Non-life government owned insurers log growth

April 9th, 2008 - 4:34 pm ICT by admin  

Chennai, April 9 (IANS) India’s four government-owned non-life insurers have collectively earned Rs.16.93 billion in premium during 1007-08, up from Rs.16.25 billion the previous year. But only three companies have logged positive growth in FY08. One posted a negative figure.

According to provisional figures for last fiscal, the three companies that posted growth are United India Insurance Co Ltd (Rs.37.40 billion, from Rs.34.99 billion); New India Assurance Co Ltd (Rs.53 billion, from Rs.50.17 billion) and National Insurance Co Ltd (Rs.40.30 billion, from Rs.38.14 billion).

The New Delhi-based Oriental Insurance Co earned Rs.38.60 billion in 2007-08, against Rs.39.27 billion earned the previous year.

All four companies have started to re-jig their business as recommended by the two foreign consultants: Boston Consulting Group and PricewaterhouseCoopers (PWC).

Today the buzz words in the four companies are ‘Nayee Disha’ (new direction), UniSurge, Project New Energy and IT Enabled Business Process Reengineering (BPR) - the names given by the four companies to their BPR initiative.

The two consultants have submitted their initial recommendations.

“The initial recommendations are divided into short, medium and long term measures,” V. Ramasaamy, chairman cum managing director (CMD) of the National Insurance, told IANS.

The short-term recommendations include centralisation of claims processing, dedicated branches to serve corporates/individual agents/bancassurance partners and developing internal marketing teams.

For the medium term, the consultants suggested development of individual agency force and in house marketing teams.

Queried on the similarity in the BPR solutions offered to all the insurers Ramasaamy said: “Broadly it may look identical. Actually the recommendations are custom designed. For instance in respect of bancassurance channel, PWC has shown us where to focus and where not to.”

National Insurance’s IT Enabled BPR pilot project involves setting up a claims hub in Kolkata and New Delhi while New India Assurance is expected to initiate its Project New Energy in Chennai next month. Kickstarting its BPR activity, Oriental Insurance opened its motor claims hub in New Delhi and plans one in Hyderabad.

“The basic idea is to make the branch and divisional heads to concentrate on marketing and be relieved of claims responsibility,” said M. Ramadoss, its chief managing director.

Bound by strict timelines, the claims hub is expected to bring down the average claims settlement time from the current 70 days.

“The officials have to pro-actively follow up with the claimants, surveyors, garages and others in the chain and settle a claim,” Ramadoss added.

Opening its first corporate branch in Mumbai under its UniSurge project, United India has plans to open dedicated branches for bancassurance partners and individual agents in Bangalore.

J. Gurumurthy, general secretary of the All India Insurance Employees Association, said: “The dedicated branches for corporates, bancassurance partners and agents are welcome measure.”

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