News Desk

10th September

Bajaj Allianz to pay Rs 13.74 lakh for denying claim

New Delhi: New Delhi District Consumer Disputes Redressal Forum has directed the private sector general insurer Bajaj Allianz to pay Rs 13.74 lakh to the husband and son of the late policyholder whose claim was rejected by the company.

The forum said the company had arbitrarily denied their claim by taking the excuse of “pre-existing diseases”.

Financial Express reports that in October, 2008 the woman had undergone an emergency treatment for abdominal pain in a hospital in the USA. She incurred medical expenses of USD 26,717.32. She had bought an overseas medical policy from Bajaj Allianz and she submitted her claim for the medical expenses incurred, which was rejected by the insurance company on the ground that her discharge summary mentioned pre-existing illnesses of diabetes and high blood pressure.

However, the forum rejected the insurance company's contention saying, "the discharge summary shows she was treated in emergency for abdomen pain etc. The discharge summary itself states that it had no relation with pre-existing diabetes. The conditions of overseas medical claim are not in conflict with the findings in discharge summary."

Bharti Axa introduces new traditional plan

Mumbai: The private sector life insurer, Bharti Axa has launched a new traditional non-participating endowment life insurance plan-Bharti Axa Life Secure Savings plan.

Economic Times reports that this plan offers guaranteed returns to the customers in order to meet the financial needs at crucial life stages and also provide life cover to financially secure their family members against unforeseen circumstances.

Sandeep Ghosh, Managing Director and CEO of Bharti AXA Life Insurance said, “Protection and goal oriented planning are prime motivators for the customers to invest in Life Insurance. They want to be ready for the challenges that every life stage brings with it and be adequately prepared if anything unforeseen were to happen.”

He further added that, “Given the volatile investment scenario today, consumers are looking for safe investment opportunities that provide guaranteed returns on the money they save for key life stages. Bharti AXA Life Secure Savings provides Guaranteed Additions of up to 10% of each year’s cumulative base premium paid. The option of attaching accidental death benefit rider or the critical illness rider makes it a comprehensive insurance product.”

09th September

Reliance Life to introduce new pension plan

New Delhi: The private life insurer, Reliance Life insurance company is likely to introduce a new pension plan by next month. This plan is about to get the approval from Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority (IRDA).

Economic Times reports that there are various private insurance companies which are contemplating to offer new pension plans after IRDA has revised the guidelines for pension plan and taken away 4.5% return guarantee requirement.

The president and executive director of Reliance Life, Malay Ghosh said, “We have filed one accumulation policy with IRDA and are expecting to get approval by this month-end. If everything goes as per our plans, we will be coming up with a new pension plan by next month-end or early November.”

Along with this annuity product, the company is offering capital guarantee and an option to take debt, equity or bond whatever is chosen by the insured.

Ghosh further added that, “Reliance Life believes that policyholder should be given an option to choose the annuity providers. The reason is simple. If the insured is not happy with the old insurer, the policyholder should be give a right to change the service provider. Long-term policyholders should be given the freedom and flexibility to choose the annuity provider."

08th September

IRDA imposes penalty worth Rs 22 lakh on Kotak Life Insurance company

Mumbai: Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority (IRDA) has imposed a fine of Rs 22 lakh on Kotak Mahindra Old Mutual Life Insurance Company for violating various norms related to group insurance and death claims.

IRDA chairman, J Harinarayan said in an order that, “I direct the insurer (Kotak Mahindra Life) to remit the penalty of Rs 22 lakh by debiting shareholder's account, within a period of 15 days.”

Financial Express reports that as per the statement of the order, “Kotak Mahindra violated the guidelines on group insurance policies by not paying the small value death claims directly to the beneficiary. The insurance company routed the claims through the NGO, instead of paying it directly to the beneficiaries as required under the law.”

As per the order of IRDA, “It is held that the claim repudiations on the basis of non-submission of requirements called for is violation (of regulation) and a penalty of Rs one lakh is imposed under the Insurance Act. The insurer is directed to reopen all such claims which are repudiated because of inclusion of this lien clause and examine and decide on the same. The action taken be confirmed to the IRDA.”

IRDA also found that the company has altered the policy terms with regard to reimbursement of administrative expenses to master policyholders many of whom were acting as its corporate agents.

