Insurance Newsletter – December 02 to 06, 2013

The Insurance Bill seeks to hike foreign direct investment (FDI) in the insurance sector to 49% and this has been a key reform

December 07, 2013 12:27 IST | India Infoline News Service
Top News

FM reaches out to opposition for Insurance Bill: FM
Finance Minister has reached out to the opposition to get support for the Insurance Bill. FM P Chidambaram reportedly said that the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has assured them that it will consider support for the Insurance Bill. The Insurance Bill seeks to hike foreign direct investment (FDI) in the insurance sector to 49% and this has been a key reform. The FM also said that the BJP has told him that it will get back to him with a final view.

Domestic News

Reliance Life to launch 25 new products
Reliance Life Insurance Company (RLIC), part of Reliance Capital Limited,today said the company would launch 25 insurance products in the new regulatory regime, beginning January 1, 2014.

This was announced by Mr. Anup Rau, Chief Executive Officer, Reliance Life Insurance.

The company has received approvals from the Insurance Regulatory Development Authority (IRDA) for its new products and will be launching them across India through its strong nation-wide distribution and agent network.

“We have received most of the product approvals from IRDA and will be launching these over the next three months. We will largely focus on traditional plans and continue to provide simple and need-
based solutions to customers. Traditional plans will contribute 80 per cent while the unit linked plans will contribute around 20 per cent to the top-line in the new product environment,” said Mr. Rau.

The new guidelines have segmented life insurance products into three broad categories - traditional insurance plans, variable insurance plans and unit-linked insurance plans. Reliance Life Insurance is planning to file more products with IRDA in the next few months to offer a comprehensive product suite across all customer need segments.

AEGON Religare Life Ins wins Best Product Distribution Award
The Indian Insurance Congress 2013, honoured AEGON Religare Life Insurance (ARLI) with the Best Product Distribution Award for its online distribution channel in the Indian Life Insurance Awards 2013. The ‘Best Product Distribution Award’ was presented to ARLI in order to recognise its excellence in market penetration and its leadership position in the competitive and challenging world of life insurance product distribution.

At the occasion, KS Gopalakrishnan, Executive Director at ARLI said, “AEGON Religare Life Insurance is extremely proud and happy to be honoured for the second time in the same year for its Online Distribution. It gives me immense pleasure to accept this well-deserved award for the Best Product Distribution. It further strengthens our position as pioneers of Online Life Insurance in India.

Introducing India to a digital distribution channel for life insurance was a challenge and I believe ARLI overcame this hurdle by simplifying the buying process and introducing the customers to e-friendly products like AEGON Religare iTerm Plan, AEGON Religare iMaximize Plan and AEGON Religare iHealth Plan. We wish to keep our focus on the E-Sales distribution channel and further strengthen our online The Indian Insurance Congress was held at the Sofitel Hotel in Mumbai on November 29, 2013. The Indian Life Insurance Awards were aimed at recognising life insurance companies and providers who have proved their excellence, professionalism and dedication to maintaining high standards in the life insurance space. An independent panel of judges decided the winners and honoured the life insurance companies, as well as the investment firms, consultancies and insurance providers that have set the professional standards in order to best serve the Indian life insurance sector.

IRDA guidelines for Licences
No guidelines have been issued by the Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority (IRDA) for up-gradation of direct broking licence to composite broking licence.  However, Regulation 13(5) of the IRDA (Insurance Brokers) Regulations 2002 prescribes that any broker who has been licensed under a specified category may apply for change of category, subject to a condition that one year should have lapsed from the grant of licence in the first instance.
As per Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority (IRDA), there are only five applications under process with them as on 29-11-2013 for up-gradation of licences.

Name of the applicant/broker Status
1 Salasar Insurance Brokers As per regulation 8(2) of Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority (Insurance Brokers) Regulations 2002, a personal representation is to be made by the applicant company to the Authority.  Accordingly, a presentation including the background of the company, details of promoters/shareholders, infrastructure, business projections, reinsurance expertise etc., has been made by the company to the Authority on 25.09.2013.
2. Beacon Insurance Brokers As mentioned above, a presentation on the details of the company has been made on 18.10.2013
3. Trinity Insurance Brokers The Broker has applied for upgradation and change in shareholding pattern.  The financial analysis is being done.  The broker will be called for presentation during December, 2013.
4. Prudent Insurance Brokers The Broker’s licence is due for renewal during February 2014. The financial analysis is being done.
5. ICM Insurance Brokers The papers are under scrutiny

Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority (IRDA) has informed that there is no fixed time limit prescribed for disposing the applications.

This was stated by Namo Narain Meena, Minister of State in the Ministry of Finance in a written reply to a question in the Lok Sabha.

HDFC Life urges parents to make ‘birthday’ a perfect occasion

HDFC Life, one of India’s leading long-term private life insurance solutions providers today unveiled a new marketing campaign urging parents to make ‘birthday’ a perfect occasion for long-term financial planning for child’s secure future. The campaign drives the need for early planning, when the child is between 3 to 9 years so that 10-15 years of investment horizon is available for a bigger corpus when the child turns 16, 18 or 21, ready for under/post graduations.

Commenting on the new campaign, Sanjay Tripathy, Senior Executive Vice President - Marketing, Product, and Direct Channels said, “HDFC Life was one of the first brands to advertise and encourage buying child plans during school admissions and summer vacations to inculcate systematic and disciplined planning. We wanted to take this concept further and establish and own an occasion for buying a child plan similar to few other categories.  Child’s birthday emerged as a perfect occasion as parents with young children usually invest a lot of time and money planning, but may not be necessarily thinking about the child’s secure future during this early period. We wanted to use this occasion, which occurs year-on-year to speak to both parents and encourage them to opt for long term financial plan for their child’s future. Our internal research also reiterated that for parents ‘birthdays’ are relevant to their lives and buying the product on their child’s ‘birthday’ will remind them to pay premium every year.”

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