Indian insurer upbeat on growth prospects

Life Insurance Corporation (LIC) of India is eyeing greater regional outreach, as premiums in Bahrain registered a steady growth despite a general slowdown of the industry. India’s largest insurer is upbeat about growth prospects as it tries to encourage Bahrainis to take up life insurance.

“We’re looking to tie up with some banks, in order to use their distribution network for our products,” said LIC of India chairman D K Mehrotra after the firm’s 78th board meeting. The company has sold 7,449 new policies in Bahrain and has collected BD17.45 million as new premium at November end, an increase of 15 per cent over the same period last year.

“There has been a slowdown in the performance of the insurance industry globally,” said Mr Mehrotra.

“The company has exceeded the budget and overall is expected to do well.

“Last year, the premiums grew at 54pc and we expect it to grow by another 15 to 20pc.”

The company aims to generate BD22.65m new business premium at the year-end and has settled BD7.1m towards claims. Life insurance, which is subscribed widely by the Indian expatriate community, has seen few takers among Bahrainis.

LIC International, which operates in Bahrain, is aiming to generate interest in life insurance, in order to make their products more acceptable to the local market.

“We have been trying to promote our products among Bahrainis but we haven’t been very successful,” said Mr Mehrotra. “We don’t want our customers to be only Indians and people of Indian origin.

“We feel we are part of the local system and we want Bahrainis to benefit from our products too,” he added.

Around 42 professional intermediary agents from Bahrain are expected to qualify as insurance consultants from US-based Million Dollar Roundtable.

The professional trade association helps insurance salespersons with best business practices.

“It’s a great learning experience for our agents,” said Mr Mehrotra.

“More than 4,000 have qualified from our home market in India and we expect around 42 to qualify from Bahrain,” he said. The unrest in the Middle East has not affected the insurance industry, he added.

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