Standalone health insurance player Star Health and Allied Insurance Co Ltd which has been growing at a rate of around 45 per cent year-on-year in the current fiscal, is looking for a premium collection of Rs 10,000 crore in the current fiscal, a top company official said. Between April-November 2020, the insurer has underwritten gross direct premium of around Rs 5,600 crore. It has sold close to 43 lakh policies as against 30 lakh policies in the same period of the previous fiscal.
“Last financial year, we did an overall business of Rs 6,865 crore and this year we are on track to complete a premium target of close to Rs 10,000 crore,” the company’s managing director Anand Roy told.
The company has close to 15 per cent of market share in the overall health insurance segment, including all general insurance players.
In the retail health insurance segment, which is the focus area for the company, it has more than 30 per cent market share, Roy said.
“After the pandemic, during the last few months, there has been a tremendous surge in demand for health insurance and being a market leader we have captured that demand. Our growth has been close to 45 per cent on a year-on-year basis so far in this fiscal,” he said.
Even in the last year, the Chennai-headquartered insurance company, witnessed a growth about 30-35 per cent. Its growth rate has always been 1.5-2 times the industry’s growth rate.
The increasing demand for health insurance due to awareness created by the COVID-19 pandemic has given an additional boost to the company, Roy added.
The growth is coming from all the geographies and not led by metro or urban cities. It is seeing demand from all age groups as well.
“The growth has been kind of comprehensive and led by the large agency force of 4 lakh agents that we have across the country. Our large distribution networks, wide variety of products, good networks of hospitals as well as the awareness created by the COVID-19 pandemic have contributed to high growth,” Roy explained.
The company plans to add at least one lakh agents every year. In the current fiscal, the company is having a special drive to increase its presence in the rural areas.
“The rural market is something that we are going after aggressively because we believe that there is a lot of awareness that has been created about the health insurance in the rural market. There is a lot of need for health insurance in those areas. We are designing some special products for the rural markets,” he said.
The company would have a digital first approach to expand its presence in the rural areas, he added.
Roy said so far the company has sold five lakh policies. As of November-end, the health insurer has settled close to 90,000 claims worth Rs 910 crore related to COVID-19. This includes claims coming from Corona Rakshak and Kawach.