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Updated: December 27, 2013 22:25 IST

Insurance penetration rises to 4%: IRDA chief

Special Correspondent
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T. S. Vijayan
The Hindu T. S. Vijayan

With the insurance products designed as per old norms going off the shelf by December 31, there would not be dearth of new products from New Year as the insurance regulator had approved 450-500 of them, Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority (IRDA) Chairman T. S. Vijayan said here on Friday.

However, each insurance company would be offering 10-15 products from among those approved by the IRDA. Some of the approved would be kept on the shelf and offered later.

Talking to reporters after participating in an interactive session organised by the Federation of Andhra Pradesh Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FAPCCI) here, he said banks should become brokers and not agents of the company, and the regulator was pushing for that. He said the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare was working on standardising the protocols for treatment as well as the cost with regard to medical insurance.

He said the proposal to introduce select life and non-life products through common service centres such as e-seva services would be implemented under a pilot project in some districts by the insurance companies in about six months.

Mr. Vijayan said the insurance penetration in the country had grown from 2.72 per cent in 2000 (when the sector was opened for private participation) to nearly 4 per cent this year.

Describing it as a great achievement, he said what was commendable was that public sector companies had been holding on their own.

Referring to the repository system, he said, the IRDA would like to gradually make it mandatory as it would bring down the cost of policy servicing.

He said health insurance, pension market, insurance for assets and motor insurance were the growing areas.

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Indices such as this and those that are being used by insurers and
their associations abroad need also to be used to measure the spread
of insurance in India. In calculating the spread of insurance, the
physical presence of insurer in the area counts a lot to bring
confidence and trust to the people. If insurers resort to the easier
method currently being introduced of selling insurance on the
shoulders of banks you cannot crow much about the spread of the
industry.Leave aside putting up brick and mortar offices in the
countryside, the opened up insurance industry does not want to create
an agency organisation in the countryside. This needs to be looked
into not only by the regulator but also by the government and the
media.

from:  s subramanyan
Posted on: Dec 29, 2013 at 08:30 IST

I came to know about the GIC--Janatha accident Insurance policy when
my cousins met fatal accidents a decade back.Unfortunately many GIC
offices did not provide me the application form and I was not even
briefed about the salient features for confirmation of facts I had
over the policy---Rs.60 annual premium for one Lac insurance benefit
for death due to accident only. Many staff do not know the details nor
were interested to collect the same from their manuals.
Such is the knowledge of insurance in the field itself.So it is the
need of the hour for the GIC to give wider publicity for the accident
insurance cover for the students and the society. But I do not see any
such advertisement in any news papers. It is the duty of the IRDA
chairman to see that wider publicity to the public is given the GIC
offices.

from:  s.Leelavathy
Posted on: Dec 28, 2013 at 18:27 IST

The concept of insurance should be taught to all students coming out of
10th standard and 12th standard,by including a lesson in the educational
system. The people think about insurance when an young dies,and forgets
the need after the rites.Unless the young one is taught in his school
days, the growth of insurance will not be reaching the desired level.

from:  v.krishnamoorthy
Posted on: Dec 28, 2013 at 07:14 IST
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