No slowdown in India Post’s insurance business

March 31st, 2009 - 2:05 pm ICT by IANS  

By Venkatachari Jagannathan and Alkesh Sharma
Chennai/Chandigarh, March 31 (IANS) Officials at the India Post Insurance Directorate, the insurance arm of India Post, are upbeat about business prospects, while the rest of the industry is struggling to cope with a slowdown.

The two major schemes of the company - postal life insurance (PLI) and rural postal life insurance (RPLI) - are logging good growth despite bad economic sentiments, the officials said.

“Till January this fiscal, India Post Insurance has earned Rs.1,699.86 crore (fresh and renewal premiums) under the PLI and RPLI schemes,” a senior official, who did not want to be identified, told IANS.

It sold 864,594 policies (276,354 PLI and 588,240 RPLI) during the April 2008-January 2009 period.

According to the official, the premium target for 2008-09 under the PLI and the RPLI schemes are Rs.1,830 crore and Rs.1,291.24 crore respectively.

“March is the busiest month for us and our sales force is very busy. We are confident of achieving the targets,” he said.

In 2007-08, India Post Insurance earned a total premium of Rs.2,750.15 crore.

According to officials, India Post policies are popular in all parts of the country.

Punjab’s chief postmaster general Prithvi Raj Kumar told IANS: “In our circle, till January 2009, the PLI business touched Rs.57.7 crore as against Rs.34.36 crore in the corresponding period last fiscal.”

He expressed the hope that the circle would likely meet its fiscal target of around Rs.100 crore in 2008-09 as most of the business comes in the last quarter.

India Post Insurance is also drawing up plans to ensure higher growth. It has already decentralised the process of recruiting agents at the divisional level to beef up the sales force strength.

According to officials, each of the 442 postal divisions will appoint 20 agents to their sales team.

India Post Insurance has also trained around 1,100 agents in association with Mumbai-based Insurance Institute of India.

At present, postal department officials and over 200,000 agents are selling India Post Insurance policies across the country.

India Post Insurance has also started providing underwriting training (process of evaluating and accepting an insurance proposal) to its staff.

Sources told IANS that the company was looking for a fund manager to manage its corpus of over Rs.16,000 crore.

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