- Mahua Venkatesh and M Rajendran, Hindustan Times, New Delhi |
- Oct 10, 2015
If all goes according to plan, India Post will soon offer life insurance products as part of a broader strategy to give its millions of customers a suite of financial and savings instruments ranging from small savings, fixed deposits, insurance and mobile wallets. A specific policy for the girl child, with a maximum assured sum of Rs 10 lakh, is also on the cards.
The move is part of the postal department’s strategy to modernise its services, leveraging its network of 160,000 post offices , 45,000 postmen and 250,000 extra-departmental employees, who would be trained to serve as personnel financial advisers in remote villages.
“We are looking to revamp our life insurance business in a big way in 2016...at present, we offer our own life insurance products in a very limited manner only to postal staff and a few government officials,” Kavery Banerjee, secretary, department of post, told HT.
India Post will soon approach the Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority (IRDA) for its approval to launch more insurance products.
At present, India Post has a total corpus of Rs 56,000 crore under its insurance segment, which offers postal life insurance (PLI) and rural postal life insurance (RPLI). “We are looking at a 500% increase in the next two to three years,” Banerjee said.
India Post has managed to sell 7 million policies under PLI while 23 million under RPLI. It is also looking at tie-ups with general insurance companies at a later stage to offer non-life products.
Besides, India Post will also start selling Atal Pension Yojana, a government-backed pension scheme, which was launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in May this year. Until August, banks have managed to induct only about 500,000 subscribers into the scheme, which mainly targets the unorganised sector.
The finance ministry, which has set a target of 20 million subscribers by December 31 this year, has also asked banks to chalk out individual strategies to expand the reach of the pension scheme.