Insurance Newsletter - 22 April to 26 April, 2013

Reliance Life Insurance on Sunday said it is planning to expand its base in pure health insurance space. The private insurer is tapping the low customer penetration in health insurance segment.

April 26, 2013 4:33 IST | India Infoline News Service
Top Stories 

Life insurance policy sales decline in last 3 yrs

During the last three years, life insurance policy sales have been on a decline primarily due to fall in sale of ULIPs (unit linked insurance policies) after IRDA (Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority) brought a change in regulations for these products in 2010. 

In 2011-12, number of policies decreased 8.2% to Rs. 44.1 million and premiums plunged by 22.12% to Rs. 647.72 billion. While during FY13 (up to December 2012), the number of polices were down by 0.1% at Rs. 26.9 million and premium were up by 3.96% to Rs. 406.86 billion… Read more

More consultation needed on financial code: IRDA

IRDA to meet life insurers on May 2

IRDA (Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority) chairman TS Vijayan has declared a meeting of the chief executives and appointed actuaries of life insurance companies on May 2.

The IRDA chairman would formally meet members of life insurance business and discuss issues related to the new regulations passed by the regulator.

The IRDA made significant changes in the traditional product structures, surrender charges and commissions payable to the insurance agents.

Life insurers will have to re-file around 70% of their products to meet the new guidelines. The insurers have been given time till June 30, 2013 and September 30, 2013 to re-file their group and individual products, respectively.

Canara, OBC against HSBC’s plan to sell its insurance stake in JV

State-owned Canara Bank and Oriental Bank of Commerce (OBC) — the domestic partners — in Canara HSBC OBC Life intend to oppose HSBC’s plan to sell stake in its Indian life insurance joint venture (JV), according to a media report.

According to two Indian banks, HSBC is selling its stake without consulting them. They were not happy that HSBC, which runs the operations of Canara HSBC OBC Life Insurance, approached prospective buyers without consulting them, even as the JV shareholding agreement contains ‘tag-along rights’, the report added… Read more


NPS Lite: Ensuring old age income for all

NPS Lite aims at ensuring a pension of at least Rs. 1,000 per month based on your contributions and government support under Swavalamban Scheme… Read more

Quote, Unquote

“There is a serious dearth of structured data of the insurance sector in India; and in the coming times, there will be need for a single authentic source which will help the sector, in general”

TS Vijayan, Chairman, Insurance Regulatory & Development Authority

Domestic News

FM launches mediclaim facility for farmers

The Union Finance Minister P Chidambaram on Wednesday said that there is a need to take immediate action by the non life insurance sector to increase penetration and coverage of the non life insurance in the country. He said that India is one of the most under insured country in the world as non life insurance sector has a penetration of only 0.7% in the country. 

The Finance Minister said that there is a need to increase insurance density in the country as well. The Minister was speaking at a function organized in New Delhi to launch mediclaim facility for the farmers holding Kisan Credit Cards (KCC) issued by Dena BankRead more 

Dena Bank launches health insurance scheme for farmers

Dena Bank on Wednesday has launched a scheme jointly with United Insurance for covering over 2 lakh farmer customers and their family members under health insurance.
The maximum cover is up to Rs. 30,000.

Under this scheme, farmer customers of Dena bank having Kisan Credit Cards and their spouses along with two children will be eligible for free cashless health insurance cover… Read more

Edelweiss Tokio Life launches Single Pay Endowment Assurance Plan

Mumbai-based Edelweiss Tokio Life Insurance on Sunday has launched a non-participating endowment plan—Single Pay Endowment Assurance Plan—that caters to the wealth enhancement need of customers. 

The plan offers comprehensive cover equal to sum assured which is 10 times of its single premium. The plan is designed for customers who prefer to invest only once and benefit through the maximum return, Edelweiss Tokio said in a press release… Read more

Reliance Life to strengthen base in health insurance

Reliance Life Insurance on Sunday said it is planning to expand its base in pure health insurance space. The private insurer is tapping the low customer penetration in health insurance segment.

