OM Kotak zeroes in on younger segment as prime market

New Delhi, January 20: | Updated: Jan 21 2002, 05:30am hrs
Considering that even the 25 per cent or so of India’s insurable population holding life policies today is grossly under-insured, OM Kotak Mahindra Life Insurance is eyeing the younger segment of 18-35-year-olds as its prime market.

The company also aims at achieving an assured sum of Rs 300 crore by March-end.

It has accordingly brought out low-priced products for the younger segment of the market, while covers aimed at the higher bracket of 35-45 years are more competitively priced.

Overall, the insurer is looking at a 2-3 per cent share of the market, which it expects to grow at 25-30 per cent per annum over the next five years, OM Kotak chief marketing officer Treman Ahluwalia told The Financial Express.

He explained that this age group could not only afford to set aside a certain amount of its income for the future, it was also the slab that could buy insurance at the cheapest rates because of lower risk and longer maturity periods. For, ideally, one must insure oneself for at least four-to-five times one’s annual salary. The younger the policy-holder, the lower the premium and thus more affordable. It also helps inculcate a saving and insuring habit that would generate more business for the insurer automatically, he pointed out.

The company’s research had shown that couples across the country in the 25-35 year range wanted to be both economically and emotionally independent as they grew older.

Moreover, as many as 97 per cent policy-holders live on to claim maturity on their life insurance covers. Thus the company decided to put together a strategy of repositioning insurance as a savings-cum-protection instrument that can also offer lumpsum benefits on retirement, Mr Ahluwalia said.

As for its rural business, initially the company would be launching its rural insurance package in the Kolhapur sugar belt, and in the other three belts in Maharashtra a little later.

The company plans to expand its presence to 14 towns and cities by this March end, from the current eight cities - Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata, Chennai, Bangalore, Ahmedabad, Pune and Baroda. For now, it is leveraging its strong brand presence in Gujarat and Maharashtra.

By the end of March 2003, however, it plans to spread out to 23 locations across the northern states and also Madhya Pradesh, he added.