Sunday, February 22, 2009

KOCHI: The Ernakulam region of Life Insurance Corporation of India has been retaining the topmost position in terms of first premium receipts for several years. A boom in economy had prompted employees and businessmen to take insurance cover on a large scale. But the situation is not so bright now as the slowdown in the economy is taking its toll on the industry also.

About 40 per cent of the policyholders are postponing payment, says R. Sahasranaman, a senior member of the agency network of the LIC. The payment can be postponed for six months and will be accepted with interest. But there are many customers who want to surrender the policies as they are not confident of being able to remit the premium after a few months. The trend is more visible among those employed in the IT sector. About 20 per cent of his clients are interested in surrendering the policies, according to him. The policy-holders were being advised to hold the policies at least for a year so that the surrender value would be more, he said.

The people are not evincing much interest even in new policies. Jeevan Astha, a policy announced recently which had a minimum premium of Rs.25,000, could not get the expected support from clients, he said.
Development Officer N. Muraleedharan too aired a similar view. The business generally goes up in March every year, but the expectations are moderate this time because of the meltdown, according to him.

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