Expects new premiums to touch Rs 1,200 cr this fiscal

Life insurance company IndiaFirst is expecting new business premiums to touch Rs 1,200 crore this fiscal on the back of enhanced channel distribution and focus on health and pension products. Despite the challenging economic environment, the company recorded new premium income of about Rs 980 crore in 2010-11, .

Overall, the company is targeting 75 per cent renewals in premiums, said Mr P. Nandagopal, Managing Director, IndiaFirst Life.

IndiaFirst, a joint venture of Bank of Baroda, Andhra Bank and UK-based Legal and General, entered the life insurance market in 2009, and plans to focus and strengthen its portfolio as a major health insurance player going forward, said Mr Nandagopal.

More products

He added that the company would come out with more pension products targeting the youth. The company plans to launch its first pension plan this quarter. It aims to garner about 25 per cent of its total premium from health plans in the next two years, where earlier it was expecting to draw in 10 per cent. At present, the company collects about less than 3 per cent premium from health products, Mr Nandagopal said. Though a few life insurers provide healthcare plans, there are a few dedicated health insurers such as HDFC Ergo, Apollo Munic and Max Bupa, amongst others.

Even as it plans to focus more on health and pension, Mr Nandagopal said that the company would work towards a two-pronged strategy to increase the bancassurance and multi-insurance channels pan-India, especially in the semi-urban and rural market from where it gets 80 per cent business. IndiaFirst Life is dominant in the western and northern markets at present. The company also plans to launch its first rural product next month.

“We are investing a lot in training the agents and advisors about unit-linked products so that they can suggest the right products to the people. We are also working towards providing a better customer experience and service,” he said. Noting that as a line of business, health offers the best potential in the insurance sector, he added that in the next 3-5 years, almost all the insurers would focus on this sector.

priyanka.pani@thehindu.co.in

(This article was published on July 20, 2012)
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