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May 18, 2015

The Board of Directors of United India Insurance Company Limited has approved the Company’s accounts for the year 2015 – 16 on 13th May 2015. The Company completed a premium of '12250 Crores for the year growing at over 14.58%. The Company posted this creditable business growth despite acute competition in the market among the 29 players. The Company’s growth trajectory was fuelled by health insurance growing at 30%, motor at over 13.42% and fire insurance at over 5%. Personal Accident portfolio and Liability portfolio have posted growth of 10% and 17% respectively.

Various Verticals of the Company have performed and shown high growth during the year. The LCB vertical, despite stiff competition grew by 16%. The SME vertical grew by 26% during the period to reach '473 Crores.

The bancassurance vertical also made big strides growing at 20.63% during the year, with a robust 45 bancassurance partners spread across major public sector, rural and cooperative banks across the country procuring a premium of '643 Crores. The agency vertical grew by 14% in the year, with an accretion of ` 743 Crores The company has 54536 agents and plans to take the agency strength to 60000 in the current year.

Under Pradhan Mantri Suraksha Bima Yojana, where Personal Accident cover of '2 lacs is available to bank account holders at '12/- per annum, the Company has already enrolled more than 2.28 crore customers, under the scheme. As on date 1425 claims have been reported, out of which 1180 claims have been settled. The Company has taken various initiatives to obtain renewals in respect of all the enrolments. We have carried out an advertisement campaign through ‘Radio City’ Channel in different languages in the month of April 2016, sent SMS alerts to the enrolled insureds and communicated to our Bancassurance partners. The advertisement campaign is going to be repeated during the month of May 2016 in order to ensure renewal of the policies.

The net incurred claims were impacted due to the unprecedented catastrophic floods in Chennai, the like of which was not seen in the last hundred years. The Company received 7480 claims amounting to '1413 Crores More than 98% of these claims have been settled. The Chennai

Regional Office of the Company had carried out a commendable job by carving out a separate cell to deal with the claims that were reported during the month of December 2016. The Company offered on-the spot compensation based on the make of the vehicles which was well received by the insureds. Seven Camps were organized to receive claim intimations during the disaster period. Despite this, the Company, through efficient claims management, was able to post claims ratio of 87.81% which is a nominal increase of 3.39% compared to last year.

The Company has reported a Profit Before Tax of '256 Crores and Profit after Tax (PAT) of '221 Crores The Investment income of the Company for the year stood at '2472 Crores as against '2126 Crores in the previous year, an increase of over 16%. The Market value of the Company’s total investment portfolio at the end of the year was '24021 Crores and the Networth of the Company stood at a robust '5731 Crores as against '5589 Crores at the end of the last year.

MSME sector is projected as the growth driver of the Indian economy. Similarly, rural economy will have an enhanced role in the economic growth trajectory of the country. In view of this, the Company would continue its thrust on the retail, MSME and rural insurance segments. The Company is launching a unique product targeting the MSME sector under the brand name “UNI MSME Protect” which is a package policy covering, Fire material damage, Burglary, Public Liability and Money Insurance.

The Company is efficiently managing the mammoth TN Chief Minister’s Health Insurance Scheme for BPL families. The Company is also implementing the TN Government Pensioners Health Insurance Scheme covering more than 6 lakh pensioners.

The Company has recruited 1050 employees last year to service the growing business and customer needs. The Company has advertised to recruit 300 officers this year. The Company has rolled out CORE insurance solution across all offices and all LoBs.

The Company introduced two new products in the market last year UNI Product Liability, UNI Executive Protect Insurance and a revised ShopKeepers Insurance Product.

The Company plans to launch initiatives to further the insurance inclusion in the country by opening more Micro Offices in tier 4 towns and below during the year. Last year 83 micro offices were opened taking the total of such offices to 967. The Company has also mapped around 8456 Rural Authorized Persons under the Common Service Centre Distribution Channel. The Company would tie up with more Insurance Marketing Firms and introduce products to be sold through the Points of Sales Persons, the new distribution channels approved by the Authority.

