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Insurance Newsletter - November 26 to November 30, 2012

India Infoline News Service | Mumbai |

Tata AIA Life Insurance has launched Tata AIA Life Insurance MahaLife Supreme, a limited premium paying, non-linked, non-participating, endowment insurance plan that offers customers a guaranteed annual income post the premium payment term till end of the chosen policy term.

Top Stories     


Insurance Bill may be introduced in current session: FM


The government may introduce amendments to the Insurance Bill in the current session for raising FDI limit in private sector insurance companies to 49%, Parliament was informed on Friday.


“... The official amendments to the (Insurance) Bill are likely to be introduced in the current session of Parliament. The foreign equity cap is being raised to meet the growing capital requirement of the insurance companies,” Minister of State for Finance Namo Narain Meena said in a written reply to the Lok Sabha… Read more


Premium collected by private insurers’ declines to Rs. 324 bn in H1 FY13


Premium collected by the life insurance industry decelerates by 2.33% during the Period Ending 30th September, 2012 over the Previous Period Ending 30th September, 2011.


The Insurance Regulatory & Development Authority (IRDA) has informed that the total Premium collected by the Life Insurance Industry decelerated by 2.33% during the period ending 30th September, 2012 over the previous period ending 30th September, 2011. The reasons for a negative growth in the premium collections are various factors that are influencing the financial sector as a whole… Read more


67% of bank deposits lack insurance cover


Over 67% of the total bank deposits amounting to Rs. 38 trillion do not have cover from the Deposit Insurance and Credit Guarantee Corporation (DICGC) as of September 2011, according to the RBI (Reserve Bank of India) data.


Bank depositors have insurance cover on deposits up to Rs. 1 lakh. This means that if a bank becomes bankrupt, each account will still recover up to Rs.1 lakh from DICGC.


The insurance cover of Rs. 1 lakh per account was introduced around two decades back. With inflation averaging 6.5% in the last 20 years, a Rs. 1 lakh deposit would equal Rs. 3.3 lakh at current prices.


New Launches


Max Life launches igenius Young Authors’ Hunt


Max Life Insurance has launched igenius Young Authors’ Hunt to promote writing talent in young Indians that will culminate in a book of stories. This is an opportunity for children under 15 years to unleash their imagination and take the first step towards becoming literary geniuses… Read more


ICICI Lombard, Meghalaya govt sign agreement for health insurance


ICICI Lombard General Insurance has signed an agreement with Meghalaya government to start a comprehensive health insurance scheme in the state.


The scheme—called Megha Health Insurance—would provide all households in Meghalaya with a financial cover of up to Rs. 1.6 lakh per year to cover in patient services irrespective of all income groups, an official statement said… Read more


Bajaj Allianz Life renews tie-up with Shamrao Vithal Co-op Bank


Shamrao Vithal Co-operative Bank has renewed its tie up with Bajaj Allianz Life Insurance, one of India’s leading private life insurers, for the second consecutive term, further strengthening the relationship between the two organizations. The arrangement will make available the wide array of Bajaj Allianz Life’s products to over 10 lakh customers spread across seven states & 126 select branches... Read more


Tata AIA Life launches MahaLife Supreme, endowment plan


Tata AIA Life Insurance has launched Tata AIA Life Insurance MahaLife Supreme, a limited premium paying, non-linked, non-participating, endowment insurance plan that offers customers a guaranteed annual income post the premium payment term till end of the chosen policy term. The customers will also get a guaranteed lump sum at maturity, with the benefit of life insurance protection throughout the policy term… Read more


SBI Life launches guaranteed savings plan, Smart Income Protect     


SBI Life Insurance has unveiled a guaranteed traditional savings plan. The plan offers tax-free regular income at the guaranteed rate of eleven percent of sum assured or paid sum assured for next 15 years, after maturity… Read more


HDFC Ergo launches Health Suraksha Top Up Plan    


HDFC Ergo General Insurance has launched another health product–Health Suraksha Top Up plan. Health Suraksha Top Up plan supplements the existing health policy, insuring a customer for a larger sum insured limit at lower cost… Read more


Basix introduces retail model for sale of insurance products  


Basix Group, Aviva Life Insurance and Royal Sundaram Alliance General Insurance have launched retail model for sale of insurance products. The products will be available through the Basix branches, which provide livelihood promotion services, and also through its network of Common Service Centres (CSC), which provide G2C services along with utility services to the rural population. The insurance products are planned to be introduced in 60 branches and 1,200 CSCs across 11 states by March 2013.




How to file vehicle insurance claims   


Increasing number of accidents and incidents of vehicle thefts has made it essential for policyholders to know how to file car insurance claims… Read more


Protect your property from loss due to fire

In order to get full protection, insurance on reinstatement (replacement) basis is recommended… Read more


Do you know about some unusual insurance policies?

These are unique insurance covers designed for specific individuals and are usually rare… Read more


Special Stories


RBI to simplify KYC norms


The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) will soon introduce guidelines to simplify KYC (know your customer) norms and to make Aadhaar the proof for address and identification. “In the next few days, we will come up with guidelines on simplification of KYC norms and use of Aadhaar both as an address proof and identification proof,” said RBI Deputy Governor Harun R Khan


Mr Khan was speaking at Payment Systems & Financial Inclusion: Recent Trends, Challenges & Emerging Issues—Bancon 2012 on 25 November in Pune… Read more


New KYC is essential for making fresh investments


Domestic News


IRDA not keen to increase equity investment cap for private insurers


The Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority (IRDA) is not keen to increase the equity investment cap for private insurers. At present, the equity investment cap for private insurers is 10%, Radhakrishnan Nair, member (finance & investment) of IRDA, said.


