“The moderate drop in the premium income was owing to the impact of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, which resulted in flat growth in line with the non-life insurance industry,” the company said in a release.
The insurer’s net profit stood at Rs 95 crore in the first six months of FY21 against the loss of Rs 90 crore in the corresponding fiscal period a year ago.
“As the headwinds followed the COVID-19 pandemic, subsequent lockdowns and restrictions, we shifted our focus towards ensuring that customers’ plight is better managed in these trying times. The judicious investment made formerly in tech solutions across all touch-points reaped immense benefits in this period and helped us respond with the required agility,” the company’s managing director and chief executive officer Sanjeev Srinivasan said in the release.
Its health and personal accident segment saw a significant 47 per cent growth at Rs 226 crore in the first six months of the current financial year as compared to Rs 153 crore in the same period of FY20.
Crop insurance yielded 18 per cent growth to Rs 551 crore during the reporting period as against Rs 467 crore.
Motor insurance segment de-grew by 26 per cent to Rs 495 crore from Rs 669 crore last year in the same period.
The combined ratio, a measure of profitability that takes into account claims and expenses as a proportion of premiums, stood at 111.5 per cent during the April-September 2020-21 against 122.1 per cent in the corresponding period of 2019-20.
“With the economy gradually opening up and showing signs of a return to growth after a couple of COVID-disrupted quarters, we expect to see growth prospects across all key metrics of the business on the back of our multiple bancassurance partnerships, strong digitisation across all business lines and channels, better expense management, and customer-centricity by the end of the financial year 2020-21,” Srinivasan said.
The company is a joint venture between Bharti Group, having presence in telecom, agriculture business and retail sectors, and AXA, with interests in financial protection and wealth management.
The joint venture company has a 51 per cent stake from Bharti and 49 per cent stake of AXA.