07th September

Reliance general insurance to pay Rs 16.63 lakh as accidental compensation

New Delhi:Motor Accident Claims Tribunal (MACT) has awarded a compensation of over Rs 16.63 lakh to the kin of a photographer who had died in a road accident.

Financial Express reports that the 30 year old victim, Sonu died on October 16, 2011, when his bike collided with a wrongly parked truck which was insured with Reliance General insurance company.

MACT presiding officer, Dinesh Bhatt said, “In view of the unrebutted testimony of the petitioners (victim's family members) and documents available on record, it is prima facie proved that deceased Sonu died in a road accident due to rash and negligent act of wrong parking of the offending vehicle without observing proper safety measures by respondent no 1 (driver of vehicle).”

According to a police officer who was on patrolling duty in the area where the accident happened, he heard a noise of accident when the bike collided with the wrongly parked truck. He called the PCR van and rushed the victim to the hospital and arrested the driver of the offending vehicle on the spot.

Life insurers’ business income up 16% in the current fiscal

New Delhi:Due to massive sale of insurance policies through Life Insurance Corporation (LIC), the insurance industry has seen a trajectory growth in new business income in the April-July quarter of the current fiscal.

As per the data compiled by Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority (IRDA), LIC’s income surged 23% to Rs 23,858 crore during the period under the review. However the growth was dismantled by a poor performance of private life insurers with 0.9% decline in income from sales of new policies.

Economic Times reports that, in spite of slow economic environment and unpredictable stock markets, the industry has posted a considerable growth.

SBI Life has lost its tag of largest private sector insurer to ICICI Prudential life. The company saw 21.43% decline in business income to Rs 1258 crore in the present quarter while ICICI prudential posted 24% increase to Rs 1399 crore.

G V Nageswara Rao, MD and CEO of IDBI Federal Life Insurance said, “We are moving from single premium to regular premium products".

06th September

Aegon Religare introduces term insurance plan

New Delhi:The private life insurer, Aegon Religare Life Insurance (ARLI) company has launched a term insurance plan that offers two death benefit options and an in-built accidental death cover.

ARLI Chief Marketing Officer, Yateesh Srivastava said, “With growing uncertainty and diminishing social support systems, term insurance is the most cost effective way to secure the financial future for the family. The AEGON Religare Term Insurance Plan is one more step in offering a comprehensive suite of protection products”.

Under this plan, the minimum and maximum entry age is 20 years and 65 years respectively. However, the maximum age at maturity is 75 years. Minimum sum assured in this plan is Rs 10 lakh. This plan is available for tenure of 10-40 years, or the coverage can be taken upto 75 years of age.

Beside all these features and tax benefit, this plan provides three rider options to choose from—critical illness, woman care, total and permanent disability rider.

Aegon Religare is a joint venture between Aegon, Religare and Benett, Colemann and company. In the venture, Aegon holds 26%, Religare holds 44% and Benett, Colemann and company holds 30% of stake, respectively.

05th September

Max Bupa announces to open new branches in Karnataka

The leading health insurance company, Max Bupa has announced to open two new branches at Malleswaram and Indira Nagar respectively in Bangalore. Now the company will have a wide network of 19 branches across India.

Birender Ahluwalia, Director-Sales and Distribution, said, “Bangalore is one of the fastest growing metropolises in India and the health awareness levels are higher than other cities, these have led to a spurt in demand for quality healthcare and health insurance. Our first office in the city opened in 2010 and currently 10 percent of our customer base is from Karnataka. With our multiple branch offices in Bangalore, we will be able to reach out to a wider customer base in Karnataka. We plan to cover 1 million customers by 2015 and we are confident that Karnataka will play a key role in helping us achieve this milestone.”

In its third year of operations, more than 300000 customers have been insured by the company that has showcased a milestone in the Indian health insurance sector. Besides this the company was recently honored in India Insurance Awards 2012 for “Health Insurance Company of the Year” and also recognized for “Excellence in Growth” for its exemplary service, phenomenal growth and exceptional product innovation.

Premium income for Indian general insurers rises by 21% on-year to Rs 55.76 billion

New Delhi: The gross premium collection for general insurers has increased by 21% on-year to Rs 55.76 billion in July 2012. Last year in the same month the collection was accounted at Rs 46.09 billion. This report was revealed in a data framed by Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority (IRDA).

