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SGI: More products; Many more innovations

Shashi Kant Dahuja, Chief Underwriting Officer at Shriram General Insurance delves into the company’s strides in the vehicle insurance, premium growth and pioneering strategies:

Ravi Lalwani: What is the premium growth rate at Shriram General Insurance for various types of vehicles?

Shashi Kant Dahuja: The insurance industry has experienced a surge driven by evolving demographics, a thriving economy, and favourable regulatory decisions, as evidenced by the General Insurance Council report as of December 2023. The industry is growing by 14% yoy, whereas SGI registered a remarkable growth of 35%. With a major focus on the motor segment, SGI recorded a 34% growth in the vehicle segment, reaching a total GWP of Rs19.64 billion in FY23 compared to Rs14.7 billion in FY22 until December. GCCV segment witnessed a growth of 38%, followed by private car & PCCV with 37% & 33% respectively. Other motor products showed an impressive 63% growth during the same period.

Which are the top 3 states for SGI’s vehicle insurance business and for fastest growth?

The number of insured vehicles vary significantly from one state to another due to several factors including population density, urbanization, economic conditions, etc. The top 3 states contributing SGI’s vehicle insurance business are Karnataka, Tamil Nadu & Uttar Pradesh. The states showing the maximum growth are Gujarat, Telangana & Karnataka – growing 75%, 60% & 56% respectively in FY23 vis-a-vis FY22. Our overall GWP growth is 35%, and 23 states in India have registered growth above that figure.

What is the ratio of vehicle insurance premium to the overall premium in FY22, and how has this ratio changed over the last few years?

SGI primarily operates in the motor insurance segment and our motor share has consistently exceeded non-motor. Historically, from 2018-19 until 2020-21, we were writing 96% motor policies and 4% non-motor policies. However, starting from 2021-22, with a strategic focus on non-motor business expansion, segments like IPA, fire, and engineering, coupled with the increasing demand for benefit-based policies, the motor share decreased from 96% to 91%, while the non-motor share increased from 4% to 9%.

What new data points have been introduced relating to business, risk, and claims?

SGI has introduced innovative user-based products such as ‘pay as you drive’ and expanded its reach to tier 3 & 4 cities to increase insurance penetration. Data analytics-driven risk assessment includes geographical reach, strict underwriting protocols, and implementing risk scores for private cars, along with customer profiling through credit scores. To mitigate fake claims, we leveraging credit scores and using new data points to identify fraudulent activities.

Who are the key technology partners associated with vehicle insurance?

SGI has strengthened its IT capabilities with NOVAC Technology Solutions providing core software solutions including Collaborator (web-based application), mobile applications for agents and customers, and relevant product APIs for integration with third parties. Additionally, we have partnerships with IIB and with some other agencies for underwriting , claims and credit score. SGI also has a few technology partners to ensure a smooth onboarding experience for our customers, facilitating CKYC and KYC processes efficiently. We are also in touch with a few insurtech firms for the implementation of machine learning (ML), artificial intelligence (AI), and data analytics.

Briefly describe recent innovations in the internal and external operations.

Recent innovations include introducing NCB module for agents, integrating credit score for customer profiling, delivering policies via WhatsApp, renewal reminders on WhatsApp, upcoming policy buying through chatbot, and expanding product mix availability on mobile applications. Unique product introductions such as motor protection add-on cover and motor legal aid insurance demonstrate SGI’s commitment to innovation, earning recognition with the ‘Best Innovation’ award at the InsureNext 2024 event.

Please briefly describe the division and team that handles vehicle insurance.

SGI’s vehicle insurance team setup is extensive, reflecting the company’s focus on motor insurance. The team is divided into operations (underwriting, claims, commission, theft claims, etc.) and marketing, supported by around 260 branches, area managers, branch managers, regional and zonal heads, and approximately 2500 marketing executives. SGI boasts an extensive intermediary network of over 65,000 IRDA/POS agents, brokers, web aggregators, insurance marketing firms, and corporate agents, ensuring comprehensive coverage and seamless customer experience.

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