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'Investors seek risk cover amid fluctuating market'

Virendra Singh Rawat  |  Lucknow 

Retail are seeking risk coverage products over unit-linked plans (ULIP) in the face of fluctuating stock market conditions.

"Over the last two years, the stock market has not given high returns, which has made retail somewhat risk-averse," private life insurer Life executive director K S Gopalakrishnan told Business Standard here.

He underlined the were now choosing traditional products, such as guaranteed returns, money back, endowments and guaranteed income plans over ULIPs.

He said during 2010, when the domestic economy was performing well, ULIPs accounted for almost 80 per cent of the new products hawked compared with 20 per cent for the traditional products.

"Now, the situation is almost reverse due to slowdown in the economy, which has made investors and general people rather conservative," Gopalakrishnan added.

He informed Aegon Religare's Assured Return Plan, which was launched in February 2013, had been well received in the market, as people preferred a simple product offering guaranteed return.

Gopalakrishnan is currently touring all his pan-India branches, which today stand at 70, spread over 55 cities. In Uttar Pradesh, has six branches in five cities.

The company has 20 products in the portfolio spanning ULIP, traditional, children plans etc. Last year, the company collected a total premium of Rs 400 crore, of which Rs 130 crore came as new business premium.

Meanwhile, the company is awaiting the regular's clarity on bancassurance, which simply means selling of insurance products through banks.

While, Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority is okay with the idea of banks functioning as brokers, the Reserve Bank of India is yet to pronounce clarity on the issue.

Currently, a bank can sell insurance products of one company, which is why about seven insurance firms of 24 private insurers do not have any bancassurance tie-up.

First Published: Mon, August 26 2013. 20:35 IST