Life Insurance Corporation

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Life Insurance Corporation of India
State enterprise
government corporation
IndustryFinancial services
Founded1 September 1956
HeadquartersMumbai, India
Key people
M. R. Kumar
Total assetsIncrease2,529,390 crore (US$370 billion)(2016) [2]
OwnerGovernment of India
Number of employees
114773 (Mar 2016)[2]
SubsidiariesLIC Housing Finance
LIC Pension Fund Ltd.
LIC International
LIC Cards Services
LIC Mutual Fund

Life Insurance Corporation of India (LIC) is an Indian state-owned insurance group and investment company headquartered in Mumbai. It is the largest insurance company in India with an estimated asset value of 2,529,390 crore (US$370 billion)(2016).[2] As of 2013 it had total life fund of ₹1,433,103.14 crore and total number of policies sold coming in at ₹367.82 lakh that year (2012-13).[3][4][5]

The Life Insurance Corporation of India was founded in 1956 when the Parliament of India passed the Life Insurance of India Act that nationalised the private insurance industry in India. Over 245 insurance companies and provident societies were merged to create the state owned Life Insurance Corporation.[6]


LIC Zonal Office, 'Night View From Connaught Place Park'

Founding organisations[edit]

The Oriental Life Insurance Company, the first company in India offering life insurance coverage, was established in Kolkata in 1818

Its primary target market was the Europeans based in India, and it charged Indians heftier premiums.[7] Surendranath Tagore had founded Hindusthan Insurance Society, which later became Life Insurance Corporation.[8]

The Bombay Mutual Life Assurance Society, formed in 1870, was the first native insurance provider. Other insurance companies established in the pre-independence era included

  • Postal Life Insurance (PLI) was introduced on 1 February 1884
  • Bharat Insurance Company (1896)
  • United India (1906)
  • National Indian (1906)
  • National Insurance (1906)
  • Co-operative Assurance (1906)
  • Hindustan Co-operatives (1907)
  • Indian Mercantile
  • General Assurance
  • Swadeshi Life (later Bombay Life)
  • Sahyadri Insurance (Merged into LIC, 1986)

The first 150 years were marked mostly by turbulent economic conditions, it witnessed India's First War of Independence, adverse effects of the World War I and World War II on the economy of India, and in between them the period of worldwide economic crises triggered by the Great depression. The first half of the 20th century saw a heightened struggle for India's independence; the aggregate effect of these events led to a high rate of and liquidation of life insurance companies in India. This had adversely affected the faith of the general in the utility of obtaining life cover.

Nationalisation in 1956[edit]

LIC Zonal Office, at Connaught Place, New Delhi, designed by Charles Correa, 1991.
LIC Building at Chennai, was the tallest building in India when it was inaugurated in 1959

In 1955, parliamentarian Feroze Gandhi raised the matter of insurance fraud by owners of private insurance agencies. In the ensuing investigations, one of India's wealthiest businessmen, Ramkrishna Dalmia, owner of the Times of India newspaper, was sent to prison for two years.

The Parliament of India passed the Life Insurance of India Act on 19 June 1956 creating the Life Insurance Corporation of India, which started operating in September of that year, it consolidated the business of 245 private life insurers and other entities offering life insurance services; this consisted of 154 life insurance companies, 16 foreign companies and 75 provident companies. The nationalisation of the life insurance business in India was a result of the Industrial Policy Resolution of 1956, which had created a policy framework for extending state control over at least 17 sectors of the economy, including life insurance.


The LIC's executive board consists of one Chairman, currently M.R. Kumar, and four Managing Directors, B. Venugopal, Hemant Bhargava, Vipin Anand and T. C. Suseel Kumar [9][10]

LIC's Contribution to the five year plans over the years[edit]

Plan Year Investment
2 1956-1961 ₹184 Cr
3 1961-1966 ₹285 Cr
4 1969-1974 ₹1,530 Cr
5 1974-1979 ₹2,942 Cr
6 1980-1985 ₹7,140 Cr
7 1985-1990 ₹12,969 Cr
8 1992-1997 ₹56,097 Cr
9 1997-2002 ₹1,79 Cr
10 2002-2007 ₹3,94,779 Cr
11 2007-2012 ₹7,04,151 Cr
12 2012-2017 ₹14,23,055 Cr
13 2017-2022 ₹3,82,479 Cr

