LIC vs HDFC Life vs SBI vs ICICI: Who is winning the life insurance war?

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Insurance companies comparison

The insurance sector in India remains highly under penetrated among the common public. Although post-covid there has been a surge of interest regarding this essential product, widespread awareness remains low.

In such a scenario, shares of top life insurance companies can emerge as an interesting choice for investors which warrant a glance.

Now, since the earnings season concluded recently, let’s have a look at how these companies fared in the Jan - Mar ‘23 period? Which among LIC, HDFC Life, SBI Life and ICICI Prudential Life is ahead in the game of life insurance in India? Let’s find out!

LIC way ahead in gross premium income collections

Although the LIC share price performance since its listing has been a disappointment (down 27.5%), its performance in the March quarter dwarfed its peers in the life insurance space in terms of gross premium income.

Gross premium income is a critical metric for a life insurance company as it reveals the total amount of money collected by an insurance company from policyholders for providing insurance coverage during a specific period.

LICSBI LifeHDFC LifeICICI Prudential Life
Rs 1.31 lakh croresRs 19,897 crores19,426 croresRs 12,629 crores

LIC’s net commission income significantly ahead of other

LIC had a blowout March quarter and this can be gauged from its net commission income in the March quarter which was significantly above its peers.

Net commission income refers to the revenue generated by insurance agents or brokers through the sale of life insurance policies. This is an indicator of the efficiency of the agent network of an insurance company.

LICSBI LifeHDFC LifeICICI Prudential Life
Rs 8428 croresRs 874.1 croresRs 1111.4 croresRs 753.5 crores

ICICI Prudential’s solvency ratio ahead of others

Although LIC has had a stellar March quarter, it performed dismally compared to its peers when it comes to the key metric of solvency ratio. Here ICICI Prudential and HDFC Life left its government owned peers like SBI Life and LIC behind.

Solvency ratio is a metric that indicates the ability of an insurance company to meet its long-term financial obligations and remain financially stable.

LICSBI LifeHDFC LifeICICI Prudential Life

LIC had the highest net profits in the March quarter

However, it is at the bottom line where LIC raced ahead of its peers in the life insurance sector. In fact, LIC’s net profits are more than 17 times more than that of SBI Life, the company having the second highest profits among the top companies in the life insurance sector. 

LICSBI LifeHDFC LifeICICI Prudential Life
Rs 13428 croresRs 780 croresRs 359 croresRs 235 crores

LIC dividend the highest among its peers in the Jan - Mar ‘23 period

After reporting stellar profits, LIC also rewarded its shareholders with a high dividend payout. Notably, this was also higher than its peers.

LICSBI LifeHDFC LifeICICI Prudential Life
Rs 3 per shareRs 2.5 per shareRs 1.9 per shareRs 0.6 per share

Share price performance

SBI Life4.3%FLAT9.6%
HDFC Life4.5%2.5%2.1%
ICICI Prudential Life15.9%12.4%-4.3%

(as of 13th June, 2023)

This is not investment advice. Investments in the securities market are subject to market risk, read all the related documents carefully before investing. Past performance is not indicative of future returns.