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IndiaFirst Life to focus on micro insurance

Surabhi Mumbai | Updated on September 30, 2018 Published on September 30, 2018

RM Vishakha, MD & CEO, IndiaFirst Life Insurance

Says no major change in strategy since Warburg Pincus acquired 26% stake

Private insurer IndiaFirst Life Insurance plans to continue its focus on a balanced mix of products with special attention to micro-insurance products. It does not expect a significant change in its strategy with Warburg Pincus picking up 26 per cent of stake.

“We are not looking at any major strategic shift. We have always focussed on a balanced mix of ULIPs and traditional products with huge impetus on micro insurance,” said RM Vishakha, Managing Director and CEO.

Warburg Pincus acquired Legal & General’s 26 per cent stake in IndiaFirst Life Insurance, the insurer had said in June this year.

“We are focussing on the overall growth of the company including creating embedded value,” Vishakha said noting that the insurer has been on a “good growth strategy” and rise in premium numbers.

While bancassurance continues to be a large part of the business, the insurer is now also investing in brokers, she told BusinessLine.

Micro insurance

As part of its micro insurance focus, the company had, last November, launched Insurance Khata Plan, which offers flexibility to customers to add new accounts and buy multiple single-premium policies.

As of now, it has sold over 40,000 policies under the product and collected ₹7.51 crore premium.

It also offers another product called Shubhlabh. Vishakha, however, underlined the need to review the tax rates on micro insurance products.

GST on insurance

“The Life Insurance Council has made representations to lower the 18 per cent goods and services tax on insurance products,” she said, noting that products like Insurance Khata where the premium is as low as ₹500 attracts GST of 4.5 per cent when it is sold through Common Service Centres or Points of Sale.

“It is a lot of money,” she said, adding that the GST rate should be lower for small policy holders.

Published on September 30, 2018
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