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Budget 2018
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Budget 2018: Would like tax-free status for term insurance plans, says Bajaj Allianz Life chief Tarun Chugh

Bajaj Allianz Life is also slowly moving towards targeting the affluent segment from the mass market space.

M Saraswathy @maamitalks
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Private life insurance company Bajaj Allianz Life Insurance is looking for a tax-free status for term insurance plans in the upcoming union budget. In an interaction with Moneycontrol, Tarun Chugh, MD & CEO, Bajaj Allianz Life Insurance, said that they have also sought a separate section of tax incentives for pension products, similar to what is available for the National Pension Scheme (NPS).

Chugh said that in terms of the businesses, the company has seen a 58 percent group in rated new business and a 65 percent growth in individual rated premiums. In terms of the business mix, the company has 65 percent unit-linked insurance plans while 35 percent comprises of traditional products.

He said that the spurt in the equity markets has also led to millennials entering the space. “Millennials are getting into the market and the equity cult is getting better,” added Chugh.

The insurer, which recently entered into a bancassurance tie-up with a Mumbai-based cooperative bank, is eyeing a few other bank partnerships. “Open architecture has been beneficial though not all banks have embraced it,” he said.

Bajaj Allianz Life is also slowly moving towards targeting the affluent segment from the mass market space and said that they have seen a positive performance in Mumbai and Kolkata. Chugh explained that this strategy will dictate the product mix of the company.

“In terms of assets under management, we are number four in the market. We are seeing that more and more unit-linked schemes are getting bought online and I expect that to grow as a trend. In some areas, we are of the belief that Ulips are friendlier than mutual funds.

The life insurance space has seen some movement in terms of some public bank partners wanting to pare down their stake in their insurance ventures. Chugh said that while they are open to acquisitions, it should be the right fit.

“We have a high equity base and have a net-worth close to Rs 9000 crore. We want to put it to good use and if there is something on offer, that is unique and gives us an edge over others, we will look at it,” he said.

The insurer, which is a joint venture between Bajaj Finserv and Germany-based Allianz, has the foreign partner holding 26 percent. When quizzed about the possibility of a rise in stake in the company by the foreign partner, Chugh said that they (Allianz) have a long-term vision for the partnership and it is a call that the two investors will have to take.


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First Published on Jan 8, 2018 07:11 pm
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