Bajaj Allianz Life Insurance settled claims worth a total of Rs 700 crore in 2020-21, of which nearly 5 per cent were on account on COVID-19-related deaths, and the claims may go up in the current financial year, top company official said.
In the financial year ended March 2021, the company had settled a total of 1,70,000 claims.
"Even as the last year was very-very tough as a whole, the insurance sector was still able to manage growth.
"Usage of technology, the way product mixes came up, a lot of term buying, a lot of guaranteed products and the kind of agility shown by the industry helped the sector," Bajaj Allianz Life Insurance MD and CEO Tarun Chugh told PTI in an interaction.
The number of claims settled in 2020-21 was quite high, he added.
"We settled a total of Rs 700 crore as claims that were 1,70,000 in number. This number is quite high.
"Last year, the first quarter claims were down as people were engaged in handling the lockdown and the COVID-19 itself. But, our expectations this year is that the claims would be much more this year given the sheer volume of the deaths that are happening," Chugh said.
Of the total claims settled during 2020-21, nearly five per cent were on account on coronavirus-related deaths, he said.
Acknowledging that the situations between last year and this year are quite different, he said everybody is not focusing on creating the infrastructure.
"I think the second wave has come too strong and too soon, nobody was even ready for it.
"So, we all have been in a way caught off-guard. But, now, the way things are going, everybody is investing into infrastructure... Our chairman Sanjiv Bajaj has committed Rs 200 crore towards helping build the infrastructure," Chugh said.
Last year, April to June was tough but overall, the company is satisfied with the kind of growth happened during the entire 2020-21, said the official. "But, this April and May are tougher."
Talking about the trend among the buyers, Chugh said the risk awareness has grown among customers. They are willing to look at life insurance as an important part of their life.
On asked about the recent Irdai guidelines, allowing the insurers to invest in the debt securities of Infrastructure Investment Trusts (InvITs) and Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITs), Bajaj Allianz Life said that currently, the company is well adjusted in the debt market.
"If anything, we would be more happier if there would be more longer-term old bonds," Chugh said.
When asked about what kind of growth the company is expecting in the current fiscal year, he said ?it was too early to assess it at this moment.
"It is only after around June-July when we would start figuring out what can be the growth like. So, it will be some time to get clarity on this," Chugh said.