Bharti AXA General Insurance is targetting a quantum leap in its premium income from the microfinance sector and the rural areas in the southern States are expected to account for nearly half of the incremental growth.

Several tie-ups with MFI institutions in South India are in the pipeline now, Amarnath Ananthanarayan, Chief Executive Officer Bharti AXA General Insurance said.

Talking to The Hindu after a press meet to announce its alliance with two eastern India based MFIs — Anjali Microfinance and Arohan Financial Services Ltd, — he said these tie-ups would kick-off distribution of insurance services for rural communities in this region. It will enable the company to service low-income households in West Bengal, Assam, Orissa and Bihar.

He said the company was keen to reach the underserved rural communities in the East to offer insurance solutions.

“At present, micro-insurance accounts for 8 per cent of our premium income. We propose to increase this to 20 per cent by March 2011.”

The company's existing tie-up with Palmyra's Workers Development Society in Tamil Nadu is to be extended to more MFIs.

By participating in government schemes such as the Rashtriya Swasthaya Bima Yojna (RSBY) in Tamil Nadu, as well as the Apathbandhu Scheme in Andhra Pradesh, the company planned to reach out to BPL (below the poverty line) families across the country, he said. Tie-ups were planned in other States too.

Through its tie-up with Anjali Microfinance, Bharti AXA will provide its group health product to the members of the micro finance institute, and that with Arohan Financial Serviceswill enable it to offer its group personal accident cover.

The company will assist in training the field staff from these institutes on the product and benefits. Simple bilingual claim forms have been created to ensure hassle-free and fast servicing and claims settlement.

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