Insurance penetration in India at 3.9 per cent was below the world average of 6.3 per cent in 2013, Parliament was informed on Tuesday.
"The penetration for the insurance sector as a whole in the year 2013 was 3.9 per cent in India, as against world average of 6.3 per cent," Minister of State for Finance Jayant Sinha said in a written reply to Rajya Sabha.
The level of insurance penetration depends on a large number of factors like level of economic development of the country, the extent of the savings in financial instruments and the size and reach of the insurance sector, he said.
Insurance penetration, measured as the ratio of premium to Gross Domestic Product, was 3.1 per cent of life insurance and 0.8 per cent for general insurance in 2013, he added.
Health insurance is a part of general insurance. In relation to BRICS countries, India's insurance penetration was better than China and Russia but well below South Africa and only a tad lower than Brazil.
The insurance penetration of South Africa stands at 15.4 per cent (in 2013); China 3 per cent; Brazil 4 per cent and Russia 1.3 per cent.
Amongst the G20 countries, it is highest for South Africa (15.4 per cent) followed by South Korea (11.9 per cent); the UK (11.5 per cent); Japan (11.1 per cent); France (9 per cent); Italy (7.6 per cent); the US (7.5 per cent); Canada (6.9 per cent); Germany (6.7 per cent); and Australia (5.2 per cent). Those falling below India are : Argentina (3.6 per cent); Mexico (2.1 per cent); Indonesia (2.1 per cent); Turkey (1.5 per cent); and Russia (1.3 per cent).