LIC to review rules hurting rural agents
The Life Insurance Corporation (LIC) of India has assured revision of some of its measures that have hit about four lakh of its agents in rural areas. LIC had raised targets and norms of agents in a manner that cut thousands of rural agents off business in recent months.
There are nearly 13 lakh LIC agents in India, most of them operating on a modest scale. Changes in 2009 brought identical business targets for rural and urban agents, severely affecting rural ones who survive on limited opportunities. The LIC had raised targets for its agents to a minimum of Rs one lakh as first year premium every year, meaning, each agent would have to sell policies worth Rs 20 lakh on average every year.
"This may be possible in urban areas, but impossible in rural areas where people buy very small policies," an LIC agent says. "Increase of minimum business guarantee for agents, has already resulted in termination of agents working in rural areas," Professor P J Kurian, president of the All India Life Insurance Agents Federation said.
LIC chairman T S Vijayan on Friday told a delegation of agents that such measures would be reviewed.
A memorandum submitted by the federation also urged withdrawal of direct marketing plans online – cutting out agents.