Growth as a monopoly[edit]

From its creation, the Life Insurance Corporation of India, which commanded a monopoly of soliciting and selling life insurance in India, created huge surpluses and by 2006 was contributing around 7% of India's GDP.[citation needed]

The corporation, which started its business with around 300 offices, 5.7 million policies and a corpus of INR 45.9 crores (US$92 million as per the 1959 exchange rate of roughly 5 for US$1),[11] had grown to 25,000 servicing around 350 million policies and a corpus of over 800,000 crore (US$120 billion) by the end of the 20th century.

Liberalisation post 2000s[edit]

In August 2000, the Indian Government embarked on a program to liberalise the insurance sector and opened it up for the private sector. LIC emerged as a beneficiary from this process with robust performance, albeit on a base substantially higher than the private sector.

In 2013 the first year premium compound annual growth rate (CAGR) was 24.53% while total life premium CAGR was 19.28% matching the growth of the life insurance industry and outperforming general economic growth.[12]


Today LIC functions with 2048 fully computerized branch offices, 8 zonal offices, around 113 divisional offices, 2,048 branches and 1408 satellite offices and the Central Office;[13] it also has 54 customer zones and 25 metro-area service hubs located in different cities and towns of India, it also has a network of 1,537,064 individual agents, 342 Corporate Agents, 109 Referral Agents, 114 Brokers and 42 Banks for soliciting life insurance business from the public.

Now LIC also has the 1899 branches of IDBI bank at its disposal thus it can carry out its insurance business through these branches of the bank.


LIC's slogan yogakshemam vahaamyaham is in Sanskrit which loosely translates into English as "Your welfare is our responsibility"; this is derived from ancient Hindu text, the Bhagavad Gita's 9th chapter, 22nd .[14] The slogan can be seen in the logo, written in Devanagari script; this line means "I carry what they lack, and I preserve what they have" (refers to Krishna speaking to Arjuna), when taken in context of the entire verse.

Awards and recognitions[edit]

  • The Economic Times Brand Equity Survey 2012 rated LIC as the No. 6 Most Trusted Service Brand of India.[15]
  • From the year 2006, LIC has been continuously winning the Readers' Digest Trusted brand award.
  • Voted India's Most Trusted brand in the BFSI category according to the Brand Trust Report for 4 continuous years - 2011-2014 according to the Brand Trust Report.[16]

Employees and agents[edit]

As on 31 March 2014, LIC had 1,20,388 employees, out of which 24,867 were women (20.65%).

Category of employees Total Number No. of Women
Class-I Officers 0031,420 0006,297
Class-II Development Officers 0026,621 0001,033
Class III/IV employees 0062,347 0017,542
Total 01,20,388 0024,867

Agency strength[edit]

The total number of Agents on the roll is 11,31,181 as at 31 March 2017 as against 10,61,560 as on 31 March 2016; the number of Active Agents is 10,46,484 as at 31 March 2017 as compared to 10,18,039 as on 31 March 2016.[17]

IDBI Bank Employees[edit]

Now IDBI bank Employees have also joined the work force of LIC; however they are not treated as same as LIC employees.[citation needed]


Golden Jubilee Foundation
LIC Golden Jubilee Foundation was established in 2006 as a charity organization. This entity has the aim of promoting education, alleviation of poverty, and providing better living conditions for the under privileged. Out of all the activities conducted by the organisation, Golden Jubilee Scholarship awards is the best known; each year, this award is given to the meritorious students in standard XII of school education or equivalent, who wish to continue their studies and have a parental income less than 100,000 (US$1,400).[18]


LIC holds shares worth about ₹2.33 lakh crore in all the Nifty companies put together, but it lowered its holding in a total of 27 Nifty companies during the quarter.[citation needed]

The cumulative value of LIC holding in these 27 companies fell by little over ₹8,000 crore during the quarter shows the analysis of changes in their shareholding patterns.[citation needed]

Individually, LIC is estimated to have sold shares worth ₹500-1,000 crore in each of Mahindra & Mahindra, HDFC Bank, ICICI Bank, Tata Motors, L&T, HDFC, Wipro, SBI, Maruti Suzuki, Dr Reddys and Bajaj Auto.[citation needed]

