Aditya Birla Health Insurance expects its agency channel to register faster growth than bancassurance going ahead, as the standalone health insurer is looking to grow ahead of the industry.

“We will continue to grow ahead of the market,” Mayank Bathwal, CEO, Aditya Birla Health Insurance, told businessline when asked about the expected growth of the company’s gross written premium (GWP) for this fiscal.

Bathwal said the combination of the Aditya Birla brand, overall product portfolio, and distributions will help the health insurance company clock higher premium growth.

“We have a large distribution reach. We work with 18 banks. We have around one lakh agents and 225-odd branches. We sell directly with our own digital platforms,” he said.

Activ One plan

The standalone health insurance company, the health insurance arm of Aditya Birla Capital, announced on Thursday the launch of ‘Activ One’, a health insurance plan for customers across different health or life stages.

The retail insurance business comprises around 52% of the company’s gross written premium. “Within retail, around 50% comes from the bancassurance channel and about 25% comes from the agency,” the CEO said.

On whether this channel mix will continue, he said, “This trend will broadly continue because we will keep growing agency and bancassurance channels. May be the agency channel will increase a bit; it will grow faster than bancassurance. Because the agency channel is more proprietary. We don’t really worry about proportions as long as both are growing,” Bathwal pointed out.

During the last financial year, the gross written premium of the insurer stood at ₹2,717 crore, registering around 56 per cent year-on-year growth. “Last year we grew very fast as we added a lot of channels,” Bathwal said.

For the health insurer, about 65–70 per cent of its business comes from non-metro locations. “Non-Metro is growing very fast for us because of our presence through branches and bancassurance channels. Actually, we are adding more distributions in small locations than in metros,” Bathwal added.