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Non-Life Insurance Premiums Returning To Pre-pandemic Levels

June 10, 2021

The non-life insurance industry has continued to show a strong performance even as the economic growth slows due to the second wave of the pandemic, CARE Ratings has said in a report. According to the rating agency the May 2021 monthly numbers reported a 13.1% growth continuing with the trend seen during the previous months. Non-life insurance premium reached Rs 12,316.5 crores crore for the month of May 2021 compared to Rs. 10,891.5 crores in May 2020. Growth is anticipated to have been driven by the low base effect (national lockdown in May 2020 vs. localised lockdowns in May 2021), along with continued growth in the health insurance segment.

"The non-life industry has continued its FY22 journey on a positive note. The growth in May 2021 has continued to be driven by the private sector which grew at a much faster pace (growth of 16.8% in May 2021) compared to the public sector (growth of 4.8% in May 2021). The non-life premiums are expected to be driven by the continued uptick in the health segment. Further, enhanced digital solutions coupled with the offline offerings are expected to contribute to the premiums of the non-life companies. Meanwhile, the loss ratio could go up given the resurgence in covid claims thereby impacting the financials," the ratings agency has said.


General insurance companies see 11.3% growth in gross premium in May 2021

June 9, 2021

General insurance companies saw a 11.3 percent year-on-year (YoY) growth in the gross direct premium for May 2021 at Rs 12,316.50 crore.

Among listed insurers, New India Assurance collected premiums of Rs 2,207.78 crore in May, showing a YoY growth of 21.2 percent. ICICI Lombard collected premiums of Rs 934.09 crore, showing a YoY growth of 6 percent.

In April 2021 too, general insurers had seen a double-digit growth. These insurers saw a 22 percent YoY rise in gross premiums to Rs 17,309.54 crore in April 2021 on the back of a strong demand for heath insurance.

As seen in previous months, standalone health insurers continued to see a higher-than-industry growth in May 2021.

Data showed that standalone health insurers collected gross direct premiums of Rs 1,406.04 crore in May, showing a YoY growth of 66.6 percent.

Ever since the COVID-19 pandemic broke out in March 2020, there has been a rise in demand for health insurance product. Standalone health insurers who specialise in this segment have gained.


Health insurers may not go in for premium hike

June 9, 2021

A hike in health insurance premium may not be on the cards, at least for now, with the Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India (IRDAI) not in favour of such a move at present.

“With claims and losses mounting, some insurers were looking at the possibility of revising premium on health insurance this year. However, the IRDAI is not keen on a rate hike in the middle of a pandemic,” said the CEO of an insurance company, adding that the focus now is to clear claims.

The IRDAI has been closely the monitoring the settlement of health insurance claims in the wake of the pandemic to ensure that it is done speedily by insurers. “As of now, there has not been any increase in premium rates for health insurance this fiscal. A number of insurers had hiked rates last year and some were considering doing so this year,” said another industry expert.

Revision in premium

Many insurers had revised premium by about 10 per cent to 15 per cent last year after meeting IRDAI norms for standardisation of exclusions. However, with the rising Covid claims and faced with underwriting losses, some of them were looking at a fresh round of increase in premium.

Non-life insurers have been facing a surge in Covid-related health insurance claims since the last one year. While it had abated in between, claims rose to a much higher level during the second wave of the pandemic. Insurers have received over ₹23,000 crore of Covid-related claims till date.

A recent report by ICRA also noted that underwriting losses for general insurers are set to rise.

Sahil Udani, Assistant Vice-President and Sector head – Financial Sector Ratings, ICRA, said: “We expect a seven per cent to nine per cent growth in GDPI in 2021-22, supported by growth in health segment and uptick in motor segment.

“Despite underwriting losses, the sector is expected to report marginal return on equity (3 per cent to 4.5 per cent), largely supported by investment income.”


Insurance (Amendment) Bill, 2021 introduced in Rajya Sabha

Mar 15, 2021

The Insurance (Amendment) Bill, 2021 seeking increase in the FDI limit to 74 per cent in the domestic Insurance Companies was today introduced in the Rajya Sabha. Union Finance & Corporate Affairs Minister Nirmala Sitharaman introduced the bill which aims at amending the Insurance Act, 1938. The FDI limit in the Indian Insurance companies at the moment stands at 49 per cent.

The Union Finance Minister had already made the proposal to enhance the FDI limit in the sector in her General Budget for Financial year 2021-22.

The legislation seeks to achieve the objective of Government's Foreign Direct Investment Policy of supplementing domestic long-term capital, technology and skills for the growth of the economy and the insurance sector, thereby enhancing insurance penetration and social protection.


Policyholders set to get periodic notices from insurance cos

Mar 03, 2021

The Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India (Irdai) has issued norms for sending periodic notices to policyholders to ensure continuity of the relationship and flow of information in a standard manner.

All insurers will have to notify key details relating to health insurance coverage available to policyholders periodically. They will have to comply with the instructions issued on 1 March at the earliest and not later than 1 June. Irdai norms apply to all individual (both indemnity and benefit-based) health policies.

“This will help policyholders remember the due dates of important policies. In our busy life, we tend to forget these crucial deadlines. These timely notifications will help customers," said Animesh Das, director - motor underwriting and actuary, ACKO Insurance.

As part of policy servicing, insurers will have to communicate basic information about the health insurance policy to policyholders. These include the product name and policy number, the extent of coverage available by way of the available sum insured and cumulative bonus, number of insured people covered under the policy, policy period, number and amount of claim settled (under relevant period), balance sum insured, etc.

“It will help customers stay well-versed with their policy offerings and will also help in reducing the chances of policies getting lapsed," said Amit Chhabra, head - health insurance,

The information will also relate to the due date of renewal and premium payment frequency, the premium amount due on renewal (to be specified at the time of renewal), grace period (within five days after renewal due date) and contact details (for any query or other issues) of the customer support service.

The information shall be communicated by insurers to all policyholders twice a year, that is six months after the issuance of the policy and at least one month before the renewal due date. However, in the case of a multi-year policy, the information can be shared with a frequency of six months from the date of issuance of the policy, said the Irdai circular.

In the event of a settlement of any claim, the insurer shall also communicate the details of the balance sum insured along with the cumulative bonus available, if any. This shall be notified to the policyholders within 15 days of settlement of the claim.

Neeraj Prakash, managing director, Shriram General Insurance, said that policyholders will become aware about the settlement of their claim, since the insurer shall also communicate the details of balance sum insured along with the cumulative bonus.


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