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13 firms violated health insurance norms: FinMin

Aug 9, 2016

The government said 13 insurance companies had violated health insurance regulations and action was being taken on the complaints received.

In the written response during Question Hour in the Lok Sabha on Friday, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said these companies had violated health insurance regulations, circulars and file-and-use guidelines.

These include New India Assurance, Bharati AXA General Insurance, Bajaj Allianz General Insurance, Future Generali Insurance, L&T General Insurance, Shriram General Insurance, Max Bupa Health Insurance, United India Insurance, Cholamandalam M S General Insurance, ICICI Lombard and Reliance General Insurance

Responding to a supplementary by Rahul Shewale (Shiv Sena) on an alleged health insurance scam worth Rs.500 crore under Rajiv Arogya Yojana in Maharashtra, the Minister of State for Finance, Santosh Gangwar, said the government was vigilant towards such acts by certain companies and investigations were on in some cases.

“We take steps to ensure that complaints are disposed of within 15 days. So far, the biggest complaint has been against Reliance General Insurance, which has been fined Rs.20 lakh,” he said.

Earlier, Udit Raj of BJP wanted to know whether any probe had been ordered against alleged irregularities by private and public insurance firms, such as the one estimated at Rs.1,000 crore by Lombard General Insurance (on which he had written to the Finance Minister in 2013).

In response to Raj’s allegations that under the Rajiv Gandhi Shilpi Swasthya Yojana for artisans, 11,455 claims out of 30,000 were found to be bogus, Gangwar said a probe was under way.

The Minister informed the House that now people were availing insurance schemes such as Pradhan Mantri Suraksha Bima Yojana, and Pradhan Mantri Jeevan Jyoti Bima Yojana which provide insurance cover at very low premiums.

So far, 9.6 crore people had enrolled themselves under the Prime Minister’s Rs.12 per annum accident insurance scheme, and 4,711 claims had been settled, he added.

Source: The Hindu Business Line



Pay Re. 1, get insurance cover for train travel

Jul 28, 2016

Train passengers booking their tickets online through the IRCTC website will be able to opt for travel insurance cover from September for a premium of just one rupee. The scheme offers travellers or their families compensation of up to Rs. 10 lakh in the event of death or permanent total disability, Rs. 7.5 lakh for permanent partial disability, up to Rs. 2 lakh for hospitalisation expenses, said a senior IRCTC official.

The new facility will be available for all passengers of Railways who book the e-ticket, excluding suburban trains, through its website, irrespective of the class of the ticket, on a trial basis.

The scheme is being implemented by IRCTC in partnership with ICICI Lombard General Insurance, Royal Sundaram and Shriram General. A total of 19 companies participated in the bidding process out of which these three were selected, he said.

The three companies selected will get the insurance policy on a rotation basis from an automated system. IRCTC has engaged the providers for a period of one year, with the provision of extending the contract on a performance basis.

Train accident and untoward incident cases will be as per definition under Sections 123 read with Sections 124 and 124A of the Railways Act, 1989.The insurance cover is uniform for all classes and the option available through a checkbox at the time of e-ticket booking. The premium amount will be automatically added to the ticket fare if the passenger opts for insurance. After the ticket booking and payment of premium, a message shall be displayed to complete the nomination details, which are necessary to settle the claims on timely basis.

Checking the option will make the coverage mandatory for all passengers booked under that PNR number and the premium charged accordingly. Users wanting coverage for children below five years of age will need to furnish details of the child at the time of booking and accordingly travel insurance premium will be added to the total amount payable.

Source: The Hindu



General insurers gross premium in June rises 20%

Jul 27, 2016

General Insurance companies in India continue to post positive growth at 20.3% (year-on-year) in gross direct premium in June. Data from General Insurance Council shows private players have continued to see higher growth compared to public sector insurance companies.

In June, general insurance industry saw gross premium income at `8,522.22 crore against `7,082.57 crore in June last year. While private insurers registered gross premium income at `3,627.51 crore up by 30.6%% compared to last year. While public sector insurance companies saw growth of 13.3% at `4,374.54 crore in June, 2016.

