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Buy dhoti, get insurance cover

October 27, 2004 09:45 IST

In the mood to pick up a free personal accident insurance cover worth Rs 100,000? No, you do not need to apply for a credit card. It is simpler.

Head to Kerala and buy a 'mundu' (dhoti).

MCR Textiles, an Erode based company has tied up with ICICI Lombard General Insurance Company to offer free personal accident coverage to all customers who buy MCR-branded mundus in Kerala.

The scheme, slated to be inaugurated by the Kerala chief minister, Oomen Chandy on November 1, has been devised as a business promotional tool for the company which is one of the major players in the mundu market in the state.

The state is already witness to two leading Malayalam newspapers, the Malayala Manorama and the Mathrubhumi offering its readers accident insurance, though it is not free and readers have to chip in partly.

ICICI Lombard has partnered Mathrubhumi while United India Insurance has partnered Malayala Manorama.

Speaking to Business Standard N Raveendran, the man behind the product and Principal Officer at the Chennai-based insurance brokerage, ALEgION Insurance Services Ltd, said, "This would not only act as a promotional marketing tool for MCR but expands the market for insurance products. In a certain manner the product that we have devised is a way to reach out to masses who probably do not yet enjoy any kind of insurance cover."

The personal accident insurance cover will operate for a year and will be applicable worldwide and to all buyers. The buyer according to Raveendran would have to fill out a form along with the purchase of the mundu, post the form to MCR in Erode which would in turn collate it and send it to ALEgION in Chennai.

ALEgION in turn would send it to ICICI Lombard for due completion and insuring the buyer. The entire process from buying the mundu to being insured for accident coverage is expected to take four days.

There is no minimum purchase amount involved and the buyer would only need to purchase just one single mundu from any of the four sub-brands that MCR sells in the state. Prices of the mundu range from between Rs 200 and Rs 300.

"What we are trying to do is create a new pie and is part of market expansion which the Irda is laying lot of stress on. Moreover the existence of brokers has become largely dependent on product innovation and process innovation. We need to come up with new ideas constantly to survive and do well in the market," Raveendran pointed out.

Sanjay Krishnan in New Delhi