Financial Daily from THE HINDU group of publications
Thursday, Aug 29, 2002
Money & Banking
ICICI Prudential to ride on parent clout
MUMBAI, Aug. 28
ICICI Prudential is betting on its parent's strength to sell its new Group Insurance Policy to corporates.
Though a late entrant in the group life cover segment almost 20 months after it started the business ICICI Prudential hopes to capture a fair share of the market.
"We will launch our first group product in a month and will come out with the full range of group products by year-end," said Ms Shikha Sharma, Managing Director, ICICI Prudential Life Insurance Company Ltd. Ms Sharma, who is known at the ICICI group as the `start-up specialist', is now working on the strategy to lure the corporates to its group policies.
"We will leverage ICICI Bank's strength to tap the corporates. We have close relationship with and deep understanding of the corporate sector," she told Business Line. "But we have no plans to bundle our products with that of our bank," she added.
To begin with, ICICI Prudential will launch `Group Term' policy which is essentially a cover against the death of an employee. But a rider can be attached to this policy for protection against accidents, disability or critical illness.
The minimum number of employees for this cover should be 25 and there is no upper limit. This type of products is bought by employers for the benefit of their employees and can be structured as per the requirements of each company.
The group pension product will be launched before the end of the year.
Though, other players such as Tata AIG, HDFC Standard, Birla Sunlife and SBI Life are already in the market with group polices, ICICI Prudential sees great potential.
"Yes, we are a late entrant. It may take us some time to take off. We have to structure our products competitively and we will. And as you know, trust is an important factor in this business and our parentage has helped us to build it," she said.
Started operation in December 2000, the insurance company, a joint venture of ICICI Bank and Prudential Plc of UK, has issued over 1.5 lakh individual policies as on June 30, 2002. The total sum assured amounts to over Rs 41,00 crore and the premium income over Rs 165 crore. ICICI-Prudential which has operations in 20 cities has 13,000 agents.
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