SBI General sets 60% premium growth this fiscal

SBI General Insurance hopes to maintain its growth momentum of recent years and has set a 60% target in premium growth in the 2014-15 fiscal.

The subsidiary of the country's largest lender SBI had a gross written premium of Rs 770.85 crore in FY13, and has registered around 55% rise in premium of around Rs 1,200 crore in FY14.

"In this fiscal we expect to grow at around 60%, which we feel is reasonable," managing director and chief executive Bhaskar J Sarma told PTI.

He said any pick up in industrial activity and automobile sales will support growth further.

As per the general insurer, while the motor insurance segment comprised around Rs 465 crore of the total premium, fire contributed to around Rs 412 crore with rest coming from health and other segments in FY14.

"This fiscal, our focus will be on the motor, health and commercial lines among other things," Sarma said, adding that the company will also focus on increasing the marine insurance pie during this period.

The general insurer, which has filed some products in health insurance segment, will also launch them after receiving approval.

SBI General Insurance, which draws around 60% of its business from banking channel, also said it would focus more on the other channels like brokers.

"We want to focus on brokers and agency channel this fiscal. Our focus on banking channel will also continue which has given us good result in the initial period of our operation," Sarma said.

About the financials, he said the combined ratio of the company came down to around 130% in FY14 from 210% in FY13, which means that the company spent Rs 1.30 for every rupee it earned last fiscal. Its loss ratio was close to 75-80% during last fiscal.

Sarma also said the company will require some capital infusion from promoters in the current financial year.

"We will require some capital in the current fiscal from promoters," Sarma said, adding the amount is yet to be determined.

SBI General Insurance is the joint venture between State Bank of India and Australian insurer Insurance Australia Group with SBI holding the majority stake.

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