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Insurance Newsletter - 10 May to 16 May, 2013

India Infoline News Service | Mumbai |

The Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority (IRDA) is considering over a proposal to set up a depository that will allow customers to hold policies in paperless form similar to investors holding equity shares in demat accounts.

Top Stories 

Public general insurers FY13 net profit at Rs. 8.44bn

Public general insurers have reported a rise in their net profits for the financial year ended 31 March 2013.

Insurers, including the New India Assurance, United India Insurance and Oriental Insurance, have seen an increase in net profit for FY13.

New India Assurance recorded net profit of Rs. 8.44bn in FY12-13—the highest in past five years. The company’s net profit stood at Rs. 1.79bn. The net worth of the company, largest among general insurers in India for many years, touched Rs. 77.37bn growing from Rs. 70.58bn in the previous financial year. Read more...

General insurers’ gross premium to grow 16% in medium to long term

While the Indian general insurance industry has evolved significantly over the past decade or so, the insurance penetration and insurance density levels are significantly lower than the developed as well as comparable developing countries, according to a report by KPMG and Bengal National Chamber of Commerce and Industry.

The report, Insurance Industry—Road Ahead, said, the under-penetration is driven by lack of overall financial awareness, lack of understanding of general insurance products, low perceived benefits, and propensity to purchase insurance based on reactive drivers such as insistence by financers, statutory requirements, etc. Read more...

New norms for micro insurance by FY14 end: IRDA

The Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority (IRDA) said that it will come up with new regulations in the micro-insurance sector in two to three months.

The regulator had asked insurers to design up to four-five new micro-insurance products which will be cost effective, and at the same time provide better returns to investors, Sudhin Roy Chowdhury, Member (life), IRDA, said. Read more...

Special Stories

Life insurers struggle to achieve profitability: Study

The insurance industry players have been struggling to achieve profitability in the face of high operating losses primarily on account of distribution and operating models, according to a report by KPMG and Bengal National Chamber of Commerce and Industry.

The report, Insurance Industry — Road Ahead, said cumulative losses for private life insurers are in excess of Rs. 187bn till March 2012, majority of which have gone towards funding losses rather than for meeting solvency requirements. Read more…

New India Assurance aims to collect Rs150bn premium in FY14

Public sector general insurer New India Assurance Company aims to achieve Rs. 150bn for premium collection in the current fiscal.

New India Assurance recorded net profit of Rs. 8.44bn against Rs. 1.79bn in FY11-12.

The general insurer would launch a number of measures to meet its target. The company is also planning to recruit 25,000 agents in FY13-14 and foray into retail business, with a view to increasing its presence significantly in rural, social and micro-insurance sectors. Read more...

Domestic News

Health insurers likely to hike premium rates

According to health insurers, inflating medical treatment costs and high claim settlement ratio may force them to hike premium rates by 15% to 20%, according to a media report.

Public sector general insurer New India Assurance (NIA) recently got IRDA (Insurance Regulatory Development Authority) approval to hike premium rates on its health insurance products. Many general insurers are also expected to hike their premiums following the leading insurer, the reports added. Read more...


Life Healthcare to increase stake in Max India

South Africa private hospital group Life Healthcare will seek expansion opportunities in India and Africa to respond to slower profit growth.

Net income increased 15% to Rs. 790mn in the six months through March, compared with a 25% gain a year earlier, the Johannesburg-based company said in a statement on Tuesday. Paid patient days rose 1.5%, compared with 6% in 2012. Read more...

HDFC ERGO General net profit stands at Rs1.55bn for FY13

Private player HDFC ERGO General Insurance on Tuesday announced its results for the financial year ended 31 March 2013.

The company said that its net profit stood at Rs. 1.55bn for the financial year ended 31 March 2012 against a loss of Rs. 397mn in FY11-12.

