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Universal Sompo draws up growth plans on parent’s insuretech play

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MUMBAI: Universal Sompo General Insurance, a JV between banks and Japanese insurer Sompo, is preparing for a high-growth second inning following the amalgamation of its original promoter Allahabad Bank with Indian Bank. Part of the new strategy is to integrate with Indian Bank’s systems for distribution. The general insurer is also taking the help of a start-up Cover Genius, in which Sompo recently acquired a stake, to integrate systems with e-commerce and other distributors.
Speaking to TOI, Sharad Mathur, MD & CEO, said that the company is taking the help of management consultancy firm BCG for the integration of the company’s systems with that of Indian Bank. “We have used the Covid period for a transformation of the company. We have digitized the ecosystem and are able to underwrite and distribute through partners using digital assets,” said Mathur.
According to Mathur, Sompo’s investment in Cover Genius enables the company to use its service to embed insurance with partners and sell small ticket insurance like extended warranties in Flipkart and travel cover in Makemytrip. “In addition to Sompo’s investment in insuretech, we are able to leverage their support in reinsurance and global relationship with Japanese businesses,” he said.
Going forward the company plans to expand its health insurance portfolio and reduce the share of its crop insurance portfolio. “We have come out with five variants of our health insurance plans with the top end providing comprehensive medical cover,” he said. The company has moved health administration in-house and uses third-party administrators only for group covers.
Sompo is the largest shareholder in the company after hiking its stake to 34% in 2018 and Indian Bank is the largest domestic shareholder with 28% stake followed by Indian Overseas Bank which holds 18% and Dabur around 12%. Karnataka Bank is the third lender with a minority stake.



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