Insurance Newsletter – May 05 to 09, 2014

India Infoline News Service | Mumbai |

The IRDA has mandated a lock-in period of three years for executing a transfer of over 50% shares in any insurance broking firm.

Top Stories

Life insurers new premiums increases 11.5% in FY14
Life insurers new premiums rose 11.5% to Rs 1.19 trillion for the financial year ended 2013-14 from Rs. 1.07 trillion in FY13, according to IRDA (Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority) data. Life Insurance Corporation (LIC) collected new premiums of Rs. 901.24 billion for the fiscal, a rise of 17.8% over the previous fiscal. Private life insurers new premiums declined 4% to Rs. 295.17 billion. In FY14, a total of 4.08 trillion policies were sold, compared to 4.41 trillion policies in FY13. During the same period, the number of policies for group single premium rose to 1,878 from 1,760.
General insurers total premium rises 12.23% in FY14: IRDA
The gross direct premium underwritten of all non-life insurance companies in India increased 12.23% to Rs. 77,538.25 crore in the last financial year 2013-14 from Rs. 69,088.69 crore in FY13, according to the data provided by IRDA (Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority). The gross direct premium underwritten by the private sector was at Rs. 34,246.01 crore in FY14 as against Rs. 29,682.99 crore in FY13, the IRDA added. The gross direct premium underwritten by four public sector insurers was at Rs. 43,292.24 crore in FY14 as against Rs. 39,405.70 crore in FY13. The four PSU insurers include National Insurance, New India Assurance, Oriental Insurance and United India Insurance... Read more

IRDA introduces lock-in period in shareholding of insurance brokers
The Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority (IRDA) has mandated a lock-in period of three years for executing a transfer of over 50% shares in any insurance broking firm. The IRDA has said for insurance brokerages, any change in the shareholding pattern through which the paid-up equity holding of the individual/group becomes less than 5% will require its approval. Also, the broker will have to provide ‘fit-&-proper’ undertakings for the new shareholder. No lock-in period is applicable for executing a transfer of less than 5% shares... Read more

Domestic News

Exide Life Insurance aims 10% growth in 2014-15
Exide Life Insurance on Thursday said it has targeted to achieve a growth of 10% in the current year on account of a strong re-branding exercise and also helped by a turnaround expected in the economy. At present, Exide Life Insurance serves over 10 lakh customers in over 200 cities across India and manages over Rs. 7,000 crore in assets. In 2013-14, Exide Life Insurance recorded doubling in profits to Rs 53 crore driven by growth in renewal premiums and improvements in efficiency and product mix. Despite challenging market conditions, total premium income has grown to Rs 1830 crore and assets under management grew 13% to Rs 7,490 crore. The company's solvency margin is healthy at 239% on 31st March 14, up 32% as compared to March 2013.

Exide not to divest stake in insurance business

Indian Insurers spending Rs4.1bn on Mobile Devices in 2014: Gartner
Indian insurance companies are expected to spend Rs117 bn on IT products and services in 2014, a 5 percent 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. Indian insurance companies are on pace to spend 4.1 billion rupees on mobile devices in 2014, up 35 percent from 2013. “Gartner research shows that most Indian insurance CIOs view mobile enablement of applications and services as a very important component of their strategies to improve sales and channel effectiveness,” said Derry Finkeldey, research director at Gartner. “This is especially important as insurers compete to reach agents and customers distributed across the country and outside of saturated urban markets.”... Read more

ING Vysya Life Insurance is now Exide Life Insurance
ING Vysya Life Insurance Company Limited announced that the Company has been renamed Exide Life Insurance Company Limited (Exide Life Insurance) with  immediate effect following approvals from Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority (IRDA) and Ministry of Corporate Affairs. Exide Life Insurance is an established and profitable life insurance company that serves over 10 lakhs customers in over 200 cities across India and manages over Rs7000 crores in assets. “Exide Industries Limited has been our major shareholder for 8 years and acquired 100%  ownership of the company over a year back” said Kshitij Jain, Managing Director and CEO of Exide Life Insurance Company Ltd... Read more

