SBI Gen­eral In­sur­ance .....................

Com­pany will con­tinue fo­cus on per­sonal lines and SMEs:

Banking Frontiers - - Highlights - me­hul@bank­ingfron­

SBI Gen­eral In­sur­ance has grown at a rate of 24% in 2017-18 over the pre­vi­ous year, as against in­dus­try growth of about 17%. Its prin­ci­pal growth drivers have been: 18% in mo­tor in­sur­ance, 22% in health, and 19% in crop. Mo­tor in­sur­ance con­sti­tuted 39% of its port­fo­lio and health 25%. Ac­cord­ing to the com­pany’s MD and CEO Pushan Ma­ha­p­a­tra, the growth on these two ma­jor lines has been bet­ter than the in­dus­try rate. Crop in­sur­ance has also played a sig­nif­i­cant role and was about 17% of the port­fo­lio size. “Mo­tor in­sur­ance growth has been largely pos­si­ble be­cause of our good ac­cept­abil­ity in the OEM tie-ups. In FY19, we will con­tinue to work on the same strat­egy of main­tain­ing growth in these 3 lines. In ad­di­tion, we will have re­newed fo­cus on prop­erty lines through SME and re­tail prod­ucts like ‘Long Term Home/Sim­ple Home’,” says he.


The com­pany has been a ma­jor player in the tier 2 & 3 and in ru­ral ar­eas with its sim­ple prod­ucts. It is­sued over 5 mil­lion poli­cies in these re­gions in 2017-18. Ma­ha­p­a­tra says the com­pany’s Sim­ple Health Pol­icy and In­di­vid­ual Per­sonal Ac­ci­dent In­sur­ance Pol­icy are the high­est sell­ing prod­ucts. “We will al­ways en­deavor to lever­age our far-reach­ing dis­tri­bu­tion po­ten­tial to of­fer sim­ple in­sur­ance so­lu­tions best suited to such pro­file of cus­tomers,” he adds.

SBI Gen­eral In­sur­ance is now en­gaged in mass me­dia cam­paign aimed at ed­u­cat­ing the unin­sured and pro­vid­ing them the op­tion of vis­it­ing their near­est SBI or SBI Gen­eral In­sur­ance branch or the com­pany’s web­site for get­ting them­selves cov­ered. The me­dia plan in­cludes cam­paigns us­ing TV, dig­i­tal & out­door medi­ums. The out­door cam­paign was launched in 15 non-metro lo­ca­tions and ad­e­quate point-of-sale col­lat­er­als in­clud­ing posters, leaflets, and fly­ers were sup­plied to the SBI branch lo­ca­tions through the mapped SBI Gen­eral In­sur­ance branches.


SBI Gen­eral In­sur­ance is now in the process of im­plant­ing sev­eral trans­for­ma­tive tech­nolo­gies “We aim to use blockchain tech­nol­ogy, in­te­grat­ing it with the ex­ist­ing in­fra­struc­ture to re­duce turn­around time as well as op­ti­mize the re­sources,” says Ma­ha­p­a­tra. He adds: “Hav­ing im­ple­mented cloud tech­nol­ogy, we are aim­ing to see a change in var­i­ous claims pro­cesses such as net pro­moter score and in-house in­ves­ti­ga­tions. The cloud of­fers in­her­ent ben­e­fits such as state-of-the-art se­cu­rity fea­tures, ease of ap­pli­ca­tion and re­duced pro­cess­ing and in­fra­struc­ture cost. We are work­ing closely with OEM part­ners to au­to­mate claims pro­cesses and pro­vide seam­less ser­vices to our cus­tomers. Sev­eral of our em­ploy­ees do not work out of an of­fice and with the help of cloud, we are able to cre­ate a shared in­fra­struc­ture that can be ac­cessed any­where, which helps re­duce turn­around time, thereby en­hanc­ing cus­tomer ex­pe­ri­ence.”

The com­pany is also us­ing cog­ni­tive ser­vices, which has a wide range of ap­pli­ca­tions. Ma­ha­p­a­tra says the com­pany will use the tech­nol­ogy in the form of chat­bots and points out that a num­ber of com­pa­nies have adopted chat­bots to of­fer bet­ter ser­vice to their clients. SBI Gen­eral In­sur­ance would bring the prod­uct to the mar­ket with an ecosys­tem to man­age and han­dle cy­ber risks as a dif­fer­en­tia­tor with vast prod­uct fea­tures, says he.


The ban­cas­sur­ance chan­nel has greatly helped the com­pany in tap­ping the un­der­served mar­kets. “Ban­cas­sur­ance,” says Ma­ha­p­a­tra, “com­prises 55% of our dis­tri­bu­tion net­work. Pen­e­trat­ing into these mar­kets has and will al­ways be a chal­lenge for the in­sur­ance in­dus­try. With the help of this chan­nel, we have been able to reach out to some of these ar­eas.”

SBI GI has some 111 stand­alone branches to reach out to the un­der­in­sured seg­ment. It also has a vast foot­print through 20,000 Spec­i­fied Per­sons, or SPs, 8944 agents and 305 bro­kers. “We shall con­tinue to lever­age the far-reach­ing dis­tri­bu­tion po­ten­tial to of­fer sim­ple in­sur­ance so­lu­tions best suited to such pro­file of cus­tomers. We are one of the few brands to have a sub­stan­tial pres­ence in the North East,” says Ma­ha­p­a­tra.


SBI Gen­eral In­sur­ance has recorded its first an­nual un­der­writ­ing profit of `320 mil­lion in FY 2017-18 vis-à-vis an un­der­writ­ing loss of `1.97 bil­lion in FY 2016-17. “We are one of the first play­ers to achieve prof­its in early stages of op­er­a­tions. We have al­ways main­tained that the true per­for­mance of an in­sur­ance player lies not just in their GWP, but also in se­cur­ing an un­der­writ­ing profit,” says Ma­ha­p­a­tra.


Semi-ur­ban and ru­ral ar­eas are very im­por­tant for SBI Gen­eral In­sur­ance as peo­ple in these ar­eas gen­er­ally lack aware­ness about in­sur­ance. Ma­ha­p­a­tra sees an up­ward swing in health in­sur­ance in these ar­eas even as mo­tor in­sur­ance will grow in line with sales of new ve­hi­cles. “We will fo­cus on per­sonal lines and the SME seg­ment, as that is where our strength is,” he con­cludes.

Pushan Ma­ha­p­a­tra be­lieves un­der­writ­ing profit is also as im­por­tant as GWP

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