SBI Life paid 5,487 COVID claims worth Rs 366 crore in FY21: Mahesh Kumar Sharma, MD & CEO
Mahesh Kumar Sharma, MD & CEO, SBI Life, talks about Q4FY21 numbers, individual business performance, market share, claims and bancassurance partners among others during a candid chat with Swati Khandelwal, Zee Business.
Mahesh Kumar Sharma, MD & CEO, SBI Life, talks about Q4FY21 numbers, individual business performance, market share, claims and bancassurance partners among others during a candid chat with Swati Khandelwal, Zee Business. Edited Excerpts:
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Q: SBI life’s Q4FY21 numbers were almost flat and 31% YoY growth was seen in the net premium. Tell us about the Performance for the Quarter and what led to good Numbers this Quarter? How many new policies were issued this quarter?
A: This quarter has been very good and strong for us. Anyway, Q3 and Q4 always remain good for us and this year has been very good. In FY21, we have earned a new business premium in tune to Rs 20,624 crore and the renewable premium stood at Rs 29,630 crore. Overall, we did a premium business of Rs 50,000 crore in FY21; probably this is first in the private sector. If you will ask about the quarter, it has been very good for us, however, I don’t have the number of policies with me at present but our fourth quarter’s performance is quite good. If seen in the comparison of the last year, then we have grown on every parameter.
Q: How has the individual business done this time? Have you hiked premiums for any products?
A: Individual protection business has been quite good and has grown by 40% last year and it also did well in the last quarter. As far as a hike in premium rates is concerned, we make dynamic pricing but last year, we did not make any changes to the protection products.
Q: Tell us about the market share gains during the quarter?
A: In protection, I don’t have the figures, but our market share in the new premium business has gone up from the last year and stands at 10.6% and in individual it has gone up by 7% of the total new business premium protection.
Q: How much has been the Claims this Quarter and for FY21?
A: Claims have been more last year and has gone up by around 60%. If you will ask about the COVID claims, then we have paid 5,487 claims worth Rs 366 crores. But if you will ask about the impact that claims had on the company then it was not much from the claims that are generally estimated at the start of the year.
Q: Tell us about Bancassurance partners as well as the distribution growth of this Quarter? Also, how the online sales are performing because a lot of traction is visible there?
A: We have seen a lot of growth in our non-SBI bank partners; however, some of our relationships are new. But, we have seen growth in double-digit as well as even more than 100% in one-two partners; however, the base was low, due to which they are looking more. But there is a lot of scope in these partners and we expect that it will become a very strong third channel for us. Our partnership with the State Bank of India and agency channels is very strong and this third, which is an institutional alliances channel, where many banks are present and we have also tied ups with few more new banks. We are seeing the growth of this channel as very strong. As far as online is concerned, our percentage is quite low but going forward we are seeing that our sales on the UNO platform of the State Bank of India is doing good and we covered more than 6 lakh lives on it last year. Going forward, it will turn into a very strong channel. Our direct channel is still small and we are trying to grow it.
Q: The insurance penetration is mere 3.50%. What kind of growth opportunities do you foresee and where will SBI Life focus for growth?
A: Firstly, we have simplified our processes and digitized them. So, today, 99% of our applications are accepted online. Also, our processing, which mainly runs online and under it almost every process, including policy servicing and claims, have been enabled digitally. And 41% of our proposals run through auto underwriting. Due to these processes, we can reach more people. Secondly, our banking partners including State Bank of India, which has 24,000 branches, and other partners – other banks and RRBs - have more than 12,000 branches, and through them, we can reach every nook and corner of the country and sell our products. Technology is helping us in bringing more efficiency and our reach is helping us to reach more people
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