A revision in limit can only be facilitated if there is a change in the Insurance Act, Mr Nair added.


Mr Nair was speaking on the sidelines of a Ficci-BOAO Forum for Asia on 27th November. According to a notification by the finance ministry, Life Insurance Corporation of India (LIC) has been allowed to invest up to 30%.


IRDA issues rules for credit default swap investment


Insurers are now allowed to hedge interest rate risk as IRDA (Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority) on Thursday issued the final guidelines on investment into credit default swap (CDS).


The Reserve Bank of India, in May 2011, has issued the ‘Guidelines on Credit Default Swaps (CDS) on Corporate Bonds’ from October 2011.The said guidelines provide for participation by insurers subject to the approval of the IRDA. Credit default swaps are agreements where the seller of the CDS compensates the buyer in case of a default.


The insurance regulator prepared an exposure draft and invited public comments in August, 2012. The comments were received from various stake holders including insurance companies, regulators, market participants, etc… Read more


IRDA plans to introduce risk-based solvency


The Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority (IRDA) is planning to shift insurers to a risk-based solvency model from the current factor-based solvency model, Radhakrishnan Nair, member (finance & investment) at IRDA, said.


Mr Nair was speaking on the sidelines of a Ficci-BOAO Forum for Asia on 27th November. The model would involve some risk management by the insurer and help maintain a standardised model and appropriate risk-based pricing, Mr Nair added… Read more


India International Insurance to enter Vietnam, Malaysia         


On Monday, Singapore-based India International Insurance Pte Ltd (III), a joint venture of India’s five state-owned insurers, plans to enter the Vietnamese and Malaysian markets in the coming years.


III plans to expand its businesses and product lines. The insurance major was established in 1987 by Indian insurers. Over the last 25 years, III is providing cover worth millions of dollars.


The joint venture has been paying annual dividend of around SGD 39 million to its five state-owned insurers. The other four insurers include General Insurance Corporation of India, The New India Assurance Co Ltd, The Oriental Insurance Co Ltd and United India Insurance Co Ltd.


Bharti AXA touches Rs. 10 bn mark in GWP


Bharti AXA General Insurance has reached a major milestone by crossing the landmark figure of Rs. 10 billion in gross written premium (GWP) for calendar year 2012.


Bharti AXA GI is the fastest ever multi-line general insurance company in the country to reach Rs. 10 billion landmark. This accomplishment has further consolidated its position in the general insurance since its inception in August 2008… Read more


Bharti Walmart probe may invoke $5 mn insurance cover: Reports


Bharti Walmart, the joint venture between Bharti Enterprises and Walmart Inc, recently suspended its chief financial officer and the entire legal team as part of a high-profile global investigation into potential violations of America's antibribery laws, according to media reports.


Bharti Walmart has a directors & officers’ liability cover (D&O policy) worth $5 million from HDFC Ergo General Insurance. The insurance policy partly protects the company and its directors and officers for wrongful actions that cause financial damages and result in a lawsuit… Read more


Saraogi Insurance to invest Rs. 1.95 billion in 3 yrs


Saraogi Insurance and Brokers Ltd (SIBL) is planning to invest Rs. 1.95 billion to develop and provide a range of IT driven new insurance products over the next three years.


SIBL will also launch 'Bimaonclick.com'—an online portal for retail investors. On this portal, a customer can get access to all types of insurance services… Read more


PFRDA to popularise NPS in private sector


Considering that New Pension Scheme (NPS) has not been a successful venture in the private sector, the Pension Fund Regulatory Development Authority (PFRDA) has introduced a registration process for pension fund managers (PFMs), increased the fees of PFMs from 0.0009% to a fixed ceiling at 0.25% along with other significant steps to ensure that pension sector in the private sector takes off, chairperson of the PFRDA said at an ASSOCHAM event held in New Delhi on Tuesday.


“NPS which started off as a government pension scheme has not been popular in the private sector as there are certain changes that have to be brought about when extending a compulsory product on a voluntary basis,” PFRDA chief, Yogesh Agarwal said… Read more


International News


Swiss Re to invest $500 mn in infrastructure debt       


Swiss Re on Wednesday announced that it will engage in long-term financing of infrastructure businesses and assets. For this purpose it has committed an initial $500 million for investments in senior secured debt of infrastructure businesses and assets located primarily in northern Europe.


Institutional investment in infrastructure businesses and assets is expected to rapidly grow in importance as traditional sources of financing in the European infrastructure market, lending by states, governments and banks, are increasingly scarce… Read more


Standard Life set to list its Indian joint venture: Reports         


Standard Life is ready to list its Indian joint venture, according to media reports. However, no time frame is provided for listing.


Standard Life has ruled out an outright sale of HDFC Life, the UK group’s joint venture. In 2008, Standard Life raised its stake in HDFC Life to 26% in a deal that valued the venture at about $360 million, and at that time said it intended to list 10% of the venture in 2009, the reports added. 


Standard Life is also working to set up its international offshore wealth business through offices in Hong Kong that serve Japan and North Asia and a new office in Singapore to serve southeast Asia and India, the reports concluded.


Swiss Re estimates claims burden from Hurricane Sandy at $900 mn


Swiss Re estimates its claims burden from Hurricane Sandy at around $900 million, net of retrocession and before tax. This estimate is subject to a higher than usual degree of uncertainty and may need to be subsequently adjusted.


Hurricane Sandy, which made landfall in the US on 29 October 2012, caused high winds and storm surge, resulting in extensive flooding and loss of life and property. Before it hit the US, Hurricane Sandy affected the Caribbean and The Bahamas… Read more




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