IDBI Fortis Life Insurance, a joint venture between IDBI, Federal Bank and Fortis, has commenced operations in India. Following approvals from all regulators, the company has started selling a full range of life insurance and long-term saving products across the country.

Additionally, IDBI Fortis is currently setting up a tied agency force. In a first phase until June 2008 about 30 agency branches will be rolled out across the country, but this number is set to expand to around 100 by March 2009. The agency network will be able to serve more than 15,000 agents.

The product range at launch consists of a unit-linked product, with 11 investment options ranging from traditional equity, bond and money market funds to capital protected closed end funds and return guaranteed funds, branded as ‘wealthsurance’.

The product is positioned as a wealth management and accumulation solution with a range of additional covers against death, terminal illness, accidental injuries, major diseases, hospitalization and disablement.

In addition to the unit-linked product suite, a range of ‘Mortgage Term Reducing Assurance’ products have been launched, which will allow customers to cover the risk of any unfortunate event impacting their ability to repay their home loan and thus putting them or their family at risk.

IDBI Fortis is headed by Nageswara Rao, managing director and CEO. The Fortis team in India consists of Filip Coremans, CFO; Mike Wood, appointed actuary;
Maarten Kerbert, COO; and Menno Bosman, head of business solutions.

Peer Harten, CEO of Fortis Insurance, said: The Indian market has huge potential and I believe the three partners’ expertise and distribution capabilities combined with the high level of joint ambition and professionalism represents a winning proposition for all parties involved.