New India Assurance targets health sector for revenue growth

The state-owned New India Assurance Co Ltd said on Friday that it has decided to step up its focus on health insurance.

''Health insurance has been a strong growth driver for us, and the category accounts for about 28 per cent of company's total premium collections. We are targeting to garner a total health assurance premium income of about Rs3,500 crore by the end of this fiscal, G Srinivasan, chairman and managing director, said in Chennai after launching the company's floater mediclaim product.

''To boost the growth further, we will come out with top-up schemes in health products over the next three months,'' he added.

Under the new floater mediclaim scheme, the premium amount will be about Rs6,000 for a Rs2-lakh assured policy, covering a family of four. This policy is available for people up to the age of 65 years.

The company has just rolled out Assurance on Wheels, under which a mobile van connected to the company's central server will visit rural villages to market insurance products. It has already launched the scheme in Madurai region, and is set to take it other locations in the state and southern region.

It has also launched two mobile appto enable customers to buy and renew insurance policies on their smartphones.

Srinivasan said New India expects to close the financial year with a premium collection of Rs14,500 crore; and for the next financial, it has set a target of Rs16,500 crore. The company will increase its focus on retail business to fuel its growth.

He said in the last two years the company had been pushing the retail business, while earlier the thrust was in corporate business. ''Corporate business has saturated, so the growth lies in retail segment,'' Srinivasan said.

Speaking to reporters after launching company's New India Floater Mediclaim, he said the insurer will approach the Insurance Regulatory Authority of India (IRDA) with a health insurance top-up policy.

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

"We will soon come out with a package policy covering the home, its contents, and insurance against various risks."

Speaking about international business, he said currently overseas operations contribute around 22 per cent of the total revenue. "Our Myanmar branch will be soon operational as it has got all the regulatory approvals, while Canadian and Qatar forays await regulatory approvals," Srinivasan said.