Kolkata, Oct 30

New India Assurance Co, which has increased the premium for the retail health segment, is going to take "corrective steps to adjust the prices little bit downward" for the elderly, a company official said on Monday.

"There has been an increase of around 25 per cent in the retail health insurance premium. For individuals, we have already reduced the prices and for elderly persons corrective steps will shortly be taken," General Manager and Financial Advisor C. Narambunathan said here.

Elaborating on what kind of "corrective steps" will be taken, he said: "We have increased the prices but it was more so far as the elderly persons are concerned. We would adjust (the prices) little bit downward."

The country's largest general insurer, which has a market share of about 18.4 per cent in health insurance space, would concentrate more on retail health segment as it constitutes about 35 per cent of the company's health portfolio.

Narambunathan also said it was aiming to open around 200 micro offices a year to expand its network and improve businesses.

"The company is expected to offload around 15 per cent of its stake in the upcoming initial public offering," he said on the sidelines of an interactive session organised by the Merchants' Chamber of Commerce & Industry.

"Another 10 per cent dilution is expected in the next three years," he said.

The company would not focus much on the crop insurance, he said.

"We have collected about Rs 1,000 crore of premium so far in the current year in the crop insurance segment and will be doing more. Last year, we had collected around Rs 1,000 crore as premium (in crop insurance segment) and it was less as the first season was already over when we got the approval. Crop insurance is a volatile business. We do not want to focus much on the segment," he said.

He said the motor insurance contributes about 39 per cent of its premium income, followed by health (26 per cent) and fire (15.3 per cent).

According to the Insurance Regulatory Development Authority of India (IRDAI), the insurer's gross direct premium underwritten during April to September in 2017-18 stood at Rs 10,802.54 crore, up by 22.13 per cent from Rs 8,845.31 crore in the same period last year.

 

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