Jammu, June 15 | Bharti AXA General Insurance, a joint venture between Bharti Enterprises, one of India’s leading business groups, and AXA, one of the world’s largest insurance companies, today said the company has registered a 38 percent increase in its premium income in the financial year 2019-20.
The Gross Written Premium surged toRs. 3,157 crore for the financial year ended March 31, 2020, up 38 percent over Rs. 2,285 crores in 2018-19.
‘’We are pleased to grow much faster than the industry and maintain a steady growth performance across key matrices of the business in the financial year 2019-20. The expansion of distribution network and partnerships, new business alliances along with improved business activations from the robust bancassurance accompanied by diversified product portfolio helped us achieve healthy premium growth at more than triple of the industry growth rate in the last fiscal,’’ said Sanjeev Srinivasan, Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer, Bharti AXA General Insurance.
Driven by crop, commercial lines, motor, and health insurance, he said, all product segments witnessed strong double-digit growth in 2019-20. Crop insurance grew by 59 percent to Rs. 828crore in the last financial year from Rs. 519 crore in 2018-19. Commercial lines segment focused on SME and MSME to grow by 49 percent at Rs. 430crore in the year ended March 31, 2020, against Rs. 289 crore in the corresponding fiscal year earlier.
Similarly, motor insurance posted a 30 percent growth to Rs. 1,488 crore in the last fiscal from Rs. 1,143 crore in 2018-19, while health insurance grew by 23 percent at Rs. 410 crores in 2019-20 against Rs. 334 crore in the corresponding financial year a year ago.
All distribution channels rose significantly, with the motor, health, and travel fuelling the growth for the retail channel which recorded a 33 percent increase in its revenue to Rs 1,960 crore in 2019-20 as compared to Rs. 1,472 crore in the same period a year ago. On the other hand, the corporate channel increased by 25 percent in its revenue to Rs. 368crore for the financial year ended March 31, 2020, from Rs. 294 crore in 2018-19.
Bharti AXA General Insurance, which currently distributes through 9 banks and over 50 NBFCs and Cooperative Banks, also added a significant number of distribution partnerships in the financial year 2019-20. ‘’Our continued emphasis on increasing distribution footprint through a focus on bancassurance and forging partnerships with Motor Insurance Service Providers has been instrumental in achieving the company’s overall growth in both retail and corporate business,’’ Srinivasan said.
The combined ratio, a measure of profitability that takes into account claims and expenses as a proportion of premiums, has gone up by 5.4 percent and stood at 120.7 percent in 2019-20 against 115.3 percent in 2018-19. This was a result of increased investments in technology, infrastructure, and human capital to strengthen the distribution network and service delivery platforms as the company is currently in the investment phase of its growth journey.
He said the company stood well capitalized with the solvency ratio at 1.63 as on March 31, 2020, and the shareholders stand fully committed to invest and grow the business.
Continuing on its path of innovation, the company also proposed two new products – Short Term Health Insurance and Usage-based Motor Insurance – under the Sandbox initiative launched by IRDAI and received approval for both the innovative products in 2019-20.
Srinivasan said, “The current financial year looks challenging in view of the COVID-19 pandemic and disruptions caused by the nationwide lockdown. Focus on technology and automation of processes has helped us operate seamlessly as we continue to serve our customers and partners remotely, successfully managing a business, servicing, surveys, and claim settlement.
In 2020-21, we will pursue opportunities across channels with the constant emphasis on customer-centricity, focus on superior risk selections, prudent cost management, claims efficiency with investments in technologies and innovation to boost all lines of businesses.’’