IRDA said in its statement that in the April-July period of the current financial year 2012-13 the total premium of the general insurance companies surged 18.7% to 221.62 billion against Rs 186.71 billion during the same period in the previous financial year.

It was further added that during the April-July quarter of the current fiscal the growth rate for private non-life insurers stood at 17.5 % against the same quarter last fiscal. Besides this the premium collection of state-run general insurers including New India Assurance Co Ltd, National Insurance Co Ltd, Oriental Insurance Co Ltd and United India Insurance Co Ltd increased 19.6% on-year during the April-July period of the current fiscal.

Aviva Life Insurance introduces mobile application for instant access

Mumbai: In a move to help the customers to track their investment through instant access, the private sector life insurer, Aviva Life Insurance company has launched a mobile application-Aviva Mobile available for Android and smart device.

Aviva Life Insurance COO, Snehil Gambhir said in a release that, “With Aviva Mobile, customers can locate branches, register grievances, update policy details and reach us from anywhere at the click of a button”.

As per the release, Aviva Mobile will enable the customers to access the latest stock market news, live cricket scores and instant weather updates.

Aviva Life Insurance Company is a joint venture between Dabur and Aviva Group with the stake holding ratio of 74:26, respectively.

04th September

Finance Ministry may ease out the investment norms for insurers

New Delhi: In a bid to simplify the investment norms for insurers, Finance Ministry has suggested to attract more funds for the infrastructure sector in order to improve the growth of economy.

The meeting between the Finance Minister, P Chidambaram and the insurers held today where the PSU insurers urged him for the relaxation in investment norms so that insurance sector can earn more premium.

Financial Services Secretary, D K Mittal told reporters that the issue of channelizing their investment into productive sectors, particularly the infrastructure sector, was discussed in the meeting. He said, “For that what changes are to be made in the regulations by the Government of India or by Income Tax Department, everything has been looked at".

Mittal said that however no decision is taken yet and another meeting will be held soon to address the issue. He further added that “This meeting was not for taking decisions. It was basically for understanding, as a part of a series of meetings that the Finance Minister (P Chidambaram) is holding with different groups, key groups, what we can do to prop up the economy”.

IRDA Chairman, J Harinarayan said after the meeting that, “There is a need to revisit investment norms for insurance companies and will look at revising investment regulations over the next month”.

Cholamandalam MS General Insurance aims to cross gross premium of Rs 17 billion in 2012-13

New Delhi: The private sector general insurer, Cholamandalam MS General Insurance may cross gross premium of Rs 17 billion in the current financial year 2012-13. In the previous year, the company earned a gross premium of Rs 13.5 billion.

Managing Director, S S Gopalarathnam said that the company expects to cross Rs 1.5 billion mark in its operating profit and Rs 25 billion mark in gross premium by 2014.

He highlighted that, “Cholamandalam MS General Insurance has been making positive cash flow over the past two years”. He further added that, “the company gets around 6% of its business from Japanese and Korean firms based in India, and this is expected to grow in the months to come.”

However, the company collected a gross written premium income of Rs 13.47 billion in the fiscal year ended March 31, 2012.

Cholamandalam MS General Insurance is a joint venture between Murugappa group and Japan based Mitsui Sumitomo with a stake holding ration of 74% and 26% stake respectively.

Tata-AIG General Insurance among the top 3 finalist for Asia Insurance Awards 2012

The finalists for the prestigious Asia Insurance Awards 2012 were announced on 29th August, 2012. Out of 800 entries received for the 16th Asia Insurance Awards, forty insurers were shortlisted for 13 categories.

In the category of “General Insurance Company of the Year”, Tata-AIG has made it to the top 3 finalist. Apart from this, the company’s MD and CEO, Gaurav D Garg is among the 4 finalists selected in the category of “Personality of the Year” award.

With this great achievement, Tata-AIG General Insurance has marked dominance in the general insurance sector of Indian market with competitive leadership and high quality expertise in offering general insurance products to the customers.

Interestingly, there were other 9 finalist from India shortlisted in Best General Insurance Companies, Innovation and Technology categories. This is a great sign of growth for the insurance companies in India accomplished through adapting technologies, innovation in designing a product, best customer service and serving the needs of the customers.

Asia Insurance Industry Awards was launched in the year 1997 to recognize and salute excellence in the insurance industry.

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