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Jul, 30 2018

Max Life lines up Rs 250 cr to add 145 branches

Max Life Insurance will add 36,000 agents each year over the next three years, according to Singh. It currently has a network of around 50,000 agents.

Max Life Insurance will add 145 branches and make a capital investment of Rs 250 crore over the next twelve months as it looks to ‘rebuild’ its proprietary channels business, Max group founder Analjit Singh told ET, within a week of taking over as chairman of the insurance arm’s holding company.

“We need to regain our lost glory and go back to making our proprietary channels fire,” Singh said, referring to the company’s strategy at the time of inception which was built around selling insurance policies through a network of 80,000 agents.

Max Life Insurance will add 36,000 agents each year over the next three years, according to Singh. It currently has a network of around 50,000 agents. “There is no better-performing life insurance company,” Singh said, adding that his endeavour would be to work with the key leadership including Rahul Khosla and Rajesh Sud to ensure the company received the recognition that is due to it.
The board of the life insurance company approved the expansion plans at a meeting on Friday, Singh said. He took over from Naina Lal Kidwai as chairman of listed-Max Financial Services, the holding company for the life insurance business, on July 23.

He told ET in a subsequent interaction that the move was aimed at demonstrating his “commitment to India, his businesses and his family”. The life insurance business was already top-ranked online seller of protection plans, a product that primarily aims at giving customers cover in eventuality of any unforeseen events but does not provide any market-linked returns, Singh told ET. The company has a network of 205 branches and tie-ups with banks including Axis BankNSE 2.82 %, Yes Bank and Lakshmi Vilas Bank.

It also has an in-house sales force or customer advisory team comprising 600 executives which it intends to triple in the next three years. Sales of insurance policies through the bancassurance channel currently contribute 60% of its overall new sales each year. Its tie-up with Axis Bank, its largest bancassurance partner, is due to expire in 2021. Singh allayed concerns around the renewal of this key partnership. “Today, almost 18% of Axis Bank’s fee-based income in the retail segment comes from selling our policies.
We are heavily integrated with their business,” Singh said. The life insurance arm sold new policies worth Rs 3,215 crore to individuals in the last fiscal, growing new policy sales by 22%. It had gross written premium of over Rs 12,500 crore, commanding a near 10% market share in the life insurance business.

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