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Tuesday, Oct 22, 2002

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SBI Life group cover for AP police

Our Bureau

HYDERABAD, Oct. 21

SBI Life Insurance Company Ltd, the joint venture between the State Bank of India and the French insurance major Cardif SA, is negotiating with a number of banks and housing finance companies (HFCs) to offer insurance cover to the borrowers of housing finance.

The SBI Life Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer, Mr R. Krishnamurthy, said "discussions are at an advanced stage with a Chennai-based private housing finance company and a Maharashtra-based financial institution".

Addressing reporters after inaugurating the new office of SBI Life here on Monday, he said his company was bullish on the potential for insurance cover in the housing finance sector. He said the scheme had been offered recently to the housing finance borrowers of SBI and would be offered on the same terms to the borrowers of other banks and HFCs.SBI Life has tied up with the Andhra Pradesh Police Welfare Association as a part of its group insurance scheme — Super Suraksha — to offer cover to around 83,000 police persons in the State.

Mr Krishnamurthy said the company was also negotiating with various corporate houses across the country to offer group insurance scheme to their staff.

In the current fiscal, the company has started distribution of its products through 30 regional rural banks (RRBs) belonging to the SBI group. It was now waiting for the insurance regulator to announce the guidelines on distribution of insurance products through banking network so as to consider availing of the network of other banks also for distribution, Mr Krishnamurthy said.

Stating that SBI Life had, so far, launched eight products with a number of riders, he said plans were on the anvil to launch pension policy before the fiscal end based on the existing guidelines of Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority and revise the scheme after IRDA announces the new guidelines.

Expressing inability to announce the business targets for the current fiscal in view of the absence of guidelines pertaining to various issues such as corporate agents, bank assurance and pension schemes, Mr Krishnamurthy said as against premium collections of Rs 15 crore and sum assured of Rs 26 crore during the period October 2001 - March 2002, SBI Life has achieved premium collections of Rs 50 crore and sum assured of around Rs 1,000 crore during the current fiscal till September 2002.

The company has so far covered over one lakh lives, he said.

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