Insurance Newsletter – February 17 to 21, 2014

The unclaimed amount in insurance has zoomed 60% in one year due to lack of awareness, delay in processing of claims and change in address, according to a media report.

February 22, 2014 12:31 IST | India Infoline News Service
Top Stories

Actuarial profession to take leap forward in changing economic landscape: TS Vijayan
The 16th Global Conference of Actuaries (GCA) organised by the Institute of Actuaries of India (IAI) was inaugurated with a key note address by T. S. Vijayan, Chairman IRDA. With the governments across the world introducing reforms to sustain and push growth, the forum provides a platform to discuss the opportunities and challenges that arise due to changing economic and business landscape. Inaugurating the conference, IRDA Chairman T.S. Vijayan spoke on how insurance industry has benefitted by the actuarial profession as it is able to identify and mitigate the risks, conduct long-term forecast and uphold policy holder’s interest. Vijayan shared his thoughts on how Indian insurance market is growing higher than the economic growth and how talent development needs to keep pace with the demand from the industry. “The demand of actuaries is increasing, whether in the life insurance industry, non-life insurance industry or even outside insurance industry. Because actuaries are able to take a long term view, they understand economic scenario better and participate and support the decision making process,” said T.S. Vijayan... Read more

Unclaimed amount in insurance zooms 60% in one year
The unclaimed amount in insurance has zoomed 60% in one year due to lack of awareness, delay in processing of claims and change in address, according to a media report. The unclaimed amount increased to Rs 4,865.81 crore in 2012-13 from Rs 3,037.46 crore in the previous year, according to IRDA (Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority) data. Among the unclaimed funds include policy benefits paid out, but not encashed by policyholders, maturity benefits lying unclaimed or death claims not filed by nominees. According to IRDA, lack of awareness is the main reason for the huge rise in the unclaimed amount. Policyholders usually buy an insurance policy or make investment in insurance products and forget it. Investors need to “track their investments” on regular basis.

Insurance marketing firm concept to be game-changer
Life Insurance Council, the industry body of life insurers in India is currently actively assisting Insurance Regulatory & Development Authority (IRDA)’s innovative initiative of entrepreneur-driven alternative distribution channel – the creation of ‘Insurance Marketing Firms’ (IMFs), with an objective to bring Insurance at the doorstep of the customer, and this in turn would help Life Insurance industry attain greater heights. This unique concept of Insurance Marketing Firm (IMF), which is seen as a game-changer move in the Indian Insurance industry, aims to encourage entrepreneurial spirit in the minds of intermediaries – fomenting perpetual succession and attractive career growth options besides enabling employment opportunities to fellow Indians... Read more

Domestic News

Referral companies' licences can be renewed: IRDA
Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority (IRDA) on on 17 February 2014 said that the insurers can tie-up with referral companies for three years and it can later be renewed for another three years after approval by the regulator. Earlier IRDA rules had said that the approval granted by the Authority to the referral company is valid for three years from the date of grant of such approval. Now it has clarified that if there is mutual consent and the Referral Company is eligible to continue the referral arrangement with the Insurer in accordance to IRDA norms... Read more

Insurers to pay out dues to policyholders on time: IRDA
The IRDA (Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority) on 13th February has asked insurers to take steps so as ensure timely payout of dues to policyholders, amid a rising trend in amounts lying unclaimed with companies. In 2012-13, about Rs 4,865 crore remained unclaimed with insurance companies. The same was at Rs 3,037.46 crore in 2011-12, Rs 1,945.93 crore in 2010-11 and Rs 1,372.64 crore in 2009-10, the Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority (IRDA) said in a circular. "While unclaimed amount is not uncommon in insurance sector, a steep increase in the unclaimed amount is a cause of concern...The Audit Committee shall have oversight on unclaimed amounts. The Committee shall also oversee compliance of the provisions," it said... Read more

IRDA releases draft for review of third party insurance
The Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority (IRDA) on Thursday has released a draft proposal on revision of premium rates for motor third party insurance covers for financial year 2014-15. The exposure draft is placed at IRDA website. The Authority invites all stakeholders to provide their comments on this draft proposal by 28 February 2014, the IRDA said in a notification. According to the draft proposal released by IRDA, premiums are likely to see a sharp rise of 25-137% on private four-wheelers. Third-party insurance is a mandatory cover that pays expenses in case of damage by your vehicle to the life or property of a third person.

