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Insurance Newsletter - December 13 to December 19, 2012

India Infoline News Service | Mumbai |

The Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority (IRDA) has informed that life insurance companies offer policies for fixed policy term.

Top Stories 

Insurers request IRDA for hike in health insurance premiums: Reports

In order to prevent losses, both private and public insurers have requested IRDA (Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority) for a 10% to 30% in retail health insurance tariff, according to media reports.

Most insurers have been reporting losses in the health insurance business. Claims, administrative & other management expenses and rise in medical expenses are some of the major reasons for the segment reporting losses, the reports added.

In October 2012, National Insurance Corporation (NIC) sought 20%-30% hike in health insurance premiums to overcome the losses incurred in the business. The public sector insurer has filed its application for revision in prices to IRDA.

ICICI Lombard and Bharti AXA General Insurance also sought 15%-20% and 10%-12% hike in tariff, respectively.

FM in talks with SEBI, IRDA to trade in commodity futures

Entry of large institutional investors such as banks, insurance firms and asset management companies would help in deepening the commodity market.

The finance ministry is in talks with SEBI (Securities and Exchange Board of India) and IRDA (Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority) to ensure that mutual funds and insurance companies are also allowed to trade in commodity futures, according to media reports.

This follows a similar move to allow banks to enter the segment by amending the Banking Regulation Law, the reports added… Read more

Decline in sale of life insurance policies

The Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority (IRDA) has informed that the life insurance industry witnessed 8.22% decline in the number of new policies issued during the last financial year 2011-12 against the policies issued in the previous financial year 2010-11.

In terms of premium income generated through sale of new policies, the decline during FY11-12 was 14.01%. The decline in the number of policies sold may be attributed to IRDA’s bringing out new Regulations on the design of ULIP products in the interests of policyholders’ welfare and general market conditions prevailing in the country… Read more

Special Stories

EPFO proposes new norms on salary, allowances

Employees Provident Fund Organisation (EPFO) issued a circular on 30th November that had asked employers to deduct the subscription from the gross salary, including allowances, a move that would have reduced the take-home salary of over 5 crore workers.

Although a final decision is yet to be taken. Also more clarification has to be provided on which allowances needed to be included in the calculation of basic wage. EPFO circular also seeks to tighten norms for initiation of inquiry against employers in provident fund (PF) cases and clubbing of allowances with basic wages for computing PF contribution… Read more

RGESS to encourage investors to enter equity markets

The NSE (National Stock Exchange) on Sunday said that the newly announced Rajiv Gandhi Equity Savings Scheme (RGESS) would encourage new investors to enter equity markets and invest their money in products like ETFs (exchange traded funds)… Read more
Leader Speak

We focus on long term capital appreciation for policyholders: Canara HSBC OBC Life

“We have done a study looking at equity market return on rolling 15-year blocks since 1991. We had 12 data points and consistently positive CAGR was delivered by Indian markets in each of them,” Ritu Arora, Director Investment, Canara HSBC Oriental Bank of Commerce Life Insurance says… Read more

Benefits of purchasing policies online

The Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority (IRDA) has informed that  all insurance companies functioning in the country are selling their policies online except Agriculture Insurance Company of India Ltd (AICIL), Export Credit and Guarantee Corporation(ECGC), L&T General Insurance, Raheja QBE General Insurance, SBI General Insurance and Shriram General Insurance… Read more

Online term plans: Look beyond the price

Online term plans offer you a high cover at minimal cost. Rather than only concentrating on the price, be smart and look beyond the price while choosing your policy... Read more

New Launches

HDFC Life launches online point of sales system

HDFC Life, one of India’s leading life insurance companies, has launched online point of sales system for its distribution channels. The system branded as ‘Click2Buy’ will enhance customer insurance purchase experience and will also help to increase productivity of HDFC Life’s distribution channels… Read more

Chola MS launches Tax plus Healthline Policy

Cholamandalam MS General Insurance, a joint venture between the Murugappa Group and Mitsui Sumitomo Insurance Company Japan, has launched Chola Tax Plus Healthline Insurance Policy. The policy offers coverage under two sections, namely hospitalisation and outpatient department (OPD) Treatments. The policy also offers full tax benefit of up to Rs. 35,000 under Sec 80(D)… Read more

Marsh launches 12th global energy hub in Mumbai 

To serve the increasing risk and insurance needs of the growing oil and gas sector in the region, Marsh announced the launch of its 12th global energy hub in Mumbai, India. Marsh’s energy hubs act as local centres of expertise, ensuring that clients are able to access, more seamlessly, Marsh’s extensive global energy sector capabilities… Read more

FDIC publishes a money guide for young adults, teens

The Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) on 14th December published a collection of simple, practical tips for young adults and teens on saving, managing money, and avoiding financial scams.

