3. Click2Protect 3D Plus – With 9 plan options, this is one of the most comprehensive plans available across the industry. The options are – Life, 3D Life, Extra Life, Income, Extra Life Income, Income Replacement, Return of Premium, Life Long Protection, and 3D Life Long Protection. These variants are caused by a permutation and combination of their features – Death Benefit, Terminal Illness, Accidental Total Permanent Disability, Accidental Death, Waiver of Premium due to Critical Illness, and Return of Premium.

The riders extended under this plan include – Critical Illness, Terminal Illness, Waiver of Premium, Return of Premium, Regular Income Benefit, Life Stage Benefit, and Top Up option.

CONCLUSION: While we would have preferred HDFC Life to have better numbers across its ASR, it is undeniable that the insurer has an incredible built-up of term insurance plans that are comprehensive and affordable. Plans from this stable can prove to be a good pick.

10. PNB MetLife India Insurance Co. Ltd.

PNB MetLife India Insurance Metrics

Insight: PNB MetLife India Insurance has excellent numbers across CSR and ASR. However, the insurer has a high complaint volume, which is a concern for us since it reflects its overall operational efficiency. Additionally, the company’s average annual business income too needs some improvement.

  • Best Term Insurance Policies
  1. PNB MetLife Mera Term Plan – This is a comprehensive policy that comes with 4 variants – Lump Sum Death Benefit, ump Sum Death Benefit + Regular Monthly Income, Lump Sum Death Benefit + Increasing Monthly Income, and Lump Sum Death Benefit + Regular Monthly Income till the child turns 2.

The plan also offers a few riders, including the Serious Illness Rider, Accidental Death Benefit Rider, Critical Illness Rider, and Accidental Disability Benefit Rider.

The list of in-built features includes perks like joint life cover, life stage benefits, and more.

2. PNB MetLife Mera Term Plus Plan – This vanilla term insurance plan includes riders like Serious Illness Rider, Accidental Death Benefit Rider, Critical Illness Rider, and Accidental Disability Benefit Rider. The plan also has a few variants – Life, Life Plus, and Life Plus Health.

3. PNB MetLife Saral Jeevan BimaThis is a pure term insurance plan offering no riders for customisation and minimal coverage that extends from ₹5 lakhs to ₹50 lakhs.

CONCLUSION: PNB MetLife India Insurance is on its way to becoming a credible life insurer. However, as of now, the complaint volume of this insurer, accompanied by the list of term insurance policies that are not comprehensive, makes it rank 10th in our list of top 10 life insurance companies in India.

Conclusion

When purchasing a term insurance plan, choosing an ideal life insurer is equally important as searching for the best policy. This list mentioned above will help you look for the best life insurers available in the country.

Leave a Comment