Star Health and Allied Insurance Company Ltd (Star Health), a leading standalone private health insurer, plans to set up 1,000 new sales offices this fiscal as part of its overall efforts to deepen its penetration in rural India, Anand Roy, Chief Executive Officer and Managing Director said.

This company has also now decided to ramp up its “wellness” related offerings in the coming days and treat it as a focus area. 

“By integrating wellness into our insurance offerings, Star Health will empower our policyholders to take charge of their health and proactively manage their well-being”, Roy told businessline in an interview in the capital.

Time has now come for improved thrust towards wellness. “It is not only managing hospital costs, it is also about how to keep them (customers) out of hospitals”, Roy said. 

“Our wellness programs follow the motto ‘from illness to wellness’. We already have OPD. We also have telemedicine service

Additionally, we plan to leverage data and technology to identify risks in our policyholders’ health and provide personalised wellness recommendations”. 

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Stating that Rural India is now a big focus area for the company, Roy said that the good thing is that cost of operations in rural geographies is low. “The aspiration level of rural India is as high as urban India. They (people in rural India) are not buying low end cheap policies. They are buying proper health insurance plans. Ticket size is also similar”, Roy said.

Currently, Star Health, which already has 200 branches and 500 sales offices in rural India, gets 25 percent of its overall revenues from rural India. This private health insurer sees ample growth opportunities in semi urban and rural India.

“Philosophy of company has been to push the boundary on health insurance. Rural focus is part of the philosophy where we want all Indians to have health insurance. This is in line with the current insurance regulator’s thinking process though we started much ahead of that”, Roy said.

For the fiscal year ended March 31, 2023, Star Health recorded a retail health premium of ₹ 11,948 crore, a growth of 18 percent over previous fiscal. Star Health has a retail health market share of 34 percent in the Indian general insurance industry as of March 31, 2023.

This company had in FY23 recorded a net profit of ₹619 crore as compared to net loss of ₹ 1041 crore in previous fiscal.

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Roy said that Star Health is now eyeing over 20 per cent increase in retail premium in each of the next 4-5 years. He also expressed confidence of existing accumulated losses in its balance sheet — largely that arose due to increase in Covid-related claims—getting wiped out this fiscal.

In April this year, this standalone health insurer recorded a 25 per cent increase in gross direct premium at ₹823.3 crore (₹ 658.5 crore in April 2022), latest filing with the stock exchanges showed.


Roy said that Star Health is now in active talks with large private sector banks so as to enter into bancassurance tie ups.

“We already have tie-ups with large public sector banks. We have medium sized private sector banks. What we don’t have is large private banks. We are talking to all of them. We expect something happening in bancassurance in big way this year”, Roy said.

Star Health recently entered into banca tie ups with Standard Chartered Bank and India Post Payments Bank. 

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However, Roy emphasised that Star Health would continue to be an agency driven organisation and that existing 6 lakh plus agents would continue to play a big role. Nearly 80 percent of company’s business comes through the agency channel.

On capital raising, Roy said that the company was comfortable on the capital front. 

“Since we have come back into profitability, we can retain our earnings that will fund our growth. There is no plan to raise capital. We also have subordinated debt route if need arises”, he added.