‘SBI General ranks seventh in the health space with a market share of 4.1 per cent’

By: |
Updated: September 09, 2016 5:43 PM

SBI General insurance intends to expand its reach within the health insurance segment. Puneet Sahni, Head of Product Development, SBI General Insurance, speaks about their current market share and explains their vision to strengthen health insurance in India, in conversation with Raelene Kambli

SBI General insurance intends to expand its reach within the health insurance segment. Puneet Sahni, Head of Product Development, SBI General Insurance, speaks about their current market share and explains their vision to strengthen health insurance in India, in  conversation with Raelene Kambli

What is SBI General’s market share within the health insurance sector? How much does that contribute to overall insurance business?

201609ehm35Puneet Sahni

Amongst the private players, SBI General ranks seventh in the healthcare space with a market share of 4.1 per cent. The total business that comes from the health insurance is 10.6 per cent.

Tell us about SBI General health insurance’s geographical coverage in India?

SBI General has a very strong presence pan India due to the vast network of SBI branches. The top five states where we get the maximum business from are:

  • Uttar Pradesh – 13 per cent
  • Maharashtra – 13 per cent
  • Madhya Pradesh – 12 per cent
  • Rajasthan – 10 per cent
  • West Bengal- 8 per cent

There are well-known players in the health insurance segment who already enjoy a huge market share. How would you differentiate yourself from the rest?

With our simple products and tightly sewn claims servicing, we have been able to create our space within the segment. Apart from simple products, we have a wide variety of product bouquet to suit across all segments of customers on both indemnity and benefit side. We have been working on establishing our footprints through alternate and agency network apart from bancassurance through the variety of product offering in the health insurance segment. Also, our exposure to the huge network of our parent organisation is definitely an additional advantage to us. With the affinity of the strong brand like SBI and renowned international player like IAG, we have been able to establish trust and have been growing in all channels and geographies in the health insurance segment.

Do you have to be associated with government schemes such as the government’s recently announced ‘Health Protection Scheme’?And how would you like to partner with such schemes?

The government scheme is generally finalised through a tender process and all insurers who meet the criteria can participate in the tender. While being associated with the government schemes is one part, the other part which is contribution to increase in penetration is where we are playing our part by enabling distribution of health insurance, personal accident and other products through a wide network of SBI Branches spread across the country. Considering bank’s huge network in Tier-II and III cities, we have been able to increase our share of the pie in health insurance at a faster pace.

Do you think insurance is a viable route to provide universal healthcare to the people of India?

Yes insurance is viable for universal healthcare, provided:

  • The government takes the expense/ subsidise the insurance premium for weaker sections
  • The government takes steps to standardise medical expenses on treatment which will enable the economies of scale to play a part in this scheme

In the current situation where very few people take health insurance as they can afford, the treatment cost for same treatment is widely different across hospitals. For a universal healthcare to operate efficiently, this needs to be plugged and regulated.

raelene.kambli@expressindia.com

Get live Stock Prices from BSE, NSE, US Market and latest NAV, portfolio of Mutual Funds, Check out latest IPO News, Best Performing IPOs, calculate your tax by Income Tax Calculator, know market’s Top Gainers, Top Losers & Best Equity Funds. Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Financial Express is now on Telegram. Click here to join our channel and stay updated with the latest Biz news and updates.