Aug 10, 2017 12:37 PM IST | Source:

Bharti AXA General Insurance looks at product diversification to bring down losses

Among banks, Bharti AXA General has tie-ups with HSBC and HDFC Bank which gives them access to a variety of customers.

M Saraswathy @maamitalks
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Private general insurance company Bharti AXA General Insurance is looking to expand its product offerings and grow the other segments of business beyond motor insurance to bring losses down. In an interaction with Moneycontrol, Sanjeev Srinivasan, MD & CEO, Bharti AXA General Insurance said that the focus will be to grow the other lines of business at a faster pace.

The insurer is looking to bring down the losses in the book through a strategy of getting bigger in the other segments as well as bringing costs down. In FY17, the loss (before tax) for Bharti AXA General stood at Rs 128.6 crore compared to Rs 204.2 crore loss in FY16.

“We are getting into segments like small and medium enterprises in a big way. Apart from that, agriculture insurance and commercial lines of business will help us diversify and bring down losses,” said Srinivasan.

Traditionally, Bharti AXA General is known for its strong motor business. The company is also coming out with a long-term two-wheeler motor insurance product and is also seeing a demand for products of a higher duration in this space.

“We are growing at a decent pace. Now is the time for product and channel diversification for the company,” he said. In terms of products, the insurer is looking to expand in segments like health, travel, commercial including small and medium enterprises (SME) insurance.

The insurance regulator has brought out a discussion paper on ‘telematics insurance’ that has spoken about the advantages of having a device installed in the vehicle to monitor driving behaviour including kilometers clocked on a daily basis and average speed at which it is driven. Srinivasan said that they are there are currently working on bringing out solutions on this front in the market.

“Once consumers start asking questions about pricing based on their driving behaviour, telematics will catch up further. Currently, it is still at a nascent stage in India,” he added.

In terms of the distribution channels, Bharti AXA now has the highest quantum of business coming from the direct channel. “Considering that the turnaround time in this channel is much quicker and involve a purchase in merely two to three clicks, it is becoming a large distribution segment for us,” explained Srinivasan.

Among banks, Bharti AXA General has tie-ups with HSBC and HDFC Bank which gives them access to a variety of customers. For instance, Srinivasan said that through HDFC Bank they get access to SME customers and are able to offer customised products for them.

Going forward, the insurer is planning to tie up with payment banks as well as small finance banks to offer specialised plans for their customers. “The mantra is to save, optimise and digitise to have a healthy book that not only has a good topline but a healthy bottom-line as well,” he said.
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