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United India to expand micro-offices, agency channel

Posted on Sep 18, 02:43PM | IANS

United India Insurance Company plans to hire 21,000 agents and open 200 one-man offices in smaller cities and towns this fiscal to reach a gross premium of around Rs.10,250 crore, a senior company official said here.

The non-life insurer has decided to do so after its one-man offices and individual agents logged in handsome premium revenue.

"Last year the one-man office distribution channel fetched us a total premium of around Rs.300 crore. We have 407 one-man offices across the country. With an average premium per office working out to over Rs.73 lakh we plan to open 200 more such offices this year," the official told IANS, asking not to be named.

According to him, the people manning such offices collect the premium and issue the insurance polices which, in turn, result in lower overhead costs for the company.

The other benefit for the Rs.8,179 crore premium company is that a majority of those who are heading the one-man offices were earlier administrative staff. With a change in role, they are more than meeting their salary cost.

"The business from this channel is growing annually at around 40 percent," the official said.

Speaking about growing the individual agency channel that contributed Rs.3,500 crore business, the official said the company would recruit around 21,000 agents this year taking the total to 75,000.

"Our business target from this channel this year is around Rs.5,000 crore. Last year the individual agent's business grew 37 percent. The business from this channel is profitable," he said.

On motor insurance, United India is currently ranked fourth in the industry and is confident of jumping one place ahead this year by looking at bulk business from automobile makers and their dealers.

Last year the bulk motor business fetched the company around Rs.400 crore.

For the current fiscal, United India is targeting a gross premium of around Rs.10,250 crore, logging a growth rate of around 25 percent, the official said.

If that happens, United India will be snapping at the heels of the Rs.8,771-crore premium New India Assurance Company which is now growing at around 20 percent, he remarked.