Indian insurer to widen market exposure

Venkat Raman

The chief of the largest non-life insurance company of India has pledged that his company will widen its market exposure in New Zealand to tap the immense potential that the county offers to companies and individuals.

G Srinivasan, Chairman & Managing Director of New India Assurance Company Limited, said that the Indian insurance industry is robust with growing economic prospects.

Exciting developments

“There are many exciting developments taking place in India, with the Government determined to lift economic growth which is currently at about 7.25%. All sectors of the Indian economy are geared towards higher levels of productivity and profitability. New India Assurance Company New Zealand Limited, established 15 years ago, is keen to explore new avenues for business. There is ample potential in this country,” he said.

Impressive results

As at the end of the financial year ending on March 31, 2017, the Company’s written premium was valued at Rs 22,279 Crores (about $4.75 billion) and net worth and fair value placed at Rs 34,716 Crores (about $7.5 billion) globally.

Its asset base was Rs 69,173 Crores (about $14.95 billion) and investments at market value were Rs 53,009 Crores (about $11.45 billion).

Note: The figures quoted in New Zealand Dollars are not accurate but rounded off (Swedish Rounding) for simplicity.

Later, answering questions, Mr Srinivasan agreed that the New Zealand Company has kept a low profile since it commenced operations in May 2005 and that there was a need to create greater awareness of insurance and insurance products among New Zealanders, especially those of Indian origin.

Other Speakers

Among the speakers at the meeting were Nilanchal Mishra, Chief Operating Officer, New India Assurance Company New Zealand Limited and Prince Kumar, Executive Committee Member of INZBC.

The Early Days

Indian Newslink had reported the establishment of the Company in its June 1, 2005 issue. In that report, we had quoted the then Chairman and Managing director Rajendra Beri, who was in New Zealand for the inaugural ceremony as saying that New India Assurance Company New Zealand Limited would initially compete in the motor and property insurance market, although other services including fire and general accident would also be offered.

“While our activities as a re-insurer began 53 years ago in Sydney and 51 years ago in Fiji (as at June 2005), it has taken us a while to enter the New Zealand market, which, although small, offers rich potential for growth,” he told Indian Newslink.

“Although Indian in origin, our target would be the wider New Zealand market through brokers and direct services to companies and individuals,” Mr Beri had said.

He advised people to have adequate insurance cover for their homes and contents.

“Households are often the target for burglars while properties are also open to fire and other risks. Proper advice and timely action will prevent grief later,” he had said.

Those words of advice are more relevant today than ever before.

Inadequate protection

Ram Vashist, who, as the Company’s Chief Manager based in Fiji at that time was instrumental in setting up the New Zealand operations, had said that by and large Indians did not have adequate insurance protection.

“Many do not feel the need for insurance until it is too late. It is advisable to have jewellery, important documents and precious items in a bank safe deposit vault. Home contents insurance should also be adequately covered,” he said.

Mr Vashist was present at tonight’s dinner.

That statement is still valid, although properties financed through bank loans must be adequately insured.

However, other areas such as Contents, Public Liability, Statutory Liability, Employer Liability, Carrier Liability, Marine Insurance, Aviation, Construction and Engineering Insurance are still not properly understood and covered.

These are among the areas of specialisation of New India Assurance Limited in all its countries of operations, including New Zealand.

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