The Mumbai-based general insurer’s gross direct premium zoomed 33% to Rs. 24.91bn in FY12-13 against Rs. 18.74bn in the previous year. Read more…

Edelweiss Financial Q4 FY13 net profit zooms 32% to Rs. 510mn

Edelweiss Financial Services said that its consolidated net profit zoomed 32% to Rs. 510mn for the fourth quarter ended 31 March 2013 against Rs. 387.6mn in the same quarter a year ago.

The total revenue for reported quarter grew by 25% at Rs. 5.95bn compared to Rs. 4.69bn in the year-ago period.

The consolidated net profit jumped 40% to Rs. 1.78bn for FY13 from Rs. 1.28bn in FY12. Total revenue went up 31% at Rs. 21.84bn in 2012-13 against Rs. 16.71bn in the previous financial year. Read more...

IRDA considers to set up depository for demat policies

The Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority (IRDA) is considering over a proposal to set up a depository that will allow customers to hold policies in paperless form similar to investors holding equity shares in demat accounts.

Sudhin Roy Chowdhury, Member (life), IRDA, said that instead of holding policy bonds in paper form, the customers would hold them in demat form. Read more...

HDFC Life launches new health insurance product

HDFC Life, India’s leading life insurance company, announced the launch of its new health insurance product – HDFC Life Health Assure Plan, aimed at providing a comprehensive health cover. The plan offers reimbursement of medical expenses incurred in a hospital and is available in two variants – Gold Plan and Silver Plan. The plan allows coverage for families on floater cover basis, covers 200 day care procedures, Pre and Post Hospitalization Benefit and offers a host of other benefits. Read more...

Magma HDI General expects to breakeven by 2015

Kolkata-based Magma HDI General Insurance on Thursday said that it expects to breakeven by March 2015, according to a media report.

Magma HDI General—started its operations from 1 October 2012—said that general insurers take over five years to achieve break even. But the company expects to break even by around two and half years after its commencement as its cost of operations is low, the report added. Read more...

Liberty Videocon General Ins to provide emergency roadside aid

Liberty Videocon General Insurance, a joint venture between India’s Videocon Industries Limited and Liberty Citystate Holdings Pte, part of US-based Liberty Mutual Insurance Group, announced that it has tied up with India Assistance, a subsidiary of Mapfre Asistencia, which is a leading global name in the provision of roadside assistance services.

Liberty Videocon will offer “Road Side Assistance” add on cover for its Private Car Comprehensive Insurance Policies. This tie-up with Mapfre will enable Liberty Videocon General Insurance’s Motor Insurance customers, to access a host of services during emergency by dialing a toll-free number. Read more...

Govt plans to provide monthly pension of Rs. 1,000 to PF employees

The labour ministry is working on a plan to provide a minimum monthly pension of Rs. 1,000 for employees covered by the provident fund (PF) office, according to a media report.

The labour ministry had suggested this proposal to the finance ministry two years ago.

However, the finance ministry has been uncomfortable with the proposed pension promise, the report added. Read more...

International News

Aviva to offshore jobs to India to save cost

UK’s leading insurer Aviva has decided to move around 600 jobs to India to save cost.

“We have identified around 600 roles where off-shoring will achieve significant cost savings. The number of full time employees impacted by this decision will be significantly less, as we expect at least a third of the role reductions to be met by closure of vacancies, temporary contracts, and natural turnover," London-based insurer said in a statement. Read more...

Ralph Hamers to succeed as ING chairman and CEO from 1 Oct

The Annual General Meeting (AGM) ING Group NV on Monday adopted the 2012 annual accounts. In addition, the AGM appointed Ralph Hamers as a member of the executive board.

As announced on 22 February 2013 Ralph Hamers will succeed Jan Hommen as chairman of the Executive Board and CEO per 1 October 2013. In that context the AGM reappointed Jan Hommen as a member of the Executive Board for the period until 1 October 2013. The AGM reappointed Patrick Flynn a member of the Executive Board for a consecutive period of four years. Read more...
 

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