New India Assurance sets premium target of Rs 14,500 cr

HYDERABAD: General insurance companyNew India Assurance has set a premium collection target of Rs 14,500 crore for the next financial year, a top company official said here today.

“We are expected to cross Rs 12,000 crore premium collection by the end of current financial year (2012-13). In the next financial year. Our target is to reach about Rs 14,500 crore,” the Chairman and Managing Director of New India Assurance, G Srinivasan, told reporters.

Speaking after inaugurating a micro office of the company at West Marredpally here this evening, he said, “In India, we hope to complete premium collection of Rs 12,000 crore and Rs 2,500 crore from overseas operation respectively in 2013-14.”

Reacting to a query on reports that the third-party insurance will be hiked by 85 per cent for cars below 1,000cc, Srinivasan said IRDA has come out with an exposure draft and invited comments from various stakeholders like insurers, customers.

“IRDA is expected to come out with its final decision at any moment and we are waiting for it. Normally, the increase will be done from April 1,” he said.

Asked about the likely increase, Srinivasan said the reports on 85 per cent hike is the initial draft.

Based on the feedback given IRDA will decide on what will be the real increase, he said adding, “The moment the IRDA decision comes out, we will know the exact increase…we can’t predict it now.”

“There will be a hike because motor third party losses are very high and insurance industry is making losses and so there is a need for price correction,” he pointed out.

“In fact, the insurance industry has been asking for a substantial price correction because the losses are very high, but we have to wait and see how the regulator takes the decision,” Srinivasan added.

New India Assurance registered a gross premium of over Rs 10,000 crore in 2011-12, Srinivasan said.

The state-run firm has 1,600 offices in the country, he said adding, “We are also operating in 22 countries and plan of getting into three more countries including Qatar, Myanmar and Canada by next financial year.”

From being preferred insurer of major industrial houses in the country, the company’s focus is now moving to retail lines of business which has great scope to develop in future, Srinivasan said.

“In this regard, we aim to increase our agency strength from 45,000 agents to 1 lakh agents in the next two years. We also have plans of opening micro office centres across the country. In the last four months we have opened 300 micro offices (one-man offices) across the country and we will be opening another 300 such offices in 2013-14,” he added.

The general insurance business in India has been growing at a good pace in the last three years with a growth of more than 20 per cent per annum, he said.

The industry last year collected Rs 55,000 crore premium and by 2015 the industry is likely to cross Rs 1 lakh crore premium collection and by 2020 the industry is likely to touch Rs 2.5 lakh crore, he said.

There is a huge potential waiting to be tapped and with increased awareness in the general insurance industry and this type of growth will continue for many more years, Srinivasan added.

Source :The Economics Times.
Date : 26/03/2013

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