STATE LIFE - THE INDUSTRY LEADER
State Life Insurance Cooperation of Pakistan, with its sound financial strength has the ability to deliver the goods
By KAMAL AFSAR
May 15 - May 21, 2006
The conscious need of securing the future of individual and the family unit and to promote savings through life insurance is one of the prime economic areas the present Government is focusing on. The emerging trends of various income classes can help fuel the engine of savings in the country. People in Pakistan now are perceptive that a life insurance policy is a best mode of investment as it ensures risk cover and savings for their self, children and families.
On November 1st 1972, State Life Insurance Corporation of Pakistan was established with a view to run the insurance business on sound lines, provide more efficient service to the policyholders, maximize the return to the policyholders by economizing on expenses and increasing the yield on investment to make life insurance a more effective means of mobilizing national savings, widen the area of operation of life insurance and make it available to as large a section of the population as possible, extending it from the comparatively more affluent sections of society to the common man in towns and villages and use the policyholder's fund in the wider interest of the community.
The main objective behind the establishment of State Life was to provide the benefits of life insurance to all sections of the society and generate 'savings' at the macro level to help fuel the economic growth of the country.
From 1972 to 1992 the life insurance industry showed steady growth whereby State Life maintained its edge as the single largest life insurer in Pakistan that provided financial protection to millions of policyholders and their families nation wide and to the Pakistani expatriates employed in the Middle East and Gulf region.
State Life has successfully completed 33 years of financial commitment and services to the policyholders and the nation. About 25% of Pakistani families are protected by State Life's Group and Individual life insurance, but endeavors are to be under taken to cover the remaining 75%. There is a great market potential for selling life insurance plans so that the benefits of life insurance could be made available to every household and family unit in Pakistan.
State Life Insurance Cooperation of Pakistan, with its sound financial strength has the ability to deliver the goods. This can be gauged from the corporate performance of SLIC. State Life showed robust business performance in 2005. In the year 2005 State Life's First Year Premium (New Business) individual life stood at Rs. 2.66 billion by showing an increase of 20.87% while extending financial protection to 2,53,770 new policyholders and their families nationwide. Business wise Central Region topped by securing Rs. 856 million followed by North Region Rs. 695 million, South Region Rs. 625 million and Multan Region Rs.491 million by showing an increase of 20.16%, 19.23%, 16.04% and 31.80% respectively during the period January-December 2005. The Renewal Premium of State Life stood to Rs. 7.18 billion while on the Group Life side State Life secured Rs. 2.46 billion by marketing 183 new group life policies. The International Business which comprises of UAE, Kuwait and Saudi Arabia stood at US $ 23, 75,679 during the period 2005. State Life has showed robust business performance in first quarter in 2006 by securing Rs.633 million as New Business (First Year Premium) while showing an increase of 19.04% in that period.
Based on the actuarial Valuation State Life distributes 97.5% of its surplus as bonuses to its valued policyholders while the 2.5% goes to the Government of Pakistan. These Bonuses are declared on yearly basis, as per the actuarial valuation of 2004, State Life had distributed Rs.5.60 billion towards the bonuses on with profit policies. The Life Fund of State Life stood at more than Rs.108.80 billion and the Investment Portfolio at 110.48 billion rupees as at 31st December 2004. State Life remains the nation's largest Real Estate holder, whose market value stood at more than 13 billion rupees. State Life leads its way by effectively providing the quality financial services to its 60 lac policyholders 21 lac individual life and 39 lac group-life policyholders. Since its inception in 1972 up to December 2004 State Life had paid 21.50 billion rupees on account of maturity and death claims that benefited 5,19,639 policyholders and their families in individual life, while on the Group Life side State Life paid more than 15 billion rupees as Group claims during the same period. State Life's paid-up capital is Rs.900 million which is highest in the life insurance industry.
