"Numbers can be misinterpreted and we dont want
that to happen to us. It is our policy not to talk about
sensitive numbers like the number of policyholders we
have and the total premium earned," says ING Vysya
Life Insurance deputy managing director and president
Yvo R Metzelaar when queried about the number of people
who have reposed long-term faith in the company by taking
out a policy.
Its worth mentioning in this context that February and
March are the two months when people intending to avoid
income-tax liability will buy life insurance policies
actively. Starting its operations in last September ING
Vysya Life has an agency force of 800 people in addition
to the agents of Vysya Bank with which the company has
signed a marketing agreement.
press after inaugurating a branch in Chennai, all that
Metzelaar was willing to tell is that the company will
enroll 2 million policyholders in less than 10 years.
"Our best-selling product is our Reassuring Life
hotting up the countrys only private limited life insurer,
ING Vysya Life Insurance plans to declare a bonus on its
policy by infusing additional capital. According to managing
director and CEO Ton G M van der Star, the company will
decide the quantum of bonus by this yearend.
The three promoters
of the Rs 110-crore equity-based ING Vysya Life Vysya
Bank (49 per cent), ING International BV (26 per cent)
and GMR Technologies (25 per cent) will bring in an
additional capital of Rs 90 crore to finance policy bonus
and other business operations. "All the new insurers
who want to declare a bonus on their policies will have
to do that out of additional capital as the actuarial
surplus will take some years to happen," Star says.
The company assures
payment of cash bonus in two out of four policies in its
portfolio. While such a policy will make a policyholder
happy in the short run, in the long run cash bonus is
actually harmful, both to the company and policyholders.
Payment of cash
bonus will impact the liquidity and investment freedom
of a life insurer. For the policyholder, cash bonus may
be of lesser amount than reversionary bonus. According
to an industry official, ING Vysya Life is the first company
to start this practice largely prevalent in America.
The company offers
policyholders the choice to accumulate and grow the bonus
at a non-guaranteed rate of interest revised from time
to time or adjust the same against payment of future premium.
On the new products front Star says the company will launch
a group insurance product and whole-life policy soon.
company will leverage Vysya Banks 113 rural branches
located in Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka to sell its new
product, Securing Life, a rural endowment plan, and also
to fulfil its rural marketing obligation. The ten-year
endowment plan has the basic sum assured of Rs 5,000 and
offers a guaranteed addition of Rs 1,000 each year from
the sixth year onwards. The maturity benefit of this fixed
term policy is Rs 10,500, including a terminal bonus of
ING Vysya will
soon open branch offices in Hyderabad and Kolkata.