InsuranceDekho may have got Rs 1,200 cr in premium in FY21: Co-founder

Online insurance aggregator InsuranceDekho is expected to have garnered Rs 1,200 crore in insurance premium through its platform during the financial year ended March 2021, a top company official said.

It also intends to expand its reach to over 70 locations in the next six months from 35 currently, buoyed by increasing awareness about protection in the country, InsuranceDekho co-founder and CEO Ankit Agrawal told PTI in an interaction.

The company, which mainly caters to motor, health and life insurance segments, had a premium of Rs 600 crore in the preceding fiscal year.

Agrawal said InsuranceDekho is one of the few companies that expanded even during the COVID-19 times and the pandemic has helped create a lot of awareness in people about importance of insurance.

"Even as the first quarter (April-June 2020) was the washout in terms of motor (insurance) perspective, at the same time health and life insurance saw significant growth. People realised the importance of protection in terms of health and life and they started buying these products more proactively.

"I think that after the first quarter, business started picking up. We exited March (2021) with our lifetime high revenue and premium numbers" Agrawal said.

He added that from the adoption perspective, people realised the importance of technology. "Earlier, people never understood technology, why it is important for insurance, etc. So, we saw more payments getting online, more policies being issued online, the entire shift happened from offline to offline because of the pandemic."

The company is on target of meeting Rs 1,200 crore premium for 2020-21. In the preceding year, the premium collection was of Rs 600 crore, he said.

The direct brokers, such as InsuranceDekho, can earn revenues in the range of 15-22.50 per cent of the premium collection in case of motor insurance, and about 15-25 per cent in the health segment, according to Irdai-mandated guidelines.

Agarwal said what COVID-19 has done for the insurance awareness in the country, no amount of government and industry spending could have done.

Insurance penetration in India is still low as compared to the developed countries. A lot more needs to be done to raise awareness among people despite concerted efforts by the government, the regulator and the industry players, he added.

During the first decade of insurance sector liberalisation in India, the sector reported an increase in insurance penetration from 2.71 per cent in 2001 to 5.20 per cent in 2009, according to the latest data from the Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India (Irdai).

Since then, it declined to 3.30 per cent by 2014 and again started increasing from 2015 and in 2019, penetration was 3.76 per cent.

Insurance penetration is measured as the percentage of insurance premium to GDP of a country.

Agrawal said that as a growing company, InsuranceDekho intends to increase its presence from 35 locations currently to 70 in the next six months.

"We think we would perhaps be one of the few companies which expanded even during COVID-19 times.

"We added 300 people during COVID-19 on our payrolls and will add couple of hundred more in coming days. Also, in the past four-five weeks, we opened five branch offices," he said.

Agrawal said the momentum of buying insurance on a priority basis will remain there at least for the next one or two quarters.

"When a calamity like this happens, people reset their spending habits and reset the way of their living. I think the same thing is going to happen post-COVID-19 also. The increased awareness about buying insurance will continue," he added.

The aggregator, however, is also of the view that life insurance premium is slated to increase for certain categories.

"Besides, in health also, we might see some increase happening there," Agrawal said.

On the new kind of products in the sector, he said a lot of interest is being observed in areas such as cyber insurance, bite-size insurance (small size or sachet) as well as home insurance. "We will now start focusing on these segments."

Asked about any plans to hit the capital market, InsuranceDekho said initial public offering (IPO) is not on the radar at least for the next 3-4 years.

Agrawal said the company is sufficiently capitalised as of now and it may raise capital as and when it feels there is a need for money.

In September last year, InsuranceDekho was committed USD 20 million (Rs 147 crore) investment from its parent GirnarSoft.

(Only the headline and picture of this report may have been reworked by the Business Standard staff; the rest of the content is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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