Star Health bullish on retail segment, to foray overseas

Star Health and Allied Insurance, a standalone health insurance firm, is banking on retail spend on insurance to drive up its premium income, at a time when companies are trimming health insurance covers to cut costs. The two-year-old company has collected premium of INR 487 crore so far and is targeting a premium income of INR 520 crore by the end of the current financial year, Star Health’s chairman and managing director V Jagannathan said. Star Health on Sunday launched a health magazine, to educate its customers about various illnesses and preventive measures for the same. About how the slow down is impacting health insurance spend, Mr Jagannathan said, “The companies are reducing the quantity of cover and asking for more instalments for payment. But, our daily collection is comfortable now. Retail clients still form a major portion of our customer base.” Star Health, which is implementing a medical insurance scheme for people below poverty line in Andhra Pradesh with the support of State Government said it recently reached an agreement with Haryana Government to provide the cover in five districts. The company has also signed an agreement with Lakshmi Vilas Bank (LVB), through which the bank’s existing deposit holders would get a personal accident insurance cover free if their deposits are in the range of INR 1-2 lakh. Mr Jagannathan said he expected to earn INR 40 lakh of premium income through the LVB tie up. On the product side, Star Health will be launching a policy called “criti-care plus” in another week. The company is also planning overseas branches in a few months in locations such as Muscat and Maldives. Star Health and Allied Insurance is a joint venture between Oman Insurance Company, ETA Ascon group and insurance veterans from India.

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