At present, health insurance is mostly dominated by general insurers, but life insurers have also started offering health-focused products… Read more

Dark glass vehicles may not be able to claim insurance

The Union road ministry has asked the IRDA (Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority) to include the use of tinted glass or solar films as a violation of the conditions of warranty in the insurance policy, according to a media report.

The ministry has written to the insurance regulator, suggesting it to exclude policyholders from claiming insurance for vehicles whose windows and windscreens are darker than permitted in case of an accident… Read more

HDFC Life recognised as Celent Model Insurer of Asia for 2013

HDFC Life, one of India’s leading private life insurance players, has been recognised as the Celent Model Insurer of Asia for 2013, which is the highest honour among the 17 technology initiatives which were selected as Model Insurer Component in the Asia Pacific region. The company has also received two Model Insurer Component awards namely Model Insurer Award in the area of Underwriting and the other in Distribution/New Business… Read more

International News

Arkansas governor signs private insurance option into law

Arkansas's Democratic governor Mike Beebe has signed the private option healthcare bill into law. A signing ceremony at the State Capitol on Tuesday made it official.

Last week, both sides of the Arkansas Legislature passed the measure which makes healthcare available for more than 250,000 uninsured low income residents. 

The law allows those Arkansans to be able to buy health insurance on exchanges that start January 1, 2014 as part of the Federal Affordable Care Act… Read more

AXA to strengthen base in China

French insurer AXA Group plans to strengthen its base in China’s booming auto insurance sector, according to a media report.

AXA Group aims to buy a 50% stake of Shanghai Tianping Auto Insurance Co Ltd to gain a strong base in China, the report added.

AXA will buy 33% of Tianping from its existing shareholders for 1.9 billion yuan (US$304.7 million) and invest another 2 billion yuan to support its future growth.
AXA's Chinese property and casualty (P&C) insurance unit will merge with Tianping, the French insurer said in a statement on Wednesday… Read more

Group risk premiums up by 9.7% in 2012: Swiss Re

In-force group risk premiums in the UK rose by 9.7% in 2012, confirming the turnaround in the market seen in 2011. There were some increases in rates, but also in the overall numbers of lives and schemes covered. The effects of the the introduction of auto-enrolment are still to have an impact on the market. The total cover provided by employer sponsored death benefits arrangements topped £1 billion in 2012 – a milestone for the industry.

Swiss Re's Group Watch 2013 has shown very strong premium growth in in-force premiums for death benefits, long-term disability income and critical illness protection in the UK market. Group death benefit premiums increased by 9.8% with Excepted Group Life premiums increasing by 14.8%. Long-term disability and critical illness premiums also showed very strong growth of 8.7% each for the year… Read more

ING to sell 49% stake in KB Life to KB Financial Group

ING announced on 19th April it has agreed to sell its 49% stake in Korean insurance venture KB Life Insurance Company Ltd. (KB Life) to joint venture partner KB Financial Group, one of Korea’s leading financial institutions.

Under the terms of the agreement, ING will receive a total cash consideration of KRW 166.5 billion (approximately EUR 115 million at current exchange rates) for its 49% stake in KB Life. The transaction announced is not expected to have a material impact on ING Group results. Subject to regulatory approval, it is expected to close in the second quarter of 2013… Read more

ING completes sale of Malaysian investment management business

Insurance firm deposits to suffer 27.5% loss: Bank of Cyprus

The Bank of Cyprus on Sunday said that all insurance firm deposits—in the bailed-out country’s second largest bank—will now suffer a loss of 27.5%, according to a media report.

According to the Cyprus’ central bank, savings of unregistered financial companies, charities and some educational institutions kept in the Bank will also register an identical loss, but only on deposits of over 100,000 euros ($131,150).

The central bank said the move aims to ease the pain on other large savers who will take losses of up to 60% on Bank of Cyprus deposits of over 100,000 euros, the report added.

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