Model Insured Villages to Boost Rural Penetration
Banking Frontiers|October 2021
Neeraj Prakash, Managing Director, Shriram General Insurance shares the company’s strategies to tap rural markets and leverage new technologies:
Ravi Lalwani

Neeraj Prakash avers that the solution to low insurance penetration in rural areas is product customization

Ravi Lalwani: Please share details of the penetration of the insurance business in rural markets compared to urban markets? What are the top 2 products in the rural and urban markets?

Neeraj Prakash: Shriram General Insurance’s rural business in FY21 stood at 10% of the total business and we target to expand that in FY22. Rural consumption is a driver of the Indian economy and in the pandemic, the rural markets have been leading the demand resurgence. Awareness about insurance in rural India is still lagging nor have they experienced the benefits of insurance. The Shriram Group has a deep understanding of the rural markets and we at Shriram General Insurance believe that bundling the benefits of multiple products and marketing the combination of coverages to rural customers is ideal. Insurance penetration is low in rural areas and needs product customization. The leading insurance products are crop and cattle insurance which are the two basic covers required most in the rural market as compared to motor & health insurance popularly sold in the urban segment.

From a penetration point of view, we have simple products which create value for the population living in rural areas. We have developed our homecare and personal accident insurance products with the customer base and target demographic in mind and not the competition. These products have been priced, promoted, distributed, and serviced rightly to make them useful for the rural masses. The top 2 products in the rural sector are good carrying commercial vehicle insurance and longterm 2-wheeler insurance.

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