Aegon Religare targeting Rs.500 crore premium in 2010-11

October 8th, 2010 - 4:22 pm ICT by IANS  

Chennai, Oct 8 (IANS) Adopting a multi-pronged strategy,
Aegon Religare Life Insurance Company is targeting a total premium of Rs.500 crore this fiscal.

The strategy encompasses raising capital, cutting costs, increasing the number of products, branches and agents, and expanding the online presence.

The company is also planning to rope in a bank as an investor so as to grow the business manifold, using the bancassurance model.

Aegon Religare is a three-way joint venture between the Netherlands-based Aegon (holding 26 percent equity), and India’s Religare Enterprises (44 percent) and Bennett and Coleman (30 percent).

Come December, the company plans to automate its underwriting process with a software acquired from a reinsurance company.

“The automation of policy underwriting process will start this December. This would result in cutting costs and speeding up the underwriting process,” a company official told IANS.

According to him, the company’s total expense will be around 15 percent lower than what was budgeted through outsourcing activities- processing proposal forms, printing and dispatching of policies.

At a time when other players are closing down their branches and sending out people, Aegon Religare is doing the opposite.

“We have increased our network by 47 branches to 98 this year and plans to increase that number to 120 by the end of this fiscal. We will also be hiring around 600 persons this year,” Chief Marketing Officer Yateesh Srivastava told IANS.

He said all the branches have a mandate to break even in three years time so that the company can achieve the same by 2016.

Aegon Religare will also be increasing its individual agency force by 8,000 to 20,000 by the end of this fiscal.

According to Srivastava, the individual agents bring in 40 percent of the total business and rest is shared by corporate agents (35 percent), direct sales force (20 percent) and five percent online sales.

On the product space, Aegon Religare has filed with the insurance regulator for approval a policy for children and a policy that guarantees the net asset value (NAV).

The company has also filed a single and regular premium unit linked insurance policy (ULIP) to be sold purely online.

Asked about the company’s premium earning last month post the new ULIP regulations, Srivastava said: “We would have earned new business premium of around Rs.20 crore as against around Rs.33 crore earned in August.”

“Before the new guidelines we had five ULIPs. The insurance regulator has approved only two ULIPs under the new rules,” he said.

The absence of child and pension policies has hit the company to the tune of 30 percent. “Around 10 percent of our premium used to be from child policy and 20 percent from pension policy,” Srivastava said.

About the plans to bring in a bank as a shareholder, a company official told IANS: “We have done several things new and our costs are low. In order to take the business to the next level at low cost, a bank as one of the promoter will be ideal.”

The Rs.820-crore company may get further capital infusions so as to take the total capital base to around Rs.1,000 crore by the end of this fiscal.

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