Reinsurer Swiss Re Plans to Enter India

To apply for a branch licence for life and non-life reinsurance

Swiss Re, one of Europe’s biggest reinsurers, is planning to set up shop in India after the country permitted foreign companies that cover the risk of insurers to open branches here.

It intends to apply for a branch licence for life and non-life reinsurance once the regulations and requirements are available, a spokesperson said. “India is one of Swiss Re’s key high-growth markets and we are committed to the healthy and sustainable growth of India’s insurance market.“ The Insurance Bill, passed by the Parliament last week, allows foreign reinsurers, which provide specialist services and knowhow on mega risks, to operate in India through branches. Their entry is expected to bring in knowledge and expertise together with underwriting capacities to the Indian market.

State-run General Insurance Corp is the only local company providing reinsurance services. Foreign reinsurers like Munich Re, Swiss Re and Hannover Re are already present here, but operate as service companies or through representative offic r es. India’s insurance regulator doesn’t regulate these companies.

The Insurance Bill didn’t specify capital requirement for foreign reinsurers toopen local branches. The only requirement laid out by the Bill is that the parent re is that the parent reinsurance companies should have a net worth of ` . 5,000 crore.

Zurich-based Swiss Re has been providing reinsurance support to the Indian market for more than 85 years. It has worked with the local insurance industry to provide anumber of innovative insurance and reinsurance solutions in areas of life, health, agriculture and infrastructure. No reinsurance company has opened ajoint venture in India despite foreign direct investment allowed at 26%. The passage of the Insurance Act raises the FDI in reinsurance to 49% from 26%.

Source: Economic Times

Date: 19-03-2015

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