L. N. Revathy

Coimbatore, Feb. 10

PRIVATE insurance player Max New York Life Insurance Co Ltd (MNYL) has started tapping the rural insurance market. Its first initiative commenced in Punjab.

"Our idea is to penetrate into rural Punjab first, before expanding our (rural) presence in other States," Mr Rajesh Sud, Director - Agency, Bancassurance and Direct Sales Distribution, told Business Line.

Mr Sud was in the city to inaugurate the company's branch office. This addition takes the company's countrywide branch network to 48 offices across 34 cities.

To a query on how typically `rural' was MNYL's presence, he conceded that the regulatory authority's connotation was broad enough to imply "any place that is not urban as rural." The company has established six offices in rural Punjab.

"We have been able to sell good value propositions both individual and group life cover solutions. The sum assured range is above Rs 50,000 and we even have a Million Dollar Round Table agent,' he said, justifying the company's rural presence.

Reverting to performance, he said the company turned profitable on the US' Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP) accounting standards in its fourth year of operations. "2004 has been a bumper year for MNYL with the total premium touching Rs 348 crore, which is more than double the premium income garnered in 2003."

The company has sold over 4.46 lakh policies with more than Rs 15,200 crore in sum assured. Its offering in the Indian market includes 14 products and nine riders, customised to more than 400 combinations. "We have more products in the pipeline. We recently introduced a unit-linked plan. A pension plan is already in place," he said.

(This article was published in the Business Line print edition dated February 11, 2005)
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