QBE to expand its India operations

Written by Sitanshu Swain | Mumbai | Updated: Dec 13 2011, 08:16am hrs
Australian major QBE, largest player at the Lloyd's after lying low for last two years, has decided to seek higher exposure in Indian general insurance markets. QBE, which has a global portfolio of $17 billion, has a general

insurance joint venture with realty major Raheja group in the country.

Speaking to FE Ash Bathia, chief underwriting officer Casualty & Motor, QBE Europe said, India is growing as a key economy in the world and from the international insurers point of view, India is a better market than China.India has a sound legal and regulatory system, people speak

English and GIC Re understands reinsurance business, said Bathia.

With $17 billion annual premium QBE's is amongst the top 3 most profitable insurance companies in the world.

On par with global benchmark, we want a 15 % return on capital in India . We also want to be quite a specialist when we underwrite business. We don't want do business like generalists. We would like to understand the risks before we do that business, stated Bathia.

QBE might be appearing very conservative in the Indian market but internally the company is already thinking the next move. What is the next area of business to make the difference and provide some return. Because we fundamentally believe that suppose we don't make money we cannot pay claims. It is a question of time. We will start diversifying carefully entering the market,

he said. On the reason for lying low for last two years he explained, QBE did a feasibility study of the Indian insurance market to understand the challenges of the

market.