Mumbai: India's insurance sector, which is witnessing a rapid growth, is likely to touch about USD 400 billion in top income by 2020, making the country one of the top three life insurance and top 15 non–life insurance markets, according to a report.

The total penetration of insurance (premium as percentage of GDP) has increased to 5.2 per cent in 2011 from 2.3 per cent in 2001, said the report titled 'India Insurance – Turning 10, Going on 20'.

In addition, there has been a rush in insurance coverage due to availability of more products like better term plan, ULIPs, whole life, maximum NAV guarantee, auto assistance, disease management and wellness, it said.

The number of life policies had increased nearly 12- fold over the past decade and health insurance nearly 25–fold.

Progress has been made with emergence of multiple channels like broking, corporate agency, direct and auto dealers to balance the existing third party agency and in–house salaried sales force, ICICI Prudential Life Insurance Managing Director and CEO Sandeep Bakhshi said.

Along with the surfacing of multiple channels, the distribution reach has also gone up, nearly 6–fold for life, and 1.5 times for non–life, evolving the Indian market from a monopoly to a competitive one, he said.

The report suggested that for sustainable productivity, the companies need to fix the agency operating model, build strategic, long-term non-agency partnership, incubate, experiment and develop alternative channels, develop a customer-centric operating model, target customer or product white spaces and go lean.

For non–life insurers, it defined a six-point agenda like creating optimal product portfolio, innovate to target product or customer white spaces, move towards risk based pricing, develop next generation claims management processes, go direct — build alternate channels for retail products and define and enhance agency sales force operating model.