Standalone health insurer Niva Bupa Health Insurance (formerly, Max Bupa Health Insurance), is charting a southern market expansion programme for which the company plans to hire 30,000 agents and achieve more than three-fold growth in gross written premium (GWP) and coverage of lives in the region by FY24.

“Overall, we are targeting GWP of ₹5,000 crore by 2023-24 and to cover about 10 million lives in the country by then. We expect good growth to come from the southern region — Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana and Kerala — in particular Tamil Nadu over the next 2-3 years. We have consolidated our position in the southern market with steady growth of 84 per cent in retail business in the last two years,” Krishnan Ramachandran, MD & CEO, Niva Bupa Health Insurance, said.

The company believes that there is a substantial increase in the demand for health insurance post the outbreak of Covid-19. A recent survey highlights that low awareness and clarity on health insurance is limiting the purchase of health insurance products in the region.

Aggressive target

Niva Bupa aims to increase policy purchase by six times in the region. The company aims to cover one million lives in southern market by FY24, up from 3-lakh plus now. It plans to sell about 470,000 health policies and achieve GWP of ₹800 crore by FY24, up from about ₹270 crore now. The company’s southern network comprises 45 offices in 37 cities.

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Niva Bupa plans to employ 30,000 agents, including 10,000 in Tamil Nadu, in the southern region by FY24 as part of its expansion in the region. “We will provide adequate training programmes and encourage women and housewives in the southern market to become insurance agents, thereby helping them to become financially independent,” said Ankur Kharbanda, Director – Retail Sales, Niva Bupa Health Insurance.

The company has close to 2,500 network hospitals in South India and close to 8,000 hospitals across the country. During the Covid-19 pandemic, the company paid Covid related claims worth ₹95 crore to 6,500 customers in the southern market. Overall, it settled ₹700 crore worth of Covid-19-related claims.

More products planned

“Apart from expanding our presence in the Tier III and IV markets, we are also investing heavily in growing our product portfolio. We plan to continue on our growth journey by introducing more innovative products to serve the evolving and diversified needs of our customers,” said Ramachandran.

Niva Bupa recorded 41 per cent growth in FY21 and in the current fiscal it has grown by 70 per cent till date, supported by strong retail business.