MGAs (Managing General Agents) are currently not existent in the Indian insurance industry. However, there is a genuine need for the introduction of more MGAs into the industry, considering the country’s overwhelming need to scale up insurance penetration (just 3.76% of the population had insurance coverage in any form in 2019).
MGAs will help the industry considerably by identifying niche markets and underserved segments and offering specialist solutions for the same on behalf of insurers. It will be possible to offer customised and more value-added micro insurance in India which is not possible for bigger insurance players across several regions.
Insurance MGAs can help in the extension of coverage throughout several under-served and rural areas, where traditional firms have limited presence due to the lack of resources and infrastructure. MGAs can also partner with local brokers and agents to offer more tailored insurance products that meet community-specific requirements with aplomb.
As mentioned, they can also cater to niche and often underserved (by bigger insurance carriers) segments like startups, HNIs (high-net-worth individuals), and SMEs (small and medium enterprises). Insurance MGAs can also enter into collaborations with insurtech players that are already leveraging technology to disrupt the industry. Through these partnerships, these startups can tap their distribution networks and expertise in claims management and underwriting.
MGAs Competitive Landscape and the Need for Proper Strategies
MGAs (Managing General Agents) do not exist in the Indian market today. However, they are steadily becoming more relevant worldwide and also throughout Asia. The IRDAI is already considering the feasibility of allowing MGAs in a bid to increase insurance penetration throughout the country and it may become a reality soon.
The traditional argument in favour of MGAs is usually based on the fact that global and large insurance carriers have become behemoths with commoditised and mass-market products and services, which do not focus on individual customer requirements. MGAs, in contrast, are smaller operations which can easily foray into niche areas and enable bespoke and more affordable insurance solutions tailored for their customers.
The sector may develop exponentially across Asia over the next 2-3 years. Hong Kong is anticipated to stay a more dynamic coverholder segment and more MGAs should come up in Singapore. More regulators in the region will steadily amend their frameworks and unveil pilots to allow MGAs into their insurance industries. The usage of MGAs is fast becoming a common strategy for distribution channels in insurance.
Along with potentially enabling microinsurance in India for specific communities, people, and regions, MGAs can also react more swiftly to new market changes and enable more efficient risk management on behalf of bigger insurance carriers.
Hence, considering the competitive nature of the market globally and with things heating up in Asia, MGAs will have to fine-tune their strategies for success in a more intelligent manner. For instance, as far as the Indian market is concerned, here are some strategies that they can consider.
Strategies Worth Considering for MGAs in India
These are some strategies that MGAs (Managing General Agents) can harness for more success in the Indian insurance industry.
As can be seen, the time is ripe for the introduction of MGAs (Managing General Agents) in the Indian insurance industry. MGAs that leverage technology can help cater to niche segments, offer more personalised or micro-level insurance solutions, boost underwriting and claims management, and combine with insurtech or fintech players to revolutionise the industry. The sector has huge potential for growth in India although a lot depends on official regulations being released for the same shortly.
What are the key opportunities for MGAs in India’s expanding insurance market?
MGAs can tap several opportunities like the expansion of insurance coverage on behalf of larger carriers in under/un-served/rural markets, offering more niche and personalised insurance solutions with specialist services, making claims processing and management more seamless along with enhancing underwriting for insurance companies, and also offering insurance solutions for sectors usually not covered by traditional insurance firms.
What are some examples of successful MGAs in India?
There are no examples of successful MGAs in the country as of yet since it has yet to officially allow these entities in the insurance industry. However, the IRDAI is reportedly deliberating on the possibility of allowing them in the future.
What are the key trends that MGAs should watch out for in the Indian insurance market?
Some of the major trends that MGAs should watch out for in the Indian market include the focus on more specialist and micro insurance solutions, increasing customer demand for personalised insurance products and services, and of course, the increasing shift towards digitisation.