When it comes to insurance, there is almost a countrywide consensus as far as the best choice is concerned. Born out of the merger of 245 private life and general insurance companies in 1956, the Life Insurance Corporation (LIC) of India was the sole provider of life insurance in the country until as recently as 1999.
Servicing more than 28 crore individual policies, the corporation also has another nine crore covered under various group insurance and superannuation schemes. This exemplifies the reach and the trust that the organisation has built amongst consumers over the years. While the numbers speak about LIC’s success as a business enterprise, its contribution to the nation goes far beyond these numbers. Mobilizing public savings for public benefit has been the second most important objective of LIC’s work, and its success in this endeavour is clear from the Rs 11.5 lakh crore in life fund that it has in its safety. This also includes its government and infrastructure segment investments of Rs 7.5 lakh crore.
Eight zonal offices, 112 divisional offices, 2048 branches, more than 1100 satellite offices, more than 115000 employees and 14 lakh agents are at the core of the success of this government owned insurance behemoth, sec which, apart from life insurance, also offers various other financial services through an array of subsidiaries. While it has an indisputable presence in India as a leader in the insurance space, it has also spread its wings abroad through its branch offices, Joint Ventures and tie-ups, besides having a representative office in Singapore.
On the domestic front, it has managed to tackle competition head-on, despite the fact that the competitors included names which boasted of having the financial strength and goodwill of some of the largest Indian industrial houses and banks, and the technical expertise of some of the most reputed international insurance companies. With a 70 per cent market share, the company has not only held on to a major part of the market, but has also managed to improve it over the years.A Force Backing the Economy
LIC’s investments in the government and developmental sector have always been a major source of strength for the Indian economy. Its contribution as the single-largest investor in the stock market is something that has always been recognised by the industry. In a major step in fostering financial inclusion, the corporation, in collaboration with various state governments, also provides social security schemes to BPL families. These are providing cover to several crores of needy people.Getting Stronger Financially
In 2009, when the world economy was in shambles, LIC managed to register a 33.97 per cent growth, compared to the 12.43 per cent registered by the private players. Its market share increased from approximately 61 per cent to 65 per cent. Coming out strongly at a time when the whole world is struggling is a matter of great pride. Of course, this has been possible only because of the strength that the corporation has built over a period of time. Its strong financials speak for themselves. Despite a challenging economic environment that has been prevalent over the past three years, the corporation’s financials have been extraordinarily sound. The premium income for fiscal 2009-10 stood at Rs 185985 crore, while its total income stood at Rs 298722 crore, which is no small achievement by any means.
LIC’s numbers in 2010-11 testify to its continued strong performance. It reported a total income of Rs 299273 crore for FY11, where the premium income was Rs 203358 crore. Its total life fund as on 31st March 2011, stood at Rs 1151201 crore, while the total assets were at Rs 1317416 crore.
True to the spirit of nationalisation, the corporation has deployed its funds to the best advantage of LIC’s policyholders, as well as for the community as a whole. National priorities and the obligation of ensuring reasonable returns to the policy holders are the main criteria guiding the investment policies of the corporation. The corporation has amply extended its support in the economic upliftment of the nation, which is evident from its investments in the social and government sectors.
Vast Range of Product Offerings
LIC’s product range is probably among the widest in the insurance sector, with more than 50 different products that cater to the different needs of all segments of society. From basic insurance plans and term insurance plans, to capital market-linked plans, health plans and variable insurance products, it has at least one product that would fit into the needs of anyone
looking for insurance.
Service at its Best
While having multiple products on offer normally tends to kill efficiency in servicing a vast number of customers, LIC has been on top of things in this case too. An efficient claims settlement process is what has helped the corporation to grow to the size that it is today.
During 2010-11, it settled over 1.83 crore claims amounting to over Rs 52160 crore. The proof of timely settlement of claims is also seen in the fact that 96.21 per cent of the total maturity claims were settled by the company on or before the date of maturity. 95.78 per cent of the non-early death claims were settled by the company within 15 days of intimation
Product Focus: Jeevan Arogya
Health is a major concern on everyone’s mind. In these days of skyrocketing medical expenses, a family member’s illness also ends up being a traumatic time for the rest of the family. To help people take care of medical emergencies, LIC has launched Jeevan Arogya, a unique non-linked health insurance plan, which provides cover against certain specified health risks. The plan provides the insured with timely support in case of medical emergencies, and helps them remain financially independent in difficult times.
Here’s a quick list of the benefits that LIC’s Jeevan Arogya policy has to offer:
• Valuable financial protection in case of hospitalisation, surgery etc
• Increasing health cover every year
• Lump sum benefit irrespective of actual medical costs
• No-claim benefit
• Flexible benefit limit to choose from
• Flexible premium payment options