51% of health insurance policyholders are underinsured, Apollo Munich finds

Apollo Munich studied around 7 lakh health insurance policyholders spread across 82 cities in India, and has found that both men and women across metros, tier 1 and 2 cities and towns are underinsured. At 52% men are more underinsured than women at 46%.

Leading standalone health insurer, Apollo Munich Health Insurance has found that 51% of health insurance policyholders in India areunderinsured, that is, have purchased low sum insured health insurance policies that would not suffice in medical emergencies. Apollo Munich studied around 7 lakh health insurance policyholders spread across 82 cities in India, and has found that both men and women across metros, tier 1 and 2 cities and towns are underinsured. At 52% men are more underinsured than women at 46%.


Although the number of health insurance policyholders in India isincreasing annually, people most often choose the lowest sum insured policy, without comprehending the entire process of choosing an appropriate cover. Some of the reasons are lack of awareness about how to pick the right sum insured, overdependence on corporate health insurance coverage, willingness to pay apremium that is only up to the highest limit of rebate under Section 80D of the Income Tax Act etc.


The company has been able to conclude that underinsurance is more prevalent in the higher age brackets as 62% of policyholders above 45 years of age are underinsured. The slight respite to this grave problem is that young peopleseem to be choosing the right sum insured comparatively, since at 38% people between 18-35 years are the least underinsured segment amongst all other age groups. The underinsurance percentage of people between 61-65 years is 75%. One of the main reasons for this alarming underinsurance statistic is that policyholders do not upgrade their sum insured on the basis of their increasing age, changing needs and medical inflation.


The research also threw light on the fact that South India has the maximum number underinsured people amounting to 59% of policyholders, while the underinsurance percentage in the North, West, East and Central parts of thecountry is 49%, 49%, 48% and 45% respectively.


Speaking about the research, Antony Jacob, CEO, Apollo Munich Health Insurance, said, “On the one hand India faces a challenge of lack of health insurance penetration, on the other hand those who have health insurance are underinsured. Underinsurance is a somber problem as it not only results in increased stress and sudden out of pocket expenditure for policyholders during times of medical exigencies, but also gives them a false sense of assurance of being covered. People must understand that health insurance is not just a tax saving tool, and therefore be mindful while choosing a sum insured for themselves and their family.”


“At Apollo Munich, we have developed an innovative devise-agnostic application for our advisors ‘Ampower’ that functions on a Business Rule Engine (BRE) for instant policy issuance and automated underwriting. The ‘Ampower’ app also suggests an optimal coverage to customers while buying or renewing a policy based on various factors. We conduct regular training for our advisors to offer the most appropriate insurance solutions to our potential and existing customers on the basis of the algorithm we have developed over years of analysis and research. We also have a dedicated team that educates customers about choosing the right sum insured at the time ofpolicy renewal. Through various marketing and social media initiatives, we continuously engage with our customers and educate them about the need of choosing right sum insured as per their individual needs.”  Jacob added.


The study also reveals:


  • People in their 20s should ideally have a sum insured cover of Rs. 5 lakhs if residing in a metro, Tier 1 or 2 cities


  • People in the 30s and 40s should have at least a cover of Rs. 7 lakhs while residing in a metro or Tier 1 city. Those residing in Tier 2 cities should have a cover of Rs. 6 lakhs


  • Those nearing retirement age (that is are in their 50s) should seek policies with Rs. 9 lakhs, if he or she is residing in a metro or Tier 1 city. In Tier 2 cities a sum insured policy of Rs. 8 lakhs should be sufficient


  • Indians above the age of 60 years should own health insurance coverage of at least Rs. 10 lakhs sum insured to be able to manage their healthcare costs.


Date – 29 – 09 – 2016.


Source – www.indiainfoline.com

More Recruiters Raising Salary Offers to Close Candidates

Recruiters dish on industry trends, job seeker behavior and the labor market

Recruiters are more willing to negotiate salaries with candidates, supporting the industrybelief that competition for talent will increase in 2017.

Nearly all respondents (95 percent) to the 2016 Recruiter Nation Survey conducted by recruiting platform Jobvite expect recruiting to be as or more challenging next year, pushing recruiters to evolve and become more strategic and innovative.

Jobvite polled over 1,600 talent acquisition professionals and found that the labor marketcontinues to gain strength, that a shortage of skills is still recruiters’ biggest challenge and that employer branding is forecast to take the biggest slice from the recruiting budget.

“Job creation has been steadily increasing ever since the recession, forcing recruiters to double up their efforts to fill positions with quality candidates,” said Dan Finnigan, CEO of Jobvite. “But there simply aren’t enough educated, talented and qualified candidates to keep up with the demand. As a result, recruiters must now go above and beyond by creating a compelling employer brand and an exceptional candidate experience to keep their companies growing.”

2017 Expected to Be Another Job Seekers’ Market

Hiring increased for 69 percent of employers in the past year, especially in health care, retail and finance, according to respondents. One-third (35 percent) of recruitersanticipate filling 100 or more positions in 2017, up from 26 percent last year. Recruiters expect competition for talent to be most fierce in hospitality (87 percent), manufacturing (79 percent) and health care (78 percent).

To keep up with demand, recruiters are offering both traditional and nontraditional incentives to lure candidates. Bread-and-butter benefits such as medical coverage and a 401(k) are still the most attractive for candidates, but raising salary offers (68 percent), awarding monetary bonuses to incentivize referrals (64 percent), allowing for flexible work hours (44 percent), and implementing a casual dress code (44 percent) are all gaining traction. About 6 in 10 recruiters reported that candidates have gotten more confident than last year in asking for increased salaries, especially in technology and health care.

Recruiters are less anxious about being replaced by automation since last year’s survey, with only 10 percent of respondents saying automation worried them, as compared to 25 percent last year. Recruiters in transportation (19 percent) and retail (18 percent) were more inclined to predict job replacement than other industries. As a contrast, over two-thirds of job seekers (69 percent) are concerned about job obsolescence.

Employer Brand, Social Recruiting Top Trends for Next Year

Matching the right candidate with the right workplace culture is becoming mandatory. Sixty percent of recruiters rated culture fit of highest importance when making ahiring decision. And 51 percent of respondents said employer branding will be the No. 1 investment in talent acquisition in 2017. As an extension of the employer brand, respondents said, the company careers website was either the “most important” or “second most important” investment for talent acquisition.

Investing in a social media strategy was the No. 2 talent acquisition investment, cited by 50 percent of recruiters—a smart focus, since 59 percent of job seekers said they use social media to research the companies they’re interested in. