(Eds: With additional quotes and info)
Mumbai, Oct 26 Top bourse BSE today said it has received regulator Sebi approval to float a broking entity in insurance space and will soon set up a joint venture with the world's largest insurance exchange Ebix to create a robust distribution exchange platform for such products.
The new venture to be branded as BSE-Ebix would launch the insurance distribution exchange platform, that would allow distribution outlets, stock brokers, wealth management advisors and financial institutions across the country to sell life and non-life insurance products.
The platform would leverage Ebix's end-to-end insurance exchange technology and will enable customer relationship management, agency management, multi-quoting, underwriting, policy creation, claims filing and settlement, to back end insurance policy administration.
A memorandum of understanding in this regard was inked today between BSE Investments and Ebix Software India, today.
"We have got approval from Sebi to set up a broking entity in insurance but technology and execution is the difficult part and so we wanted to partner with somebody who has experience in this regard...We always partner with the top of the line institutions and Ebix fits into that framework," BSE managing director and CEO Ashishkumar Chauhan told .
"Insurance is the large part of the government's vision to create safe secure life and we were looking to use digital in more useful way. BSE has huge reach and large network of brokers so we were thought of training some of them and bring them into this area (insurance)," he added.
Chauhan also said BSE plans to use its network to provide fast, easy and automated distribution of insurance products.
Ebix CEO Robin Raina said the joint venture, which would be rolled out after regulatory clearance, would be initially implemented on pilot basis in some regions to ensure seamless execution and that technology framework is ready and testing has kick-started.
Noting India is set to become one of the largest regions for insurance business even though the penetration of these products is currently less than 5 per cent, Raina said things are going to look up as the country's economy is growing and has huge part of its workforce is young.
"With a population of about 1.2 billion people and the largest growing middle class in the world, India is set to be a large insurance market - as wherever people create wealth, they tend to find ways to protect it through insurance," he noted adding that Ebix plans to utilise the potential the country offers at the earliest.
"Our intent is to do that by going PHYGITAL - owning the last mile and combining physical reach of tens of thousands of distribution outlets across the country with state of the art end-to-end technology and processes," he added.
Ebix plans to invest USD 200 million in India and had recently four acquisitions in the financial exchange sector. By month-end Ebix would have set up nearly two lakh insurance distribution outlets in over 3,000 cities in the country.
With over 45 offices across Australia, Brazil, Canada, India, New Zealand, Singapore, the US and the UK, Ebix powers multiple exchanges across the world in the field of life, annuity, health and property and casualty insurance while conducting in excess of USD 100 billion in insurance premiums annually on its platforms.