The company adopted a Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) programme in terms of adopting villages to improve their social and educational infrastructure and spreading insurance awareness amongst students in the identified schools. Last year the company adopted 10 villages and plans to adopt 25 villages under Rural Infrastructure Program. The Company has plans to adopt 6 villages during the current fiscal with a Comprehensive Village Adoption Scheme. Last year insurance awareness was spread in 53 identified schools and in current year the company plans to do the same in 50 schools. The company donated '2 Crores to TN Chief Minister’s Relief Fund last year apart from participating in the relief work by distributing water bottles, blankets etc.

The Company has online customer portals in respect of 8 retail insurance products (Motor, Health, PA, OMP, House holders, Shopkeeper, Crop insurance and Marine Insurance Open cover) and extended online portal facilities to 2032 motor dealers and 11906 agents. More than 39 lakh policies were issued through the portals. The Company has a secure mobile insurance application to facilitate easy access anytime – anywhere for buying insurance by the customers.

The visibility of the Company has grown immensely thanks to the various accolades and awards conferred on it over the years, with the India Insurance Awards for a. “Bancassurance Market Leader – General Insurance and Undeserved Market Penetration-General Insurance”,

b. ASSOCHAM “Corporate Governance Excellence” Awards.

c. Our Corporate Calendar with the theme “ MAKE IN INDIA”, was awarded the first position in the PRSI-Make In India Award – Best Innovation to Promote Make In India – against All India Competition from various parts of the Country.

d. SKOCH Financial Inclusion & Deepening Awards, 2015 – “Order of Merit” – “Consumer Education through website”

e. Asia Pacific HRM Congress – 2015 Awards

1. “CEO with HR orientation”

2. “Most influential HR professionals in Asia for GM – HR”

f. Official Language implementation Committee, Chennai, – First position among Public Sector undertaking for progressive use of Official language

g. “ Lions CSR Award ”- The international Association of Lions Club

The Company proposes to build a 15 storey structure in the existing land which will become a landmark in the Chennai City. The foundation stone of the new building was laid on 12.05.2016 during a pompous ceremony organized in the premises.

The Company continues to enjoy strong fundamentals with a Solvency Ratio of 1.91 as against the Regulatory requirement of 1.50. ICRA has accorded iAAA rating for the 13th successive year to the Company, indicating its highest claim paying credentials. The Company secured a financial strength rating of B++ (Positive), for the last four years from AM Best, an International Rating Agency. The year’s results show that the Company’s strategies are yielding the desired results and the Company is optimistic to comfortably complete a premium of '14,444 Crores with over 17% growth rate in the current fiscal.

The Company has 16366 experienced and talented human resources who are passionately working to take the Company to greater heights and also promote the cause of insurance inclusion of the vast uninsured population in the country.

We are grateful to the millions of customers across the country for their continued patronage to our Company.

Source: Chennai City News

IRDAI slaps fine of Rs 15 lakh on National Insurance

May 11, 2016

Insurance regulator IRDAI has imposed a fine of Rs 15 lakh on state-owned general insurer National Insurance for violation of various regulatory norms including payouts over and above commission.

It has been observed that insurer was paying additional payouts over and above commission to Maruti Insurance Business Agency Ltd and to Hero Corporate Services Ltd on the motor premium solicited through the two corporate agents, IRDAI said in an order issued today.

Additional payouts to the licensed entities were referred by insurer as reimbursement towards infrastructure costs, it said.

In view of the violation, the Authority in exercise of the powers vested imposes a penalty of Rs 5 lakh, Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India (IRDAI) order said.

Besides, it also imposed penalty of Rs 5 lakh for violation of Strategic Alliance Partners (SAPs) i.e of Tata Business Support Services and Honda Seil cars (I) Pvt Ltd and with the corporate agents, it said.

The company also deviated from the discount structure approved by the regulator under File & Use guidelines by offering discounts beyond the approved structure, it said.

In view of the violations of F&U guidelines, the Authority imposed a penalty of Rs 5 lakh, it added. The regulator has directed the company to pay the penalty of Rs 15 lakh within a period of 15 days from the date of receipt of this order.

Source: The Times of India

Paytm to launch vehicle financing and insurance

May 11, 2016

Mobile payment and commerce platform Paytm, which has been registering strong growth in online purchase on automobiles, is looking at launching vehicle financing and insurance shortly.

