Optimistic about growth prospects, private sector insurer HDFC Ergo General Insurance plans to open 100 virtual offices in 2019-20.

“We have 125 virtual offices, of which, 15 are being converted to brick-and-mortar offices. Next year, we plan to open 100 more virtual offices,” said Anurag Rastogi, Member of Executive Management, HDFC ERGO General Insurance.

Virtual offices are single persons who sell insurance products using tablet computers. Once these persons meet a certain amount of business target at about ₹3 crore annually, they are then converted into brick-and-mortar offices, with more people employed. The general insurer is now present in 225 locations across the country, including branches and virtual offices, and is keen on expanding into smaller Tier III towns.

It is also looking to grow its distribution channels. Simultaneously, it is also strengthening tie-ups with auto manufacturers and banks.

“While we have a bancassurance partner within the group itself, we have tied up with several other banks (too), including Federal Bank and Lakshmi Vilas Bank. We are growing across different channels,” said Rastogi.

Apart from introducing products such as cyber insurance, title insurance, and inherent defect insurance, the insurer has also been investing heavily in technology and re-engineering the customer-facing processes with a focus on faster claim settlements.