Shriram General Insurance launches new vertical to focus on rural insurance biz


NEW DELHI:Shriram General Insurance, the non-life private insurance unit of Shriram Group, has launched a separate vertical to focus on rural insurance. The company will recruit 1,500 employees and the insurance products will be available through 25,000 points-of-sale (PoS) as part of a three-year plan for rural expansion till FY25.

Over the next year, Shriram General Insurance plans to focus on 600 talukas where insurance penetration is low. Areas with population ranging between 20,000 and 1 lakh will be targeted. The sum assured will be comparatively small in many cases, as the average income of people in such areas usually ranges from 20,000 to 25,000.

According to a press release, the insurer will offer simple products which can create value for the rural population. As per customer base and targeted demographics, Shriram General Insurance has developed homecare and personal accident insurance covers. In addition, it will offer long-term two-wheeler insurance, goods-carrying commercial vehicle insurance, and policies for small businesses, properties and shops, among others.

Lack of awareness, limited access and affordability are some of the major reasons for low insurance penetration in rural and semi-urban areas. 

Shriram General Insurance will undertake expansive awareness programmes and look at informal networks, including self-help group members, two-wheeler sub-dealers, life insurance agents, rural bank branches, and banking correspondents. The company has bancassurance partnerships with 16 co-operative and grameen banks, as per the press release.

Distribution will be targeted through the common service centre model, wherein insurance services are extended through digital kiosks such as under the ‘e-Mitra’ portal. It will also look at opening micro-offices, which combined with the points-of-sale and team of 40,000+ agents will help facilitate doorstep delivery of insurance to remote locations.

Enabled with a digitally empowered team, customers will be able to avail round-the-clock, completely paperless insurance in just a few minutes, without visiting a branch and submitting physical documents. The company has invested in the latest technology to deliver services through chat bots, online claim services and digital payment facilities. This is in addition to relying heavily on the mobile application ‘MySGI’ for all types of services, with the benefits of online availability, less documentation and quick claims settlement, said the press release.

Speaking at the launch, Anil Kumar Agarwal, MD & CEO, Shriram General Insurance, said, “India’s farmers and their agriculture business play an integral part in the country’s growth. Rural insurance will ensure that families living in rural areas have a safe and secure future, and are protected against uncertainty. The Shriram Group has always kept the Aam Aadmi at the centre of all our business endeavours. We have ensured that our rural insurance plans are easy to understand, affordable, compensate for monetary losses and help people in rural areas become independent. We expect rural insurance to contribute a quarter of the company’s sales income, or 16% of the total premium income, by FY25.”

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