LIC’s Western Zonal office plans to expand its agency force of 2.06 lakh agents by 50 per cent this year. That would mean about a lakh of agents are to be added before March 2019, said Vipin Anand, Zonal Manager, Western Zone. As part of an aggressive marketing strategy, the corporation has also increased its in-house marketing force by about 10 per cent, he said.
The Western Zone (comprising Maharashtra, Gujarat, Goa, Daman and Diu) is a critical arm of the corporation, with 21 per cent of its business coming from this region. In the last fiscal (ended March 2018), the zone underwrote about 34.6 lakh new policies and brought in about Rs.9,002 crore as first premium income. Total premium income of the zone for the last fiscal was nearly Rs.75,000 crore.
Anand added that financial planning had to begin with life insurance. He said that life insurance has become the third necessity after roti (food) and kapada (clothing), beating makaan (shelter), as housing had become very expensive with protection of lives becoming critical. Vipin also said that life insurance provided an element of compulsive saving for many Indians, and could actually ensure long-term financial stability when compared to any other product. He dismissed the notion that life insurance was a low-return product, arguing that it was part of a whole package of benefits that included savings, risk cover, investment and tax benefits. And it was all about the fortunate paying for the unfortunate, he said.