SBI General Insurance plans IPO in 2020, aims to be in top-five non-life insurers



 SBI General Insurance Company Ltd aims to be among the top five non-life insurers by investing in technology and launching new products, and seeks to go public through an initial share sale in 2020, a senior official said on Monday.

The company plans to boost the number of agents and other distribution channels, and focus on health insurance policies. 

"We are investing in digital technology and looking at digital strategy. Now there are insurers that are purely into digital technology. The investment is part of our overall budget for information technology," Lisa Jeffery, Deputy CEO, told reporters.

At a time when the industry is registering a 12 per cent growth, SBI General Insurance is clocking about 30 per cent business growth.

"We hope to log about 35 per cent growth in our gross domestic premium income (GDPI). During the first half of the current fiscal, the GDPI growth was about 30 per cent at Rs 2,067 crore and the net profit was at Rs 270 crore," Jeffery added.

She said SBI General Insurance was one of the few players to have posted an underwriting profit, or premium income minus claims.

According to Jeffery, the company got 3,289 claims due to Kerala floods for a value of about Rs 168 crore, towards which Rs 64 crore has been paid out.

She said the company officials contacted the policyholders (insured) and told them about the insurance protection and claims procedure.

With respect to cyclone Gaja that devastated several districts in Tamil Nadu, the company has received 128 claims.

The fire premium rates continue to go down with the entry of purely online/digital insurers without the traditional set-up.

To a question, Jeffery said that IAG International was not planning to increase its stake in the company from the current 26 per cent to the maximum permissible 49 per cent.

The non-life insurer is a joint venture between State Bank of India (SBI) and IAG International.

In September, SBI sold a four per cent stake in SBI General at Rs 482 crore to Axis New Opportunities Fund (1.65 per cent) and Premji Invest (2.35 per cent), valuing the company at about Rs 12,000 crore.

After the deal, SBI holds a 70 per cent stake in SBI General Insurance. -IANS