Ever since the Covid-led pandemic has hit every human being prompting them to be more concerned for their life and health insurance policies, the insurance sector leader Life Insurance Corporation (LIC), has consistently been tapping the market by recognising its potential and introducing new customer friendly initiatives. At the same time, LIC has also shown its human face by disposing death claims arising due to Covid on priority basis. Ever since Vipin Anand took over as the Managing Director of LIC last year, the national insurer has been on fast-forward mode. Anand, who joined LIC in 1983 as a Direct Recruit Officer, has spent almost 25 years in various leadership positions. In an exclusive interview with Winning Bizness representative Anand Mishra, Vipin Anand said that even during the current fiscal year, overall premium collection has gone up.
- Has Covid-19 outbreak given LIC a whole new scope to expand its business? How differently is LIC managing to mitigate the pandemic?
Definitely, the pandemic has brought the need of having Life insurance to the forefront of everyone’s thoughts and there is much greater awareness of the necessity of having a Life Insurance Policy. Since physical canvassing is restricted as per the new normal, we are imparting online training sessions and motivating all our field force to canvass the business through easily and freely available digital modes. In the claims area too, LIC has introduced many relaxations in claim processing. Now one can email the scanned images of documents subject to fulfilling certain conditions i.e. policies in force, services in the branch where it was issued initially, not assigned, sum assured upto Rs. 5 lacs etc.
- What are the other services LIC is providing for the ease of policy holders?
For smooth policy servicing, LIC has offered many options to policy holders to make them independent on the principle of DIY (Do It Yourself). The basic online functions related to policy servicing are Payment of Premium, Loan, Interest, Loan Repayment, Advance Premium, Prem Paid Certificate, Policy Status, Loan Status, Claim Status, Revival Quotation, Premium Calendar etc. Besides, LIC has also provided certain premier services for policy holders viz. View Policy and Proposal Images, View Claim History, Register Request for Online Loan, Registration of request for Online Change of Address. A Chatbot by the name of, “Jeevan Mitra”, has been introduced for addressing customers’ enquiries.
- What is the position of the office attendance post-lockdown? What percentage of staffers/officers are attending office?
In the green zones, our offices have started functioning normally. In the offices situated under Orange & Red Zones, we are following the directives of concerned State Govt or local authorities. At some of such offices, our employees are working from home, rosters have been prepared for employees who are needed to perform their duties from offices. Most of the services are now available to the customers.
- We heard that LIC has disposed death claims arising due to Covid on priority basis. Please let us how many Covid death claims have been settled so far with total amounts?
Yes, you heard right. Till 3rd July, 150 claims were paid Rs. 10.31 crore of claim amount. LIC is at the forefront for helping the families of the deceased by providing them many relaxations e.g. accepting claim documents from them through WhatsApp since many may be quarantined. At most places, our people have actively located the whereabouts of the deceased to dispose Death Claim Payments on priority.
- Has premium collections been affected due to Covid? Has LIC provided digital platform to its customers to pay premium and buy products?
During the current fiscal year, premium collections are 10% more as we have collected Rs 47,000 crores in Q1 through almost 9 crore collections. There is a substantial increase in digital collections. During this period of 3 months only, 3.78 crore transactions for Rs. 16,344 crores were processed. Share of digital collections in numbers is 42.20% with growth of 101.80%. Now, customers have several ways to pay their premium. Most popular and safest way these days are paying by sitting at home and using Debit/Credit Card/Net-banking/NACH. LIC has developed its own App and the premium can be paid by visiting LIC website also. In addition, we have tied up with many agencies which facilitate hassle free premium payment e.g. BHIM, Amazon Pay, Google Pay, PhonePe, PayIM, InstaPay, AP Online, MP Online, Suvidha Infoserve etc. Physically it can be paid in our own branches, our Life Plus Office and Premium Point Offices also. Premium can also be paid in any branch of IDBI Bank and AXIS Bank besides 3.69 lakh Common Service Centres.
- What is the progress with regards to the upcoming IPO of LIC?
All the activities related to the proposed IPO are being handled by DIPAM, Govt. of India.
- Please name a few of the flagship products which LIC has launched in the recent months. What is the basic objective of launching these prođucts?
All the activities related to the proposed IPO are being handled by DIPAM, Govt. of India.Recently we have introduced two ULIP products (Nivesh Plus and SlIP). Nivesh Plus, is for customers who want to pay one time Single Premium and avail benefits during the tenure of policy while SlIP is for those who wish to pay premium periodically during the term of policy. In the current year, more than 2600 policies have been sold with a premium of approx. Rs 34 crores. One more pension policy Pradhan Mantri Vaya Vandana Yojana (PMVVY) for the benefit of senior citizens has been re-introduced which is available through both Online and Offline mode. This plan is extremely popular among senior citizens.
- IDBI Bank posted a profit of Rs 135 crore for the March quarter. How LIC is seeing it?
IDBI Bank is regaining its past glory very fast. The Management of the bank has really worked very hard to turn around the organization. We are sure about a very bright future for lDBI Bank.