In a bid to provide better quality services to its valued policyholders with diverse range of product line, State Life has taken a leap forward by computerization drive throughout its twenty six zonal offices that are now well equipped with State-of-the-Art networking to ensure optimum facilities to the existing and prospective policyholders. An interactive web-site, www.statelife.com.pk is redesigned and developed that will be an effective marketing tool besides providing the wide range of information on the corporate structure of State Life, products plans, policies, services, real estate and investment portfolio etc.
As a responsible corporate entity State Life, from time to time had launched its public service advertising campaign in the print media to create mass awareness on various civic and socio cultural issues prevailing in the society. Virtually the public service campaign has greatly contributed to the image building of State Life. The public service advertising campaigns are being re-launched with new designs, concepts and themes. To help support the marketing force various advertising campaigns on product and corporate image building are released in the print and electronic media. As an area that cannot be ignored, State Life has taken a leap forward for the promotion of Arts, literature and diverse culture of the country. The literary works of the intellectual writers, poets, artists are well supported through various promotional means. State Life philanthropically contributed Rs.2.5 million to National Academy of Performing Arts (NAPA) for the promotion of country's rich legacy of traditional, classical and contemporary Arts, Music and literature. Recently on occasion of third Pakistan Music Conference State Life participated with other corporates. On October 8, 2005, Pakistan had faced a worse devastation when an Earthquake struck the Northern Pakistan, Kashmir NWFP. State Life stood with the nation by contributing Rs.100 million to the President's Relief Fund for Earthquake Victims 2005, in addition voluntarily contribution of one day salary by officers and staff and Rs. 5 million by sales force. Besides, Formation of special teams to visit the calamity hit areas for necessary assistance in claim payments to beneficiaries of the deceased policyholders. State Life has taken stringent measures in settling the death claims cases of the deceased policyholders and their families by giving optimum relief/relaxation of claims and premiums to the victims of Earthquake in affected areas. State Life has paid Rs.22, 524,475.00 on account of 126 death claims cases of policyholders and their families who had lost their lives in 8th October 2005 Earthquake that ravaged Northern Pakistan and Azad Kashmir. Documentary requirement has been made foolproof to avoid fraudulent reporting of death claims.
The four pillars of marketing i.e. product, price, place and promotion forms the core marketing philosophy at State Life. Presently there are 26 Zonal Offices and four Regional Offices located geographically beside the Gulf Zone in the Middle East.
The North, South, Central and Multan region are fully operative and well netted with the 40,000 actively trained marketing force committed to the excellence of procuring quality business and perpetually involved in providing after sales services to the policyholders at their door steps.
Despite its immense presence at every level of the economy; be it Industrial or commercial insurance still remains an involuntary expense in Pakistan, considered good only if necessitated by the law.
To safeguard the interest of policyholders, streamline the insurance sector and promote good corporate governance in insurance sector the Government promulgated Insurance Ordinance 2000, by repealing the Insurance Act of 1938. Now all the insurance companies operating in Pakistan are liable to abide by the Insurance Ordinance 2000. The Insurance business is being regulated by the Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan (SECP). However the policy making powers still remain with State Life's Board of Directors.
The Ordinance has tried to address the concern of the insurance agents, brokers, surveyors, to encourage professionalism within the industry to better protect the interests of the policyholders.
By effectively implementing the Insurance Ordinance State Life has achieved tremendous corporate success during the last three years. With the changing global political scenario, there is a great opportunity for State Life to expand its marketing operations throughout the country keeping in view the prevailing market competition from the private life insurance companies. The low savings propensity of individuals and non-conducive business environment over the years had been the major factors that impeded the growth of life insurance industry.
There is a greater need felt on the part of State Life's higher management to provide state-of-art training and groom its marketing force to create mass awareness about the benefit of life insurance with State Life so as to ensure that optimum number of families across the country be provided the benefits of financial coverage to their hard earned money through life insurance that could ultimately raise the 'saving' ratio and contribute meaningfully to the economic development of the country. As a matter of fact, as a market leader in life insurance industry State Life has the ability to deliver the goods. The prudent investment initiatives of the present State Life management has resulted in better returns to its million of policyholders in terms of "bonuses" that grows from year to year in billions of rupees.