Notwithstanding the challenges posed by the coronavirus pandemic, Exide Life Insurance Co Ltd with a focus on customer retention and speedy claim settlement hopes to match its FY20 business performance this fiscal, a top company official said. Before the pandemic enforced lockdown, when the industry was expected to grow by 15-20 percent in 2020-21, the objective of the company was to grow upwards of twice the pace of the industry, Exide Life Insurance Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer Kshitij Jain said.
"We were aiming to grow at least by 30 percent in the year 2020-21. But the pandemic and lockdown has changed all that... projection (growth) for the full year right now I think would be a wishful thinking, it cannot be based on any facts. So what I can say is that, we expect that our business will come at least flat if not show some growth," Jain told PTI in an interview.
However, the company said it won't be able to share the growth figures for FY20 because of their internal compliance and legal requirements currently. Right now the focus of Exide Life Insurance is not on new business growth but on ensuring that high level of customer retention and satisfaction, he said.
The Exide Life MD and CEO expects that renewals will do well this year because customers would not like to loose the cover of their existing policy. He further said that 95 percent of the insurer's business comes through traditional plans and hoped that this product focus is going to help the company in these uncertain times because customers want the guarantee of assured returns which the company is able to provide in traditional plans.
"In renewals, we are seeing this trend. In fact this month, we are expecting that we are going to do upwards of Rs 200 crore of renewals. So it is looking quite good," Jain said. Exide Life as on date manages assets of roughly around Rs 16,000 crore and bulk of the investment happen to be in risk-free debt instruments of which about 95 percent happen to be in government securities and triple A bonds, he added.
Jain said the company, which mainly generates business from tier II and III cities, had transformed itself to a digital-first company three years back and this helped the company a great deal during the lockdown period. When asked by when the company could hit the capital markets, he said : "We do not see any immediate need to do this. So, there are no immediate plans as far as listing is concerned."
Further, Jain said that company has achieved the highest ever claim settlement ratio of 98.15 percent last fiscal and aspire to better it even further. He also said that the company last week has got one claim request for a COVID-19 related matter and has settled the payment at the earliest following advisory of the Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India (Irdai) on the pandemic.
Exide Life Insurance Company Limited, a 100 percent subsidiary of Exide Industries, commenced operations in 2001-02 and is headquartered in Bengaluru. The life insurer distributes its products through multi-channels viz. Agency, Banc assurance, Corporate Agency & Broking, Direct Channel and Online. During the financial year 2018-19, the company achieved total premium income of over Rs 2,800 crore.