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New India Assurance focuses on retail lines with new products

Posted on Mar 14 2014 | IANS

Chennai, March 14 : Government-owned non-life insurer New India Assurance Company has decided to focus on retail lines of business to fuel its growth with new products and distribution points, a top company official said Friday.

G. Srinivasan, chairman-cum-managing director, said the company will be closing this fiscal with a total premium of Rs.14,500 crore and the next year target is around Rs.16,500 crore.

"We will be approaching the regulator with a health insurance top-up policy. We will soon come out with a package policy covering home, its contents, and health insurance against various risks," Srinivasan told reporters here.

He was launching the company's upgraded health insurance policy, New India Floater Mediclaim.

Srinivasan said 1,500 micro offices have been opened across the country to expand the company's reach.

He said mobile vans with computers connected to the company's servers with a facility to sell policies launched in Tamil Nadu recently will be expanded in south India first and later in other parts of the country.

"We have also launched two mobile phone apps that would enable users to buy or renew our insurance policies. Till now around 20,000 downloads have been measured," K. Sanath Kumar, general manager and whole-time director, said.

On the retail thrust, Srinivasan said: "This is happening in the last two years. Earlier the company was known for its corporate business. While the corporate business has saturated, the growth opportunity lies in retail segment."

According to him, the company is hoping to earn around Rs.3,500 crore from health insurance business.

"The trend is that people are opting for floater insurance cover as compared to individual covers as it is around 15-20 percent cheaper."

Under floater insurance, the sum insured (value of insurance) floats over the heads of family members. Any one or even all can make a claim subject to the maximum of the sum insured.

"The probability of all the family members falling sick to spend a large sum in a year is low," said Srinivasan.

On the company's international operations contributing around 22 percent of the total business, Srinivasan said the Myanmar branch will be soon operational as it has got all the regulatory approvals.

"Our Canadian and Qatar forays await regulatory approvals," he said.

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