Amazon wants to sell insurance policies to Indians


  • Amazon wants to start selling life, health and general insurance policies to its Indian customers in the capacity of a corporate agent.
  • Unsurprisingly, Amazon’s local rivals, Paytm and Flipkart, are also preparing to enter the segment given the low rate of insurance penetration in the country.
  • The share of insurance premiums as a percentage of GDP stood at 3.7% of GDP in 2017-18, according to Swiss Re, a reinsurer, compared to a global average of 6.1%.
Amazon India had had its sights set on the country’s financial services space for a while. Last year, it started offering a digital wallet in India to shoppers on its e-commerce platform. Earlier this week, Amazon’s payments arm launched a service that allows Indian consumers without credit cards to purchase products on an EMI basis.

Next on the list? Amazon wants to start selling life, health and general insurance policies to its Indian customers in the capacity of a corporate agent, according to Bloomberg. In essence, it will list the various policies and products offered by insurance companies on its website.

Much like the platform PolicyBazaar, Amazon plans to allow customers to pick and choose between different policies and purchase coverage like they would buy a mobile phone or book.

Unsurprisingly, Amazon’s local rivals, Paytm and Flipkart, are also preparing to enter the segment given the low rate of insurance penetration in the country.

The share of insurance premiums as a percentage of GDP stood at 3.7% of GDP in 2017-18, according to Swiss Re, a reinsurer, compared to a global average of 6.1%. There’s a lot of room to grow and the industry is expected to record $280 billion worth of revenues in the current fiscal year, as per a study by ASSOCHAM. More importantly, only 3% of insurance is estimated to be bought online, a figure that will surge as the access to the internet increases.

In November last year, Flipkart was said to have applied to the Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India (IRDAI) for a greenlight to start selling life and general insurance policies on its website. Meanwhile, in February 2018, Paytm’s parent set up two units for life and general insurance after receiving a corporate licence to do so in September 2017.
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