The company has been reaching out to housewives who frequent shopping malls to don the role of insurance agents or advisors.
“We have got encouraging response from women. About 100 housewives have already become insurance agents for us,” Munish Sharda, Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer, Future Generali Life Insurance, told BusinessLine.
The rationale behind the move is interesting. There has been a dearth of youngsters who wish to take up sale of insurance as a profession and it makes sense to supplement the marketing efforts by enlisting housewives who might have some free time to sell insurance between their daily chores.
Not a difficult task
“Actually, this is a profession where one can work selectively. Once you understand the product and its relevance to customers properly, it should not be a difficult task as levels of awareness about insurance has been fast growing. This suits housewives,” he said.
Apart from mandatory requirements for issuing agent licence, in accordance with the norms of the Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India (IRDAI), the company is also training them in aspects such as marketing.
According to V Manickam, Secretary-General, Life Insurance Council, the move to rope in housewives is relevant for the industry as well as society.
“It is welcome as a lady can easily convince another lady than a man on the need for savings and having social security. The household savings with women can be tapped while offering social security for the family or the kids,” he said.
The increase in working women in the neighbourhood also helps a housewife agent to identity potential customers. Generally, an insurance agent earns upwards of ₹15,000 a month, though it depends on how seriously the job is taken up.
According to the Life Insurance Council, as of October this year there were 20.34 lakh individual agents, of which, Life Insurance Corporation (LIC) accounted for more than half, at about 11 lakh. However, the number of women is very ‘meagre’, according to industry experts.
Future Generali Life is also trying another model for ramping up distribution. “We are working on fusing our life insurance agents with those of our general insurance company to achieve better integration of sales force. It helps each other as the same person can offer both life and non-life insurance to customers depending on their needs,” Sharda said. The modalities of joint training sessions are being worked out.