Chola MS launches Wellness on Go app for Health Insurance customers
Cholamandalam MS General Insurance Company announced the launch of Chola MS Wellness on the Go mobile application for its Health Insurance customers. This application available on Android supported smart phones will offer a range of health benefits and convenient access to the network of hospitals offering cashless treatment facility to the customers. The customers will be sent a sms and an email communication with the link to download this application. The customer will have an e-Health Card for self and family. The customer can use the e-Card along with a valid photo identity proof to avail cashless hospitalization at any of the network hospitals.

Tata AIA Life launches Mahalife Gold
Tata AIA Life Insurance Company Limited (Tata AIA Life) has launched  Tata AIA Life Insurance MahaLife Gold, a complete plan with Whole of Life cover upto age 85 that provides insurance cover and assured benefits to fulfill both short term as well as future life needs. The plan can be bought even from age zero. This means that if one buys this policy for his child he has to pay premiums only for the first 15 years, after which the child gets a guaranteed annual income as well as life coverage till the age 85 years... Read more

Bharti AXA GI awarded best private insurance company
Bharti AXA General Insurance (GI) Company, one of the fastest growing multi-line general insurance companies in India was awarded Best Insurance Company in the Private Sector – General, by the World HRD Congress at the ABP BFSI Awards, 2014. The award was presented at a ceremony held on 14th February at Mumbai. The BFSI awards aim to recognize excellence across Banking, Finance and Insurance services. The criteria for choosing the finalists across categories include strategic perspective, track record, ability for sustainability, future orientation, competencies, integrity and ethics... Read more

SBI, SBI General organise Health Camps across 80 cities
SBI General Insurance and State Bank of India (SBI) jointly organised “Free Health Check Camps” across 80 cities pan India including Mumbai on 15th February 2014. The Health Camps were organised to coincide with the pan India launch of SBI General’s Group Health Insurance Policy exclusively for SBI Account holders and their families. Mr. Ravindra Pandey, DGM - Zone IV, SBI along with Mrs. Vineet Rastogi, DGM - Zone I, SBI inaugurated the Health camp.  Speaking on the occasion Mr.Pandey said, “We are happy to organise the “Free Health Check Camps” for the benefit of SBI customers. Our customer’s wellbeing is important to us. Healths check Camps like this will help us sensitise our customers on the need of staying healthy. It will also provide them with an opportunity to have a reality check on their Health... Read more

L&T Insurance launches Super Top-Up health insurance scheme
L&T Insurance Ltd., on Tuesday launched a top-up health insurance scheme, my:health Medisure Super Top Up, which provides for an option of buying top-up health insurance cover ranging between Rs. 3 lakh and Rs. 20 lakh, over your existing policy. The new scheme offers comprehensive coverage, which includes pre- and post-hospitalization expenses and day care procedures, without any sub limits for spouse, two dependent children and also parents and in-laws. The scheme is positioned at individuals and families seeking to protect themselves from the ever-increasing payouts on hospitalization. Existing medical insurance cover is generally found insufficient in meeting the enhanced payouts... Read more

Serco emerges as a major Contender in Insurance BPO service provider report
Serco, the international service company announced that its insurance BPO business has been recognised as a Major Contender by leading global research and advisory firm, Everest Group in its  Insurance BPO – Service Provider Landscape with PEAK Matrix Assessment 2013 report. The PEAK Matrix is a framework to assess the absolute matrix success and overall capability of service providers across multiple dimensions, including market success, scale, scope, technology capability, delivery footprint, and client satisfaction. The service providers are divided into three categories based on performance: Leaders, Major Contenders and Emerging Players. Everest Group’s latest insurance BPO service provider landscape research report is based on a detailed analysis of 16 leading BPO service providers... Read more

