The company’s balance sheet last year had suffered due to two main calamities, the Hud Hud cyclone that hit Andhra Pradesh had 1106 claims worth Rs 872 crore and the floods at Jammu and Kashmir had claims worth Rs 344 crore. This half year had been quite calm. But the recent heavy rains that lashed Tamil Nadu had caused severe damage to property and life. Till date UII has received around 130 claims for Rs 110 crore.
Through effective claims management, the claims ratio has been contained at 83.52 per cent during the half year. “We have started working backwards from the customer request and stipulated strict turnaround times to service claims,” said Milind Kharat, Chairman cum Managing Director.
In the half year, the company has also set apart over Rs 200 crore as provision for wage revision.
Thanks to the recent insurance schemes launched by the Prime Minister Modi, several people are brought under the insurance cover. UII covered 2 crore people under the scheme. “Though several awareness programmes are conducted, the penetration of general insurance as percentage of GDP is just 0.78 per cent,” pointed Kharat.
UII has been successfully implementing the TN Chief Minister’s Health insurance scheme for four years and it has been extended for the next year also. It has also been awarded the TN Government Pensioners Health Insurance Scheme covering 622, 445.
Insurance companies face several challenges. Though underwriting premium incomes are not profitable, investment income helps in reassuring profit. With decreasing interest rates, investment incomes are also coming down and the company is trying to make operation more efficient to meet this.
UII has a strong presence in rural and social sector. More than 50 per cent of the business is from this sector. To make strong footprints, the company plans to increase its agents force to 50,000 from the present 42,351 and also 1050 employees to service the growing business and customer needs. As part of insurance inclusion several micro offices are planned in Tier 4 towns and below.
To enhance customer servicing and to be in-line with technology, the company has rolled out core solution across all offices by which any time, anywhere payment is made feasible. A mobile app for insurance payout is also on the cards. With robust solvency ratio of 2.43, comfortable business and a continued thrust in retail, MSME and rural insurance segment, UII is bound to comfortably complete its premium target for the full year.