The company has seen online purchase of cars and bikes treble. Paytm sold over 1000 bikes in the month of April this year, contributing to 5% of Hero Electric's pan India total monthly sales.

"Orders for two-wheelers came from over 100 different cities spread across 18 states in April. Customers from as far as Tinsukia in Assam and Ranipet in Tamil Nadu purchased bikes on Paytm", the company said.

In order to expand and consolidate its footprint in the automobile market, Paytm will launch vehicle financing this month, and will soon after offer insurance service through third party partners.

Presently, Paytm has over 800 dealers already functioning in their network and local commerce is being used to build this category.

Apart from Hero Electric, Mahindra launched Gusto 125 model exclusively on Paytm in April. An user can book the motorcycle variant as per the ex-showroom price that he wishes to purchase through the Paytm app. Dealers in the Paytm network consequently execute the orders.

Renu Satti, Vice President, Paytm said, "Overall 2-wheeler industry is around 16 million units (number of vehicles), and we are targeting at selling half a million bikes this year. By next quarter, we will have the largest network of dealers on our platform with an integrated solution for a customer looking to buy a bike. We also plan to do a few exclusive launches with OEMs like we did for Mahindra Gusto 125 last month."

On the strategy towards the 4-wheeler category, she further added, "We aim at becoming the preferred one-stop solution for booking a car, getting financing and other related services like car insurance. We are speaking to the OEMs and third party partners to enable it on our platform."

Currently, the brands that Paytm offers in the car and bike segment comprise Honda, Hyundai, Maruti Suzuki, Mahindra, Datsun and Hero, Yamaha, Mahindra respectively.

Source: The Economic Times

Health, motor drive growth for non-life insurers in FY16

May 06, 2016

Motor insurance business grows by 14% to Rs 42,411crore.

Health insurance, motor insurance drove the growth for the non-life insurance industry during 2015-16.

A rise in car sales and an increase in motor third party premium rates helped non-life insurance companies to grow their motor insurance business by 14 per cent with a gross premium of Rs 42411 crore during 2015-16 compared to Rs 37314 crore, a year ago.

In the overall motor business, the mandatory motor third party insurance grew by 19 per cent with a gross premium of Rs 21242.31 crore during the year compared to Rs 17901 crore in the year ago period.The insurance regulator last year had increased the motor third party premium rates by 40-50 per cent in various segments. Motor own damage grew by 9 per cent to 21168.28 crore during the year. Motor insurance continued as the largest component of the general insurance market with a share of 44 per cent during 2015-16 (44.1 per cent in 2014-15) and is linked to the growth in the automobile industry.

According to the society of India automobile manufacturers, car sales in India grew at the fastest pace in five years, up 7.87 per cent in 2015-16 driven by new model launches and heavy discounts in a challenging environment. The domestic car sales stood at 20.25 lakh units in 2015-16 as compared to 18.77 lakh units in 2014-15. According to the data, the total passenger vehicle sales, which include cars, utility vehicles and vans, registered a growth of 7.24 percent to 2,789,678 units. KG Krishnamoorthy Rao, managing director and chief executive officer, Future Generali India Insurance said, “I expect the general insurance industry to grow by 15-20 per cent in 2016-17 as the industry’s growth is linked to the economic growth which is picking up. Project insurance is likely to pick up, auto industry may do better going ahead. The government is also pushing for more penetration in the weather insurance that could aid growth this year.”

Sanjay Datta, chief underwriting claims and reinsurance at ICICI Lombard General Insurance said, “I expect growth rate for this year to be similar or better than last year.” Health insurance business increased by 22 per cent with a gross premium of Rs 24784.02 crore during FY16 compared to Rs 20347.57 crore in FY15. This was lower than previous years that saw health growing by 25-30 per cent.

Experts said the growth rates were affected as the present government discontinued the mass health insurance scheme of the UPA government — rashtriya swasthya bima yojana in several districts. In addition, insurers continued to offer steep discounts to corporates for buying group health insurance covers for insuring their employees. Severe competition among insurers to grab property insurance business that led to a drop in premium rates, resulted in fire insurance business growing by mere 8.7 per cent at a gross premium of Rs 8728.39 crore during the year.