The general insurance sector in the last few months has seen sustained growth and higher participation from private players as against public sector insurers. “Growth by private insurers might be due to their low base compared to public sector insurance companies. However, private sector insurers are gaining foothold in the industry. They are already leading with high market share in motor and fire insurance. But some of the big corporate continue to be clients of public sector insurance companies,” said a top insurance player.

In the motor insurance segment, gross direct premium income underwritten by the non-life insurers up to June was Rs 11,452.64 crore with Rs 6,108.67 crore for private sector and Rs 5,343.97 crore for public sector companies.

Apart from general insurance, stand-alone health insurance companies also saw surge in their premium income by 30.6% in June.

“Stand-alone health insurance companies have started to see pick-up in their business, being just a health insurers has also benefited such players. with growing awareness and importance of health care, we hope this segment will continue to see strong growth,” said an official.

Source: The Financial Express



State (Tamil nadu) to switch over to PM Crop Insurance Scheme: Jayalalithaa

Jul 19, 2016

Chief Minister Jayalalithaa on Friday announced that a new crop insurance scheme — Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana — will be implemented in the State as it will be more beneficial to farmers.

Till now, the State government was paying about Rs.40 crore per annum as subsidy towards the premium but it will have to spend Rs.500 crore in subsidy while switching over to the Prime Minister Crop Insurance Scheme, Ms. Jayalalithaa said in a statement here.

Financial burden

Even if the number of farmers covered under the insurance remains the same, the State will have additional financial burden and the government willingly takes it up as the scheme will be beneficial to farmers, Ms. Jayalalithaa said adding that the subsidy amount will go up when more farmers are included.

According to the new crop insurance scheme, the loss will be calculated at the village level and not at the firka level and therefore the calculations will be much more accurate based on which farmers will get compensation.

Wide coverage

Besides, the new scheme covers a whole gamut of farming activities like prevented sowing / planting risk, standing crop (sowing to harvesting), post-harvest losses and localised calamities, she said unlike before when compensation was based only on yield.

As the indemnity level in the most affected nine districts has been increased from 60 to 70 per cent, the farmers will be able to get better compensation, she pointed out.

The premium to be paid by farmers will be two per cent of the actuarial rate during the kharif season (between April to September) and 1.5 per cent during rabi season (from October to March). The State and Centre will equally share the remaining premium amount.

The Chief Minister also said the coconut tree insurance scheme will continue to be implemented.

Source: The Hindu



Motor insurance to have more touch-points

Jul 14, 2016

Customers will now find it much easier to buy motor insurance policies or renew their existing ones on the go as the Insurance Regulatory Authority of India (Irdai) has allowed more touch points and prevented insurers from discriminating between dealers.

Irdai also said it might consider relaxing agency norms to ease distribution of simple policies including motor third-party policies through agencies such as pollution-check centres. It is, however, not clear if there will be any mandatory training requirement. According to senior insurance executives, basic training in the products and how the premium is calculated, among others, should be provided to these new players.

The Insurance Laws (Amendment) Act passed in 2015 says nobody can be refused a motor insurance policy. According to the Motor Vehicles Act, all vehicles running on Indian roads should have a third-party motor insurance policy, which covers owners from third-party liabilities arising from accidents.

Irdai is also encouraging insurers to bring out over-the-counter products that can be sold easily through shops, and medical stores, among others.

Earlier this year, the regulator had said all agents should have an equal opportunity to source motor business. Under existing rules, policyholders have a right to choose any agent, intermediary or insurer to avail of insurance services.

Irdai recently said that some general insurance companies having tie-ups with a particular motor dealer were not accepting motor business, if it was sourced by any other agent or intermediary. The regulator clarified there shall be no restriction whatsoever on sourcing or servicing motor insurance business (including personal accident policies) by any agent, intermediary or insurer on the grounds that they have a tie-up with a motor dealer or manufacturer.

Further, it has to ensured that no clause/agreement/tie-up in variation with the above directions shall be entered into by any insurer with any motor dealers/ manufacturers etc. It should also be ensured that all existing agreements confirm with the above direction.

Source: Business Standard



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