Compare the regulators of the three industry in terms of their web sites and you get a fair idea of the maturity level of the industry itself. The links: SEBI, NHB, IRDA. True, they are different products but look at their efforts in making the public aware. Yours truly made an attempt to contact the three regulators on the net media.
SEBI investor guidance gives the latest efforts.Infact it has a separate site dedicated to investors. IRDA investor awareness section has not been updated after Feb, 2005. And the NHB "contact us" mail id bounced!!
I have a feeling that there is a comparative advantages of a Mutual Fund by way of more transparency, flexibility and being well regulated. Insurance and Housing Finance market have a lot of catching up to do.