Bharti AXA Life helps fulfill a dream
Bharti AXA Life Insurance, the private life insurance joint venture between Bharti Enterprises and AXA, the world’s largest insurance company, announced the winner of its ‘Secure My Dreams’ online campaign. Santosh Kumar Mishra, a resident from Guwahati got the opportunity to fulfil his dream of providing his daughter access to world class higher education by winning Rs 5 lacs. Earlier this year, Bharti AXA Life had introduced a unique digital campaign which enabled the customer to share their dreams on www.securemydream.com, supported by a tagline that captured how life insurance would help them realise it. Within a short span of four weeks, the online campaign received a phenomenal response by garnering participation from over 4000 people... Read more

Future Generali India launches Rashtriya Swastha Bima Yojana
Future Generali India Insurance, a joint venture between Future Group - the leading retailer of India and Generali Group - a global insurance group and one of the world’s 50 largest companies, announced that it launched the Rashtriya Swastha Bima Yojana (RSBY) programme in Amalapur, Bidar District, Karnataka on Sunday, February 16, 2014. Future Generali became the first company to start the enrolments in the State of Karnataka. Future Generali had secured the tender for one cluster consisting of 6 districts in Karnataka for implementation of the Rashtriya Swastha Bima Yojana. The objective of RSBY is to provide cashless hospitalization benefits to BPL families with beneficiaries entitled to hospitalization coverage up to Rs. 30,000. Future Generali has taken various initiatives to ensure maximum enrolment in this government sponsored health insurance scheme... Read more

Outlook for insurers spending on IT reach Rs121bn in 2014: Gartner
Indian insurance companies will spend Rs121 bn on IT products and services in 2014, a 12% increase over 2013, according to Gartner, Inc. This forecast includes spending by insurers on internal IT (including personnel), hardware, software, external IT services and telecommunications. The 12 bn rupee software segment is forecast to be the fastest external segment, growing at 18 percent in 2014 overall, lifted by accelerated growth of insurance-specific software. IT services, the biggest spending segment for the insurance industry at Rs40 billion  in 2014, will continue to realize robust growth of 16 percent. Category leaders are business process outsourcing (BPO) at 25 percent and consulting – much of which relates to these insurance-specific application investments – at 21 percent... Read more

New Appointments

Policybazaar.com appoints Naveen Kukreja as chief marketing officer
Policybazaar.com announced that they have appointed Naveen Kukreja as the Group Chief Marketing Officer and Director – Non Insurance business for the company. They also announced the appointment of Mr. Satkam Divya as the Associate Director. Mr. Kukreja will be responsible for leading overall Marketing and strengthening the brand further. He will also lead the overall expansion efforts for the Organization in non insurance space. Mr. Divya will be responsible for heading the mobile commerce business for the company... Read more

International News

China Insurance Regulatory Commission raises cap on equity investments
The China Insurance Regulatory Commission (CIRC) has released the new rules late on Wednesday, raising the maximum share of total assets that insurers can invest in stocks and private equity to 30 percent, up from 25 percent under previous rules. The new rules raise the share of assets that insurers can add to equity investments, in order to provide a potential boost to the Chinese stock market. China's insurance companies had assets of 8.289 trillion yuan ($1.36 trillion) at the end of 2013, official data shows.


How to achieve financial independence
Our finance is like using water everyday. We store water in a pitcher with a tap for outflow at the bottom of it. The water flowing into the pitcher is our income and the water flowing out of the pitcher are our expenses. Sometimes, the water may not be available to you, so do we stop using water? No! We don't stop using water, we store water when it is in plenty and use when it is scarce. This act is called saving... Read more

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