HDFC Life Insurance Co is in talks with the Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India (Irdai) to allow life insurance companies to sell other regulated financial products, Deepak Parekh, chairman of the life insurance company, said at the 22nd annual general meeting. The move will help enable insurance companies to expand their reach and also improve customer experience.
There are 24 lakh insurance agents registered with life insurance companies, which provide a significant source of income for a large number of agents, Parekh said.
“I would also like to thank our regulator, the Irdai, for its continued guidance and support to the industry in these challenging times. I am confident that the insurance regulator will continue to display its firm commitment to carry out reforms for increasing insurance penetration and facilitating sustainable growth of the industry,” he said.
Irdai earlier this month allowed insurance companies to launch health and general insurance products without its prior approval, in order to give them flexibility to introduce new products.
HDFC Life is currently working towards integrating its operations with Exide Life. HDFC Life in January completed the acquisition of Exide Life from Exide Industries for Rs 6,687 crore. The move is aimed at increasing the reach in southern India. The acquisition will help the company to bolster its reach in tier II and tier III cities, Parekh said.
The company’s renewal premium grew by 18% and 13th-month persistency increased to 92% in FY22. The value of new business increased to Rs 2,675 crore, up 22% year-on-year. Its new business market share stands at 21% in the private life insurance space, making HDFC Life the second-largest private life insurer in the country and the third-largest overall, Parekh said.
The jump in death claims paid by the industry following the second Covid wave underlines the importance of the sector, Parekh said. The life insurance sector paid Rs 60,000 crore in death claims in the first nine months of FY22, twice compared to the year-ago period. “This gives us an idea of the kind of financial support that the industry has provided in such difficult times,” Parekh said.