Marketing Life Insurance in Rural India

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Re: Marketing Life Insurance in Rural India

#1 Postby saketroy2 » Wed Jan 14, 2015 9:09 am

Insurance can be marketed in Rural or any place in world is very easy if their benefits are communicated rightly. But in India, insurance can only and only be sold by touching the emotional hot button. People find it a waste of money investing in insurance but if all the things put before the person correctly, m sure they will go for it. But agents just for their benefits and so called target completion, try to sell them those products which may not actually help .

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Marketing Life Insurance in Rural India

#2 Postby ANKITSHAH » Fri Dec 19, 2014 10:04 pm

With the new government at Delhi, the focus on the renewal of the health policies has started. Modi government has already talked about plans and goals of having medical facilities for all. It also aims at having life and health insurance cover for all, primarily rural part of the country. This needed attention is due to the fact that the rural India has very little penetration in terms of life insurance policies. This has made it the most focused area in terms of the possible future growth. Insurance sector recently reported a decrease in the new premiums income for the first time since 2000. This also is one of the major reasons that private companies are also focusing on the rural market.
Till 2000, LIC had a monopoly in the life insurance segment and enjoyed undisputed leadership. With vast network of agents it was able to achieve great penetration levels in most of the cities and towns. But the rural market still remained largely untapped. Even with the opening up of the market in 2000, it is still a potential source of revenue rather than being a current source. Some primary reasons can be:
 Large amount of paper work.
 People not being aware of the importance of life insurance.
 Lack of agents in the remote areas.
 High cost of premiums.
 Current products not suited to the rural needs.
Launching a new Life Insurance product must be done in keeping above factors in sight. A company can have a step wise plan to address the above mentioned problems in the rural areas. The primary need is to understand the need of the rural populace. This involves, especially in India, understanding the culture of the place, demography, income levels and accessibility. For example, the stark difference between the rural areas of Punjab & Haryana and that of Tamil Nadu or Andhra makes it quite clear that same product cannot work in both the places. Also if we look at the situation of a state like Gujarat which has digital accessibility for the rural panchyats and that of Chhattisgarh of Jharkhand were even police has no access, also calls for a need of different strategies in marketing. Also high mortality rate of the Naxal infested states causes the insurance companies to become wary of treading in these areas.
In my opinion, following should be the points that can help out a company with launching a new product for the rural area:
 Policy customization: This is very important as the market has varied kinds of segments and target audience. Also the difference in the income levels of the populace makes it unviable to have the same conditions and premium levels for all.
 Decrease the paper work: Many of the households in the rural part of the country do not have any particular papers or documents that can suffice the current requirements for many of the insurance companies that are there. Cutting down on this and keeping it to a minimal can be of great help. For e.g. instead of going for a bank statement, CIBIL, state government documents for identity and family status, we can reduce it to panchayat or tehshil level and district office issued docs.
 Health Checks: This another area where the company can reduce the criterions as getting a proper health checkup and certifying it is still a big issue in many parts of our country.
 Accessing ‘Troubled’ areas: Regions which are naxal hit or under the influence of terrorism have always been difficult to handle. For example, at its peak of naxal influence regions like Latehar, Palamu, Daltonganj etc faced issues of high mortality that caused many agents and franchise to lose interest in such markets. Even this has to be addressed and agents are required to be properly trained. They can make use of local ‘hats’ and markets to reach out to a wider audience in a relatively safer environment.
 Premium Costs: Companies have to focus on the insurance premiums also, as many a time it happens that they may be able to sell a plan but the customer often defaults on the premium payments. India mostly has a penchant for products that are of dual nature like maturity returns and life coverage and they cost a lot more. Customers are often not aware about the benefits and cost effectiveness of the simple life plans focused only on the life coverage and health benefits. This is what can be brought to the view of customers.
 Tie up with Post Offices and Gramin banks: 60% of India’s population is still living in villages and post offices are the best ways to address them. Tie-up with post office can help in prompt delivey and advertisement of product

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