IFC buys 8% stake in Religare Enterprises
International Finance Corporation has acquired around 8% stake in Religare Enterprises pursuant to the conversion of debentures into equity shares. Religare said the share allotment committee of Religare Enterprises on Tuesday allotted 1.28 crore equity shares of face value Rs. 10 each to IFC pursuant to conversion of 40.18 lakh compulsorily convertible debentures of face value Rs. 1,000 each. CCDs were allotted to IFC on November 07, 2012 at a conversion price of Rs. 315.85 per equity share in accordance with provisions of SEBI (Issue of Capital and Disclosure Requirements) Regulations, 2009, Religare Enterprises said in a filing to BSE (Bombay Stock Exchange)... Read more

Chola MS aims for Rs. 2500 crs premium in 2014-15
Cholamandalam MS General Insurance Company Ltd (Chola MS), a joint venture of the Murugappa Group and Mitsui Sumitomo Insurance Group, the largest Insurance group in Japan, has crossed Rs 1855 crores of Gross Written Premium (GWP) for the financial year 2013-14. Chola MS has posted a growth of 15% over the previous year and has achieved a PBT of Rs. 101 crores during the same period. The Combined Operating Ratio during the FY2013-14 before absorption of motor and declined pool losses was 101.3%.
 
Announcing the results, SS Gopalarathnam, Managing Director, Chola MS commented “Rs. 100 crores PBT is a great milestone in our journey of 12 years and we are happy to have crossed it in a rather difficult year for the Indian Insurance industry. It reaffirms faith in our strategy of identifying profitable niches and nurturing them. On the Bancassurance side of business we have strengthened our partnership with existing partners. On the Retail side of business, we have added over 4500 agents in 2013-14.”... Read more

Tata AIA Life Introduces Special Engagement Program for Customers
To proactively address queries of the customers about their Life Insurance needs and to engage with them better, Tata AIA Life Insurance Company Limited (Tata AIA Life) has introduced a special engagement programme called Face to Face. Face to Face programme is organized in approximately 150 Tata AIA Life branches across the country. The customers are invited to visit their nearest Tata AIA Life branch on a pre-defined date every month by way of SMS and emails. The focus of this engagement activity is to update the customers about various services that help them in managing their policies effectively along with new services launched.... Read more

IRDA issues trade logo norms for insurers
The Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority (IRDA) said that where an insurer adopts the trade logo of any of its promoting partners, there shall be a prominent disclosure in all the insurance advertisements. While adopting the ‘Trade Logo’ of their choice is the business prerogative of the Insurers, keeping in view the risks associated with trade logo and the long term interests of policyholders and insurance business, all Insurers may consider developing a distinct trade logo of their own, IRDA said in a notification on Monday. Further when insurers use the trade logo of their promoting partners, it is desired that they observe certain risk mitigation norms to ensure that the interests of the policyholders are completely protected... Read more

IDBI Federal launches 7 new plans
IDBI Federal Life Insurance, a pioneer in product innovation has announced the launch of a bouquet of 4 new individual products catering to various life stage needs of the customers. The Company has also announced the launch of 3 new group solutions. Announcing the launch, Vighnesh Shahane, CEO, IDBI Federal Life Insurance, said, “The latest offerings from the company focus on the consumer needs of financial security, savings and growth of investments. At IDBI Federal, the new product guidelines were viewed as an opportunity to revamp the entire product portfolio and align it to the changing needs of the consumers. The new range of products offers customers a mix of savings, growth of investments and financial protection. We have also built guarantees into all our traditional products to go in line with the customer need for assured returns.”... Read more

International News

US uninsured rate drops to 13.4%
The uninsured rate for US adults was 13.4% in April, down from 15% in March. This is the lowest monthly uninsured rate recorded since Gallup and Healthways began tracking it in January 2008, besting the previous low of 13.9% in September of that year. The uninsured rate peaked at 18% in the third quarter of 2013, but has consistently declined since then. This downward trend in the uninsured rate coincided with the health insurance marketplace exchanges opening in October 2013, and accelerated as the March 31 deadline to purchase health insurance coverage approached -- and passed -- for most uninsured Americans. The Obama administration decided in late March to extend the deadline to April 15 for those who had already begun the enrollment process... Read more
 

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