Reliance Life eyes expansion in health insurance space

Looking to tap the low customer penetration in health insurance segment, leading private insurer Reliance Life Insurance is planning to strengthen its presence in pure health insurance space with an expanded product suite.

Health insurance is mostly dominated by general insurance companies at present, but life insurance firms have also started offering health-focussed products of late.

Reliance Life, part of Anil Ambani-led Reliance Group's financial services firm Reliance Capital Limited, has also launched two new health products – Reliance Life Care for You Advantage Plan and Reliance Life Easy Care Fixed Benefit Plan.

"Health insurance is an important part of our comprehensive protection portfolio designed for customers because the health sector offers a huge service opportunity," Reliance Life Insurance CEO Anup Rau said.

"Health insurance penetration in India is as low as 5 per cent, with over 85 per cent of the 1.4 billion population having no health cover. We see health segment as an opportunity to serve all requirements of customers and their families in short, medium and long-term," he said.

The company currently has three health plans in its product basket. Going forward, Reliance Life Insurance has plans to further strengthen presence in pure health insurance space.

"Keeping in mind needs, difficulties and worries faced by customers while meeting their health expenses, we have innovated health products to help them meet their healthcare exigencies and costs at every stage of life effectively and fill the gaps in health space," Rau said.

"We recognise health insurance as one of the primary protection requirements for individuals and family members in the country," he added.

The recently-passed new health insurance regulations, which specified the critical illnesses to be covered and standardised definitions, have propelled life insurers to turn their attention towards the health segment.

Besides Reliance Life, other life insurers like ICICI Prudential, Bajaj Allianz and HDFC Life are also looking to capitalise on the growth prospects in the health insurance category.

On an average, life insurers have two to three per cent of their business coming from health insurance in the retail segment and have a huge growth opportunity as the health market is highly untapped.

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