United India Insurance targets Rs.8,000 crore premium


Chennai : Logging an average business growth of 27 percent this fiscal, public sector non-life insurer United India Insurance Company Ltd Thursday said it is targeting a gross premium of Rs.8,000 crore and sizeable reduction in underwriting losses.

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“We are targeting a premium income of Rs.8,000 crore this year at 25 percent growth rate in business,” United India Insurance Company Ltd chairman and managing director G. Srinivasan told reporters here.

“We plan to bring down our underwriting losses – premium less claims outgo – to Rs.900 crore from last year’s figure of Rs.1,760 crore,” he added.

Last fiscal, the company had earned a premium of around Rs.6,376 crore.

Srinivasan said the company would focus the retail, and small and medium enterprises (SME) segments for growth.

“We have around 48,000 agents and we are in the process of adding further. We will also open around 100 one-man offices across the country. Currently, we have around 400 such micro-offices bringing in around Rs.275 crore premium,” he said.

Meanwhile, a steep reduction in management expenses, claims outgo and an increase in premium income across segments has enabled the company to post 57 percent growth in net profit for the first half of the current fiscal.

“We closed first half of the current year with a total premium income of Rs.4,033 crore and an after tax profit of Rs.341.07 crore,” company general manager and financial advisor B.M. Thakkar said.

“The management expenses came down to 25 percent from 37 percent while the underwriting loss came down to Rs.406 crore from Rs.605 crore as compared to previous year’s first half figures,” he added.

The company closed the first half of last fiscal with a premium income of Rs.3,178 crore and a net profit of Rs.218 crore.

“The loss ratio in health and motor third party portfolio’s came down to 96 percent and 119 percent respectively from 115 percent and 168 percent,” Srinivasan said.

According to him, better underwriting, proper pricing of group policies, tightening of claims procedures in respect of health insurance and audit of claims settling agents resulted in reduction in health claims outgo.

United India earned Rs.803 crore from its investments during the first six months of the current year.

The market value of the company’s investments at the end of second quarter stood at Rs.15,803 crore and net worth Rs.4,587 crore.