Personal accident insurance grew by 22 per cent at a gross premium of Rs 2585 crore. Miscellaneous insurance portfolio driven largely by weather insurance clocked a growth of 11 per cent at a gross premium of Rs 1769 crore. Miscellaneous insurance also includes home insurance, extended warranty insurance, workman compensation.

The gross premium underwritten by non-life insurance companies grew by 14 per cent to Rs 96393.94 crore during 2015-16 compared to Rs 84693.44 crore in 2014-15.

Four public sector insurers--New India Assurance, Oriental Insurance, United India Insurance and National Insurance had a market share of 50 per cent.


Insurance: Ways to reduce your motor insurance premium

Apr 29, 2016

While the third-party motor premium rates are fixed by the regulator, you could control the cost on own damage.

Keep no claim bonus intact

A no claim bonus (NCB) is a discount the insured is entitled to get on his premium during renewal of the motor insurance policy, depending on the number of years he has not made a claim. It is earned only in the own damage (OD) section of motor insurance policies. If you avoid filing small claims and pay for minor repairs yourself, your premium at the time of renewal will be lower.

It is advisable that when your car gets damaged, get an estimate for the repairs. If the amount that you need to spend towards repair of damages is lower than the amount you could end up saving during the renewal of your policy through the NCB you can earn, you could avoid making the claim. If your claims are of a negligible amount for issues such as a broken taillight or scratches on your vehicle, not filing them can help you keep your no claim bonus intact. For instance, if your motor own damage premium is R11,000 and you are entitled to a 35% NCB discount (Rs 3,850) during renewal due to a claims-free policy period, it would make monetary sense to avoid filing for a claim for a repair cost of Rs 3,000.

Another way to protect your accumulated NCB is to buy the NCB protector add-on cover that comes by paying an additional premium. This keeps your NCB protected even if you make a claim during your policy period and restores it at a slab lower. For instance, if you have accumulated an NCB of 40% but file a claim, the add-on cover would make sure your NCB doesn’t become nil at the time of renewal, and reinstates it at 30%.

Get vehicle repaired at a network garage

You should take your vehicle to a network garage of the insurer to get the damages repaired at a lower, negotiated cost. You might be able to get the damages repaired at a cost around 20% lower than that charged by your local garage. For instance, if the repair cost is Rs 5,000, you could get the work done at Rs 4,000. So you would not only get better and convenient service, but would also end up saving on your out-of-pocket expenses towards the repairs. Also, the lower the repair cost, the lower would be the depreciation amount borne by you.

Avail long-term motor insurance policy

Products in the market offer a long-term cover for two-wheelers with an option of two and three-year coverage, along with 24×7 roadside assistance. If you avail such a policy, not only would your vehicle be insured for a longer duration, but you would also save your expenditure towards your motor premium as compared to a single-year policy. Also, third-party motor premium and service tax hikes would not affect such a policy.

Opt for voluntary deductible Another way of reducing your outgo towards motor premium is by opting for a higher voluntary deductible component in case of a claim. A deductible is a specified amount that the insured has to bear when he files a claim, following which the insurer pays the balance. Opting for a higher deductible earns you a discount in your premium. So, you could opt to contribute towards your claim and pay a lower premium, discounts for which could go up to 20% to 35% subject to the voluntary deductible amount you choose.

For instance, the defined deductible in the motor insurance policy is R1,000/1,500. However, if you avail a higher voluntary deductible say of R7,500, you would be entitled to 30% discount in your own damage premium. There are different ranges of deductibles depending on factors such as the size of your car as well as the risk exposure. Ideally, if the insured is confident of his driving skills, then he should opt for a higher deductible.

Damage-cost control

If you avoid filing small claims and pay for minor repairs yourself, your premium at the time of renewal will be lower One way of protecting your accumulated no claim bonus (NCB) is by buying the NCB protector add-on cover that comes by paying an additional premium

You should take your vehicle to a network garage of the insurer to get the damages repaired at a lower, negotiated cost. You might be able to get the damages repaired at a cost around 20% lower than that charged by your local garage

The writer is chief technical officer, Motor, Bajaj Allianz General Insurance

Source: The Financial Express

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