ICICI Prudential hires ex-servicemen to sell policies


Chennai : Mumbai-based private life insurer ICICI Prudential Life Insurance Co Ltd has started hiring former Servicemen as unit managers in rural areas, said a top company official here.

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Finding it difficult to get the required manpower, the company decided to tap the retired non-commissioned officers’ segment, N.S. Kannan, executive director of the company, told the media here Thursday.

He said the company has signed an agreement with STRIVE (Skills, Training and Research in Vocational Education) to offer the former Servicemen six weeks’ training and give the successful candidates a Certificate of Insurance Management (CIM).

Kannan said retired armed forces personnel who are graduates and have completed ten years of service are eligible for enrolling into the CIM programme.

All the successful candidates get jobs as unit managers.

The unit managers have to manage around 25 insurance agents and get paid a mix of salary and incentives based on sales.

ICICI Prudential Life has hired about 230 retired army personnel under the scheme across the country, 48 percent of them belonging to southern India.

“Around three percent of our premium comes from rural areas,” Kannan said.

Of its total 260,000 agents, around 30,000 are in the rural areas.

Capitalised heavily at Rs.33.62 billion, ICICI Prudential Life derives nearly 90 percent of its new premium from selling unit-linked insurance policies.

However, the company’s average premium per policy (APPP) is around Rs.20,000.

Agreeing that it is comparatively lower than other competitors, Kannan said: “Sixtythree percent of our new business is generated by individual agents and the balance is contributed by alternate channels comprising of banks, corporate agents and others.”

“For other players, bancassurance partners fetch in bulk of their business.”

The company has four major banks – ICICI Bank, Federal Bank, Bank of India and South Indian Bank and 18 cooperative banks as its bancassurance partners.

Bancassurance is the sale of insurance products through bank branches.

Queried about the agency churn experienced by the company, Kannan said: “Typically 75 percent of the agency force fades away four years after recruitment.”

The large churn not only affects the insurer in terms of increased hiring costs but also the customers because they will not be serviced.