Monday, September 29, 2014

Contract For Air India's Insurance Renewal Up On October 1

The race for getting national carrier Air India's insurance renewal deal has begun between public and private sector general insurers. A New India Assurance-led consortium of public sector insurers has emerged as the frontrunner, while the private sector has rallied behind a group led by ICICI Lombard General Insurance.

The insurance contract for Air India's 105-strong fleet comes up for renewal on October 1 at an estimated premium of about $25 million.

The New India Assurance-led consortium has United India Insurance, Oriental Insurance and National Insurance as co-insurers. While, ICICI Lombard General Insurance-led group has HDFC Ergo and Reliance General as co-insurers.

Following recent rise in aviation mishaps such as a series of Malaysian Airlines tragedy, premiums have increased, pushing up the bill for insurers.

Air India's current insurance policy, issued by New India Assurance, includes a $9.5-billion hull cover and a combined single liability of $1.5 billion.

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Surveyors Oppose Proposed Amendments To Insurance Bill

The most awaited Insurance Laws (Amendment) Bill-2008, is now being opposed by members of the Indian Institute of Insurance Surveyors and Loss Assessors (IIISLA).

Opposing the proposed amendments to Section 64UM of the Insurance Act and the Insurance Laws (Amendment) Bill- 2008, leader of the surveyors, Mr. Bharat Dharmashi told reporters that this will promote unhealthy practices in the industry.

Mr. Dharmashi explained that if an insured property suffers losses of more than Rs 20,000, it needs to be surveyed by an independent surveyor licenced by the Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority (IRDA).

But, private insurers without bothering regulator's regulations, hire unqualified agents, he added.

Furthermore, he argued that an unqualified agent prepares survey reports in favour of such companies and do injustice to property owners. “The proposed insurance bill will allow 49% of foreign direct investment (FDI) and injustices to people will mount.“

Another surveyor, Mr. M.N. Hegde, said if the proposed insurance bill is passed, it would affect about 80,000 qualified surveyors across the country. 


Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Exide Life Launches 'Assured Gain Plus', A Protection-Cum-Investment Plan

Private sector insurance player Exide Life Insurance Company has launched a traditional with insurance-cum-investment profits plan, named -Assured Gain Plus, aims at to provide guaranteed returns on investment with life cover.

In a release, Exide Life Insurance Chief Financial Officer Mr. Uco Vegter said, “This is a momentous occasion for us as this our maiden product after we rechristened ourselves with a new identity. We have designed this product based on an inherent need where people are looking at a superior quality of life and securing their future at the same time."

In May this year, the ING Vysya Life Insurance changed its name to Exide Life insurance after being totally owned by the Raheja Group through leading battery maker Exide Industries.

Exide Life Assured Gain Plus is a perfect investment solution for people looking for attractive tax-free returns with capital guarantee and life cover to ensure the best lives for their families.

Under the plan, the policyholder needs to pay for 5 years only, while the benefits continue for the full policy term. The policy term can be opted from 10, 12 or 15 years.

This plan guarantees a life cover of at least 10-folds the annual premium of the full policy term.

People between the age group of 3 years to 60 years, can have the benefits of this plan.

LIC Takes Bullish View Of New Government

Country's largest investor the Life Insurance Corporation (LIC) of India is quite optimistic of Narendra Modi-led pro-business government.

Speaking during an interview inside his office in Mumbai, LIC Chairman Mr. S. K. Roy said he saw few red flags ahead, betting on a long-term rally for the country's stock market under a new pro-business government.

India's equity market has outperformed emerging market rivals this year, thanks to overseas fund interest fuelled by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who came to power in May with a pledge to boost growth and revive investment. After months of caution, domestic investors are now also growing more confident.

Mr. Roy was 'very bullish' about the banking, pharmaceutical, metals and IT outsourcing sectors because of expectations of a cyclical recovery and a stabilising rupee currency.

“I see few warning signs for markets, thanks to the government's commitment to contain the fiscal deficit and receding concerns about lower rainfalls in the monsoon period", he added. 


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.