Insurance companies are tying up with cooperative banks, microfinance institutions and small finance banks to widen their reach.
The Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India (IRDAI) had in recent meetings with the industry pointed to a concentration of insurers and their touch points in urban areas.
State-owned insurers dominate rural markets with their strong branch presence. The IRDAI has allowed banks to act as agents for multiple insurers.
Bajaj Allianz Life Insurance has signed an agreement with Vakrangee to distribute its policies through 23,000 kendras that provide banking, insurance, e-governance, e-commerce and ATM services to rural customers. “We will reach more rural customers,” said Anuj Agarwal, MD and CEO, Bajaj Allianz Life Insurance.
Bajaj Allianz also has an agreement with the Gujarat-headquartered Kalupur Commercial Co-operative Bank to distribute microinsurance.
Birla Sun Life Insurance has a distribution tie-up with the Peerless group. Jayanta Roy, MD and CEO, The Peerless General Finance & Investment, his group would gain access to a range of financial services for its customers.
HDFC Life has a deal with Indiabulls Housing Finance to distribute insurance. "This will help us widen our reach," said Amitabh Chaudhry, MD and CEO, HDFC Life.
Future Generali India Insurance has tied up with 10 medium and small banks in the Kolhapur and Sangli districts to sell rural and micro-insurance.
Cigna TTK Health Insurance has an agreement with the country’s largest urban co-operative bank, Saraswat Bank. This will strengthen Cigna TTK’s presence in six states.