The Life Insurance Corporation (LIC) of India will open 300 mini offices across the country by month-end, said Thomas Mathew T, the Chairman-in-charge, LIC, adding that the corporation was opening 10 mini offices a day.
Addressing the media at a seminar on Financial Inclusion ‘Millions to Cover-Reaching the Unreached through Insurance’ at the National Insurance Academy (NIA) in the city, Mathew said the offices will provide basic insurance services and would be manned by LIC employees. LIC has 2,067 offices and satellite centres across the country and will open 1,320 more, he added.
The decision comes in the wake of Finance Minister P Chidambaram’s announcement in the 2013 budget speech, where he talked about opening insurance offices across the country.
To speed up the process of opening offices and cut the time lag, IRDA has allowed expansion in Tier II cities, said T S Vijayan, Chairman, IRDA.
Vijayan also expressed hope of delivering insurance policies across the country through the 1 lakh Common Service Centres soon. Insurance companies would be able to deliver e-policies through the centres in two-three months when the insurance repository begins, he said, adding, this would bring about a reduction in the service cost of policies.
“We are in the process of finalising the draft for new bancassurance (bank insurance model) regulations. Things will be clear within a month,” said Vijayan.
He said there is a difference in opinion between insurance companies promoted by banks and other insurance companies. Vijayan said he was confident of building a consensus on how to utilise the network of banks to sell insurance.
India’s insurance penetration is 4.1 per cent much lower than developed nations like UK with 12 per cent and Japan with 13 per cent penetration.
Similarly, the insurance density in India was at US$ 59 compared to US$ 4,000 to $ 5,000 in advanced countries.