While many face unemployment and job loss issues, during the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic, the insurance sector in the country is experiencing an increased rate of hiring.
The same is mentioned by the 42-year-old Mithilesh Gupta of Mumbai, who in January 2019 left the insurance agency profession.
But now, after he was approached by a bank-led private life insurer he was working with earlier, he is back in the system.
Not only was Gupta offered greater rewards with this rejoining, but the company also provided a laptop that he could own after working for two years.
Gupta said, “I have experience selling online through tablets and handheld devices. Since I was anyway working in my family garment business where Coronavirus has impacted sales, it made sense to have an additional source of income”
Doubled Hiring During Covid-19 Pandemic
In support of the same belief, the Life Insurance Council’s data for the period between 1 April and 30 November (FY21) shows that 106,035 agents were hired by life insurance firms.
Of the 46,203 agents working during the same time last year, the quantum is more than twice as high.
The rise is mainly because, according to industry sources, consumers were not completely prepared to purchase purely digital (without an intermediary) on the one side.
Besides, in the sense of the COVID-19 lockdown, the banks also began to refocus on core business.
According to the head of distribution at a private life insurer, “Though we have three bank partners, they made it clear that the branches will be used purely for banking transactions and third-party product sales will be suspended for a few months. This is true for all other banks too. Hence, life insurers hired
agents to make up for the loss”.
So far, nearly 55 percent of the annual new business premium is contributed by banks and about 35-40 percent by agents. The remaining revenue comes from pure online sales from web aggregators and websites of insurance companies.
When COVID-19’s lockdown was announced on March 25, the insurance company was the worst hit.
Bank branches were doing only transactional banking business at that time, and insurance sales took a backseat.
The insurance agents were responsible for helping insurers reach the new business rate goals during this time.
The products were sold digitally where insurance agents acted as an intermediary for digital purchasing by consumers.
The latest life insurance company premium saw a year-on-year (YoY) rise of 6.9% to Rs 22,986.10 crore in July, showing the first signs of growth in FY21.
According to industry insiders, the growth was reportedly driven by insurance agents.