Wednesday, September 17, 2014

General Insurance Cos To Work On Insurance Plan For Reactors

With a view to solve the liability issue plaguing nuclear reactors, the Government of India has asked General Insurance Companies (GIC) to work on a model that could be applied to insure such facilities in the country.

“This is preliminary work. We have asked GIC to prepare a product that can be used for the nuclear industry," said a senior government official.

As per the sources, this decision was taken at a meeting between the ministry of finance and the department of atomic energy earlier this month.

The proposed insurance plan would have to look into the capacity of a reactor and the liability and then work out the premium for insuring it.

Mr. Ratan Kumar Sinha, Secretary, Department of Atomic Energy said, “The work is in progress. We are interacting with the Indian industry as well as Indian insurance companies. I am sure there will be a good solution available."

Under the Civil Liability for Nuclear Damage Act, 2010, the operator, which is the Nuclear Power Cor. of India Ltd (NPCIL), has to pay Rs.1,500 crore to affected parties in case of an accident. However, it can invoke the 'right to recourse´, which has been objected to by several international players and domestic suppliers.

Under this, NPCIL can seek damages from the suppliers. “This means liability can be fixed on the suppliers. But a nuclear reactor may have several components from different suppliers. In case of an accident in one part, the supplier of another component cannot be held responsible.This has been one of the major grouses of suppliers.


Monday, September 15, 2014

Health Insurance TPA Gets Licence

The Health Insurance TPA (third-party administrator) of India which has been set up to settle health insurance claims of state-owned general insurance companies has got necessary license from insurance regulator in India the Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority (IRDA).

A licence is valid for 3 years from the date of issue. Further, it can be renewed for next 3 years, subject to regulatory satisfaction.

The Health Insurance TPA of India would start operations by April 2015. However, external TPAs will continue serving public sector general insurers and that about 50-55 per cent business would be there would remain with them, an official said.

This common TPA will serve claim settlements of National Insurance Company, New India Assurance Company, United Insurance Company, Oriental Insurance Company and General Insurance Corporation of India as stakeholders. The first four insurers have 23.75 per cent stake each and GIC has five per cent.

Friday, September 12, 2014

IRDA Disapproves Shah Rouf's Appointment As Tata AIA Life's MD & CEO

The insurance watchdog in India Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority has rejected the appointment of Mr. Shah Rauf as Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of insurance joint venture Tata AIA Life Insurance, citing his accounting and governance failures at Aviva in Romania as the head.

The regulator rejected the appointment after it came to know about his failure. The insurer did not mention it in its filing for approval. However, a Tata AIA Life spokesperson, said “All information pertaining to the appointment was completely disclosed to the regulator.“

According to a person close to the development, said that Mr. Rouf 's candidature was rejected after the regulator learnt that the regulator in Romania had barred him from insurance industry on governance and accounting failures.

 It's a big blow for the already struggling insurer. Despite, overall life insurance industry witnessed 11.56 per cent growth in new business premium for the fiscal year which ended on March 31, 2014, Tata AIA Life registered 22.7 per cent year-on-year drop.

Tata AIA Life brought Mr. Rauf as CEO designate, after Mr. M. Suresh quit the firm as Managing Director and CEO in March. Before this, Mr. Rauf was the Chief Executive Officer of AIA Sri Lanka.

Tata AIA Life Insurance Company is a joint venture between Tata Sons and AIA International. Tata Sons holds 74 per cent stake in the JV, while AIA International holds the rest 26 per cent.


Thursday, September 11, 2014

Rash Driving Could Cost You Higher Insurance Premium

Vehicle owners having habit of rash driving could end up paying higher insurance premium for their vehicles; this is one of the key reforms being incorporated in the new Motor Vehicle & Traffic Safety law.

At present, insurance premium for vehicle is determined on the basis of vehicles only; but now, if the new law is implemented, it will be linked both to vehicle and record of its drivers.

As per the law proposed, over the next 1-2 years, data relating to drivers (whether it's driven by hired driver or the owner itself) and their offences would be recorded and available online through a centralised database. This will help vehicle owners verifying the credentials of a driver and get his driving record. In addition, it would also help insures determine premium at the time of renewal.

“So, at the time of paying annual premium, the vehicle owner has to pay higher premium for errant driving. It is the responsibility of the owner to employ a good driver,“ said an official. The changes in the new Motor Vehicle & Traffic Safety law is mooted because in most of accidents, drivers are found to be responsible and there are numerous examples from different cities where the same driver is found guilty of repeat offences. The proposed law will provide for higher penalty and negative points for repeat offenders. This move could help curbing rash and negligent driving.