Money & Banking

Microinsurance, protection plans to drive growth for IndiaFirst Life

G Naga Sridhar Hyderabad | Updated on January 09, 2018 Published on December 25, 2017

R M Vishakha, MD and CEO, IndiaFirst Life Insurance

IndiaFirst Life Insurance Company, which is the fastest growing insurer in individual business, will focus on bancassurance, microinsurance and protection plans to drive growth.

RM Vishakha, Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer, IndiaFirst Life Insurance, said: “We intend to grow above industry average in 2018 and the next fiscal.’’

Business mix

The company has a business mix of 44 per cent retail business, 14 per cent group protection and 40 per cent corporate business with 80 per cent of the total business being generated from banks and 20 per cent from other channels.

It is promoted by Bank of Baroda, Andhra Bank and UK-based Legal & General. As on September 30, 2017, IndiaFirst registered 108 per cent growth in individual business compared to the same period last year.

“Bancassurance, microinsurance and protection are the pillars on which we are building our business. We will continue to stay invested in building these three pillars. Our recently launched CSC Insurance Khata has shown initial success with sales of almost 2,500 policies in the first 20 days of launch,’’ she said.

Since banks are the company’s promoters as well distributors, IndiaFirst will partner with them to develop all the products needed to meet customer requirements. The partnership also enables integration of technology, increased customer service and access across all bank branches, she added.

On the changes in the market dynamics in view of three life insurers going public and more likely to follow, Vishakha said listing makes the companies more publicly accountable.

“I believe the reporting parameters will change from topline numbers to numbers that reflect customer value and company stability. This will have a cascading effect on how the companies are measured and monitored across the industry.’’

Industry growth

On the industry growth, she said it continued to see “positive uptrend’’, post demonetisation. The industry has seen a 22 per cent year-on-year growth on gross premium and a 25 per cent year-on-year growth on individual premium.

Next year, the growth is expected to accelerate with the recent fine-tuning of measures on GST compliance, a large recapitalisation plan for public banks and easing of policy uncertainty.

“This should have an overall positive impact, despite the rising interest rate scenario and increase in crude oil prices,’’ Vishakha observed.

On the proposed changes in products/investment norms by the regulator, she said there should not be any changes in the Unit Linked Insurance Plan (ULIP) regulations, that have been already been overhauled and have stabilised to create trust.

“In case of traditional policies, the focus needs to be on how to enable persistency than trying to find solutions to discontinue,’’ she added.

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Published on December 25, 2017
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