Leading private non-life insurer Bharti AXA General Insurance on Monday said the company has registered an impressive 38 per cent increase in its premium income to Rs 3,157 crore for the financial year ended March 31, 2020, from Rs 2,285 crore in 2018-19.
Driven by crop, commercial lines, motor and health insurance, all product segments witnessed strong double-digit growth in 2019-20. Crop insurance grew by 59 per cent to Rs 828 crore in the last financial year from Rs 519 crore in 2018-19. Commercial lines segment focused on SME and MSME to grow by 49 per cent at Rs 430 crore in the year ended March 31, 2020, against Rs 289 crore in the corresponding fiscal a year earlier.
Similarly, motor insurance posted 30 per cent growth to Rs 1,488 crore in the last fiscal from Rs 1,143 crore in 2018-19, while health insurance grew by 23 per cent at Rs 410 crore in 2019-20 against Rs 334 crore in the corresponding financial year a year ago.
Bharti AXA General Insurance Managing Director and CEO Sanjeev Srinivasan said: “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 the 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.”
All distribution channels rose significantly, with motor, health and travel fuelling the growth for the retail channel which recorded 33 per cent 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 per cent in its revenue to Rs 368 crore 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 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 per cent and stood at 120.7 per cent in 2019-20 against 115.3 per cent in 2018-19. This was a result of increased investments in technology, infrastructure and human capital to strengthen 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.
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 service our customer and partners remotely, successfully managing business, servicing, surveys and claim settlement. In 2020-21, we will pursue opportunities across channels with 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.”