The insurance behemoth also trimmed holdings in Ambuja Cements, Cipla, TCS, Lupin and Asian Paints. A marginal decline was also witnessed in its stakes in companies such as IDFC, Hindustan Unilever, Grasim, ACC, BPCL, Bank of Baroda, Punjab National Bank, Sun Pharma and Tata Power.[citation needed]

On the other hand, LIC further ramped up its stake in a total of 14 Nifty constituents with purchase of shares worth an estimated ₹4,000 crore.[citation needed]

The major companies where LIC has raised its stake include Infosys, RIL, Coal India Ltd and Cairn India. Other such companies are ITC, Power Grid Corp, NTPC, Siemens, Bharti Airtel and Hero MotoCorp.[citation needed]

The state-run insurer also marginally hiked its exposure in Ultratech, Gail India, Ranbaxy, Kotak Mahindra Bank and HCL Technologies, while its shareholding remained almost unchanged in companies like ONGC, Tata Steel, BHEL and Reliance Infra.[citation needed]

Among the Nifty companies, LIC’s holding in terms of value in 2012 were estimated to be the highest in ITC (₹27,326 crore), followed by RIL (₹21,659 crore), ONGC (₹17,764 crore), SBI (₹17,058 crore), L&T (₹16,800 crore), and ICICI Bank (₹10,006 crore). its[19]

The share price drop in ITC on 18 July 2017 had caused LIC a major loss of around 7000 Crores.

LIC now also holds 51% stake in IDBI bank thus making it the only insurer in india to own a bank , since regulations prohibit insurers from holding more than 15% stake in any company ,LIC will have to decide a timeline for paring its stake in IDBI bank also LIC will have to pare its stake in LIC housing finance Ltd as a company cannot be promoter of 2 finance companies carrying out same housing finance business so either LIC has to sell its stake in LIC housing or close down housing business of IDBI bank. [20]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "MR Kumar appointed LIC Chairman". moneycontrol. 13 February 2019. Retrieved 14 February 2019.
  2. ^ a b c
  3. ^ "LIConHindu". The Hindu. Retrieved 1 October 2017.
  4. ^ "LIC settled 183.63 lakh claims in 2012-13". The Hindu. Retrieved 1 October 2017.
  5. ^ "LIC has 29crore policy holders". DailyPioneer. Retrieved 1 October 2017.
  6. ^ A, Richa. "Life Insurance Corporation of India | LIC". Missing or empty |url= (help)w
  7. ^ "History". LIC. Archived from the original on 16 December 2013. Retrieved 15 December 2013.
  8. ^ "Lunch on lotus leaves". Retrieved 19 December 2018.
  9. ^ "board structure". moneycontrol. Retrieved 14 February 2019.
  10. ^ "bod".
  11. ^ "UNdata | record view | Exchange rate, US$ per national currency, period average (IMF)". 22 May 2008. Retrieved 30 August 2010.[dead link]
  12. ^ CA. Nirmal Ghorawat (31 January 2013). "Perspectives on Life Insurance Industry in India « CA. Nirmal Ghorawat's Blog". Retrieved 14 June 2013.
  13. ^ "Annual Report 2011-2012" (PDF). LIC. Archived from the original (PDF) on 28 June 2014. Retrieved 10 December 2013.
  14. ^ "Bhagavad-gita As It Is Chapter 9 Verse 22". Archived from the original on 23 October 2013. Retrieved 15 December 2013.
  15. ^ "Most Trusted Brands 2012: Top 50 Service Brands". Economic Times. 7 November 2015. Retrieved 15 December 2013.
  16. ^ "The Economics Times".
  17. ^ LIC India 2016-17 Annual Report
  18. ^ "Golden Jubilee Scholarship Scheme". LIC. Archived from the original on 15 December 2013. Retrieved 15 December 2013.
  19. ^ PTI. "LIC cuts stake in 27 Nifty firms; sells shares worth Rs 8,000 crore". @businessline. Retrieved 19 December 2018.
  20. ^ "NSE - National Stock Exchange of India Ltd". Retrieved 24 August 2018.

External links[edit]