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'Life insurance in SRI lANKA still an obligation, not a must'

2017-Aug-25 by  News Admin  

“Emphasizing the importance of insurance for women, we in LIC Lanka have a stand-alone plan called ‘Divyangana’, especially for women,” Sen said. “In addition, we were also the first to introduce a comprehensive life cover for soldiers during the war and have settled Rs. 26 million worth of claims to the widows and families of deceased soldiers. We also offer a double accident claim for tsunami victims. Further, we have products targeting the youth, ageing population and Sri Lankan expatriates.”

“Due to these efforts, LIC Lanka has achieved a higher growth than the industry standard last year, as far as Gross Return Premium (GWP) is concerned. As at the end of June 2017, this is 39% and we hope to achieve a target of 50% by the year end,” he said.

Q: How difficult was it to get into Sri Lanka?

A: Sri Lanka, along with Kenya and the Gulf were among the parent company’s first overseas branches. The regulatory environment was good and it was not difficult to enter Sri Lanka.

Q: How is the company formulated in Sri Lanka?

A: LIC Lanka Ltd (LIC Lanka) is a joint venture of LIC of India (LIC) and the Bartleet Group of Sri Lanka, a well-diversified conglomerate with interests in tea, money broking, finance and leasing and stock broking.

LIC of India which was set up in 1956 is India’s and the world’s leading life insurance provider and is fully owned by the Government of India. The company has grown from a mere Rs 5 crore capital in 1956 to its present stature boasting of an asset base of US$ 48,350 billion, higher than the GDP of over 75% of the countries in the world (only four countries have a population higher than LIC’s customers). LIC commands a market share of 72% in India and has been awarded the Most Trusted Service Brand and Most Recognizable Brand for the 7th year in succession.

Although LIC (Lanka) started operation in 2002, in fact it has been operating in the Sri Lankan market since 1956. In 1962, when the Ceylon Government nationalized the Insurance sector, LIC of India had to quit, but continued to establish expertise and talent for the local insurance sector.

Management Development Centre of LIC of India in Mumbai was instrumental in training many Sri Lankan insurance officials who later went on to become the stalwarts of the insurance industry. LIC of India re-entered Sri Lanka as LIC (Lanka) Ltd and is today an established name in the life insurance market of Sri Lanka. LIC (Lanka) Ltd has over 1,900 experienced insurance advisors and 30 locations in the island.

Q : Was LIC Lanka well received by local clients?

A: We found out that we needed to change some of our popular products to match the local market and we therefore, ‘re-invented’ our products which have seen a steady growth.

Q: What are the investments made locally?

A: We have invested over Rs. 2.6 billion so far with over Rs. 850 million made last year. There are mainly in Government bonds, (62%) corporate debentures (20%), bank deposits (6.5%) and in other sectors.

Q: What are the future expansion plans of LIC Sri Lanka?

A: We are in a mammoth expansion drive. We will invest Rs. 150 million to build our first regional office in Jaffna for which the groundbreaking would be held on September 8. We also see a 10% year-on-year growth in the North East and hope to have more focus in this area. Training plays a key role in staff retention and LIC Lanka regularly sends our senior advisors overseas for training to gain knowledge on how to perform effectively in this evolving market.

In addition, the proposed regional office will also have a training center.

We are also looking to acquire a new office complex in Colombo for our own head office. Our plans for the future also include special corporate business units in selected cities.

Q: What were the recent initiatives by LIC Lanka?

A: We launched a new communication campaign ‘Lifeline for life’ which easily identifies what we stand for as a dedicated life insurance company, which is ‘Life insurance for all Sri Lankans for life’ which also includes a host of tailormade solutions for corporate customers and their employees as well. Some of these in the product basket of LIC Lanka are Jeevan Ananda, Divyangana, Ashirwada, Aradhana, Niranthara, Prarthana, Swarna, Janatha, Surakshana and a range of other products to suit individual needs that can be obtained through our 30 branches. Soon, we will be introducing other innovative and novel insurance products such as the LIC Group Gratuity and products aimed at expanding the life insurance industry.

Sources : dailynews

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