Thursday, April 17, 2014

65% Indians Choose Private Insurers For Health Insurance Policies: ASSOCHAM

According to a study conducted by the Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry of India (ASSOCHAM), the apex industry body, about 65 percent of people in India having health insurance policies, prefer to choose private sector health insurers. The public sector insurers have managed to win confident of just 35 percent of the insured people.

However, as per the study titled 'Health Insurance in India: A review,' in terms of premium, the public sector insurance companies account for maximum share of over 61percent.

Releasing the report, ASSOCHAM Secretary General Mr D S Rawat said, “Private voluntary health insurance will continue to grow in terms of covering the non-vulnerable, the middle class and higher income segments of the population that can afford to purchase private health insurance."

Bharti Axa To Focus More On Commercial, Health Insurance Segments

Private sector insurer Bharti AXA General Insurance Company has decided to focus on commercial lines, which has seen a formidable growth of 40% in the recent years. The insurer has witnessed growth in Marine and engineering segments along with various others despite the overall slump in general insurance.

The insurer will reduce its dependence on motor insurance segment step-by-step, and will focus on commercial lines and increase its share in the total business from the current 13% to up to 20 % next fiscal year.

“With the regulated pricing mechanism continuing in third party motor insurance, we will maintain our exposure in commercial vehicles to the minimum stipulated levels. In two years we expect commercial vehicles to account for 10% of the motor insurance revenue, with remaining 90% coming from private motor insurance," said Bharti Axa Chief Executive Officer & Managing Director Mr. Amarnath Ananthanarayanan.

“Globally AXA is a strong player in commercial lines and we are getting aggressive in India as well", he added.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

SBI General Hopes To Grow Premium By 60% In The FY' 2014-15

Private sector leading insurer SBI General Insurance Company has set a 60% target in premium growth in the fiscal year 2014-15 by maintaining its growth momentum of recent years.

SBI General Insurance is the joint venture between State Bank of India, the country's largest lender and Australian insurer Insurance Australia Group. SBI holds the majority stake in the joint venture.

SBI General had a gross written premium of Rs. 770.85 crore in fiscal year 2012-13, and has registered about 55 % growth in premium of around Rs. 1,200 crore in fiscal year 2013-14.

Speaking to the reporters, SBI General Managing Director & Chief Executive, Mr. Bhaskar J. Sarma said, “In this fiscal we expect to grow at around 60 per cent, which we feel is reasonable."

“This fiscal, our focus will be on the motor, health and commercial lines among other things," Mr. Sarma said, adding, “SBI General will also focus on increasing the marine insurance pie during this period."

The insurer which draws around 60 % of its business from banking channel also said it would focus more on the other channels like brokers.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Health Insurance TPA For PSU Insurers Likely To Become Operational By The Year End

The much awaited Health Insurance Third Party Administrator (TPA) for state-run general insurance companies will start operations only by the end of the year, as against the scheduled April 2014. The TPA is waiting for the necessary regulatory license from the Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority (IRDA).

The Health Insurance TPA of India is the in-house third party administrator to handle health insurance claims of the state-run insurers, and was incorporated in August 2013. Currently, these claims are handled by external TPAs.

The Health Insurance TPA of India Ltd is a joint venture of four state-owned insurers- National Insurance, Oriental Insurance, United India Insurance and New India Assurance. Each holds 23.75 % stake in the joint venture, while the state-owned reinsurer General Insurance Corporation (GIC) of India holds the rest 5%.

Once the TPA starts its operation, the claim settlement from external agencies will gradually be transferred to the Health Insurance TPA of India.

As per the industry experts, the common in-house TPA will reduce the claims ratio of insurance companies. Also, it will reduce expenditure for the member insurance companies; as they pay about 6% of premiums to TPA for settling claims. Currently, most companies in the health insurance space dependent on TPA for claim processing, which leads to delay in claims settlement.

Chairman and Managing Director of New India Assurance, Sri G Srinivasan has been appointed as the chairman of the board of the TPA Company.