This special edition of the agency's quarterly FDIC Consumer News (Fall 2012), entitled "For Young Adults and Teens: Quick Tips for Managing Your Money," also includes suggestions for parents and caregivers on saving for a child's future and teaching youngsters about money… Read more

Domestic News

Life insurance companies offer policies for fixed policy term

The Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority (IRDA) has informed that life insurance companies offer policies for fixed policy term.

According to IRDA, the policy term that is offered by life insurance companies may range from five years onwards, in case of ULIPs (unit link insurance plans) and differ from one product to another. In case of traditional life insurance policy contracts the minimum policy term may also vary from product to product. Data on number of policies lapsed in respect of non linked business is furnished hereunder.  The Premium amount involved in lapsed policies is being compiled by IRDA… Read more

Insurance coverage to BPL Aadhar card holder

The Government of India is implementing two social security insurance schemes for the benefit of weaker and vulnerable sections of the society, through the Life Insurance Corporation of India (LIC). These are Aam Admi Bima Yojana (AABY) and Janashree Bima Yojana (JBY).

Both Schemes provide insurance cover for a sum of Rs. 30,000 on natural death, Rs. 37,500 on partial permanent disability due to accident and Rs. 75,000 on death or total permanent disability due to accident. Central Government contributes 50% premium as subsidy.

This was stated by the Minister of State for Finance, Namo Narain Meena in a written reply to a question in the Lok Sabha on 14th December.

Tokio Marine open to hike state in Edelweiss Tokio Life

Japan based Tokio Marine Holding Inc would be open to increasing its stake to 49% in Edelweiss Tokio Life Insurance—if the Indian regulation for Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) in insurance is relaxed.

At present, Tokio Marine holds 26% in the Indian life insurance joint venture with Edelweiss Capital. It is the largest property/casualty insurance group in Japan in terms of revenue, employing 29,000 people in 38 countries worldwide.

Edelweiss Tokio Life Insurance started operations in June 2011. The company has 38 branches across the country, with Bangalore being the latest and it plans to open 6 more branches before the end of the financial year.

Edelweiss Tokio Life opens branch in Bangalore

National Insurance expects premiums to rise to Rs. 93.93bn in FY13 

National Insurance Company Ltd (NIC) expects to record a growth rate of 20% in the current financial year, in contrast 25% growth rate in 2011-12.

According to public sector non-life insurer, the lower growth rate would be on account of higher base and an overall slowdown in the economy impacting infrastructure projects.
NIC expects its premiums to increase to Rs. 93.93 billion in FY12-13 from Rs. 77.9 billion in the last fiscal.

Govt held meetings with CEOs of public & private sector insurers

The government has held meetings with the CEOs of public and private sector insurance companies, IRDA, Life and General Insurance Councils to address the issues in the insurance sector and steps to be taken to revive the growth in the sector.
The steps identified for action, to give fillip to the sector and expand penetration, include tax related measures and regulatory issues including investment norms, product design, micro insurance and bancassurance, among others.

This was stated by the Minister of State for Finance, Namo Narain Meena in written reply to a question in the Rajya Sabha on 14th December.

International News

Most investors know that fixed income is key to well-diversified portfolio 

Japan-based Hengan Securities has enhanced and redesigned its fixed income-trading platform following a nationwide Hengan Securities customer survey that revealed the need for practical information and education about fixed income securities as well as simplified pricing. The survey indicated over 65% of respondents believes fixed income is an integral part of a well-diversified portfolio… Read more

60% worry about rising retirement healthcare expenses in Asia

The world’s ageing population continues to expand, as scientific and medical advancement enables people to live longer. This presents enormous challenges for government and society, as well as the insurance industry. To better understand consumers' behaviour and perception of their retirement and healthcare planning, Swiss Re has conducted a survey entitled Spotlight on Consumer Health: Healthcare Funding in Retirement–Planning for the Golden Years, among more than 2,400 respondents in five key Asian markets: namely China, Hong Kong, South Korea, Singapore and Japan… Read more

Allianz to pay $12.3mn US anti-bribery fine

The US Securities and Exchange Commission on Monday charged Germany-based insurance and asset management company Allianz SE with violating the books and records and internal controls provisions of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) for improper payments to government officials in Indonesia during a seven-year period… Read more

More than 2 million couples have never discussed finances together

London-based Prudential reports that many British couples are burying their hands in the sand over their financial situations. One in seven* (14 per cent) couples over the age of 40 - or around 4.2** million people - admit they have never discussed their finances. Fears about having awkward conversations drives this behaviour, with 15 per cent of those surveyed admitting they feel uncomfortable talking to their partners about financial planning… Read more



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