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Nat. Insurance to be back in black this fiscal

Calcutta, Oct. 1: National Insurance Company (NIC), which suffered a loss of Rs 96 crore in 2001-02, will be back in the black this fiscal.

“Last year the company suffered losses due to an increase in third party motor claims and poor return on investments. However, this year we expect to be back to making profits,” chairman and managing director H. S. Wadhwa said. NIC is targeting a profit of Rs 200 crore and a premium income of Rs 2,700 crore. Last year it had earned a premium of Rs 2,365.47 crore.

As part of its growth strategy, NIC has tied up with Maruti Udyog Limited for providing insurance to customers from the dealer point. Wadhwa said that the company expects to earn a premium of Rs 300 crore from this tieup.

The insurance company has also tied up with Indian Overseas Bank for providing bancassurance products. “We are also in talks with other nationalised banks and finance companies for a similar tieup,” he added.

Meanwhile, NIC launched the Sampoorna Suraksha Bima Yojana today, in line with its decision to focus on personal products this year.

The scheme provides a unique opportunity of making an overall assessment of all insurance needs and obtaining all types of necessary insurance covers in one single policy with one renewal date and a single annual premium, saving the hassles of multiple policies. On the other hand, the policy is expected to benefit the company as well. If most of the private car/two-wheeler policies are upgraded to this policy, it has the potential of enhancing personal line insurance portfolios. Hence, it will have the effect of balancing the overall business portfolio of the company.

Wadhwa said that the company expects to sell 1 lakh Sampoorna Suraksha policies in the remaining six months of the current financial year.

“Today’s customer looks for quick solutions and hassle-free insurance. Keeping just this in mind, we have come out with a one-stop offer for the customer, taking care of all his new lifestyle needs at one go,” Wadhwa added.

The agents will earn a 15 per cent commission from this policy. NIC, which currently has 50,000 agents, will recruit 25,000 agents this year to expand its business.

Bengal benefit

National Insurance Company today said it was open to the idea of selling Mediclaim policies at subsidised rates to West Bengal government employees.

The company’s proposal came after state sport and transport minister Subhas Chakroborty said the government was planning to bring its nine lakh employees within the ambit of Mediclaim.

Chakroborty was speaking at the launch of Sampoorna Suraksha Bima Yojana.

“We provide Rs 120 per month as medical assistance per employee per month. We would like to bring these employees within the Mediclaim ambit. I have already spoken to the chief minister and the state finance minister about it,” the minister said.

Wadhwa said NIC was ready to offer Mediclaim at a subsidised rate. At present the Mediclaim premium ranges between Rs 50-Rs 1500.

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