Insurance Newsletter - June 09 to 13, 2014

India Infoline News Service | Mumbai |

The total gross premium underwritten by non-life insurers increased 12.2% to Rs. 775.41 billion in the year ended March 31, 2014, compared to the year-ago period.

News this week

Total gross premium of non-life insurers up 12% in FY14
The total gross premium underwritten by non-life insurers increased 12.2% to Rs. 775.41 billion in the year ended March 31, 2014, compared to the year-ago period. The total gross premium underwritten by the motor insurance stood at Rs. 338.87 billion, indicating a growth of 13.5% over the same period previous year, according to IRDA (Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority) data. During the same period, health insurance segment gross premium grew to 13.5% to Rs. 176.24 billion. However, in the aviation sector, the premium underwritten reported a decline of 7% to Rs. 4.48 billion.

IRDA launches pilot project for compulsory demat
The Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority (Irda) has decided to launch an Insurance Repository System on a pilot basis to move towards an electronic paperless environment. According to Irda, it will be mandatory for all the life Insurers and insurance repositories (IRs) to participate in the pilot launch. IRDA on Wednesday said the pilot project for digitisation of insurance policies would start from July 1.

"During the pilot launch, each life insurer shall convert a minimum of 1000 or 5 per cent of the existing individual policies (issued in hard form and currently in force) whichever is less for each of the Insurance Repositories (IRs) into electronic form," IRDA said in statement. This shall be, however, subject to a minimum of 250 policies per IR, it said. The pilot launch will be for duration of 2 months with effect from July 1 and it would be mandatory for all the life insurers and the 'Insurance Repositories' to participate in the pilot launch.

LIC to retain market share at 82% in FY15
Life Insurance Corporation of India (LIC) is in talks with Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority (IRDA) for launching some new products. The insurer has introduced many new products since January 2014. LIC recently launched its first online term plan. LIC Managing Director SB Mainak said that the insurer is expecting to maintain market share at 82% during the current fiscal. The state-owned insurer's market share increased to 82% last fiscal as against the previous year's level of 76%. LIC's new premium collection was at Rs 24,350 crore in January-March 2014 as against Rs 26,210 crore in the previous year.

Kotak suggests LIC listing at pre-budget meet
Uday Kotak, vice-chairman and managing director of Kotak Mahindra Bank said that the government should list LIC as it can be a huge game changer for the Indian financial system, according to various media reports. After a meeting with the Finance Minister Arun Jaitley on Tuesday, Uday Kotak suggested a big-ticket measure of listing LIC. According to Uday Kotak, listing of LIC can fund all the needs of public sector banks as well as the fiscal deficit of the country. He also said that the government should also reduce its stake in State Bank of India. Finance Minister Arun Jaitley met top bankers of the country in a pre-budget exercise. The bankers offered suggestions on issues ranging from need for savings boost to a better system for addressing NPAs.

TCS BaNCS to drive Digital Strategy for insurance carriers
Tata Consultancy Services, a leading IT services, consulting and business solutions firm announced at Insurance industry's marquee event IASA 2014 that TCS BaNCS for Insurance will enable Carriers to leapfrog the digital divide through Analytics and by leveraging ISO Electronic Rating Content (ERC) information. TCS BaNCS superior, holistic suite of insurance solutions encompasses a transformational digital strategy that builds on Data Analytics, Mobility, Portal and Social Media.

TCS BaNCS has integrated ISO ERC and offers a richly functional core platform that not only helps carriers serve today's customers better but also embrace customer's changing aspirations and needs of the future... Read more

Special Stories

FIs, NRIs can buy NCDs and debentures: RBI
The Reserve Bank of India on Friday allowed overseas investors and non-residents Indians to buy non-convertible and redeemable preference shares or debentures of publicly-listed Indian companies. This investment, however, will have to be within the overall limit of $51 billion earmarked for corporate debt, the RBI said. The present limits for investments by FIIs/FPIs, QFIs and long term investors registered with SEBI in corporate debt stands at $51 billion, the RBI said in a notification on Friday... Read more

Uniform tax treatment needed for all pension funds: SEBI
Capital market regulator SEBI (Securities and Exchange Board of India) is seeking uniform tax treatment for all pension funds, according to a media report. A uniform tax treatment needs to be followed for retirement related investment products, whether investment is made through mutual funds or through EPFO (Employees' Provident Fund Office), the report added. SEBI has also sought tax benefits for mutual funds launching pension products, while it has also been suggested that EPFO be allowed to invest part of their over Rs 5 trillion corpus into equities and equity-linked mutual funds, the report further said. The regulator has also asked corporates to launch their own pension funds and invest a part of it in capital markets.

FIIs not to take up long position in IRFs: NSE
The NSE have asked foreign institutional investors (FIIs) not to take up long positions in the interest rate futures (IRFs). As per debt utilisation status available on NSDL the total investment in Government Debt (Auction) has reached INR 92,394 Crores on June 9, 2014 (i.e. 92.82 % of total permitted limit of INR 99,546 Crores), NSE said in a circular. FIIs are advised not to increase their long position in IRF till the time the overall long position of FII's in cash and IRF comes below 85% of existing permissible limit, NSE added.

Learning

Pros and Cons of putting down 20% as down payment for your first home
Pragnya and Atul Abhayankar are couple based in Mumbai. Having reached middle management positions in their respective corporate careers and lived on rent for five years, they have managed to save enough to buy their first home. But even after having done extensive homework on the property and the home loans that they are eligible for, they are still unable to arrive at a decision.They are unsure about whether or not to put down 20 per cent of the total value of the property as down payment for their first home... Read more
 

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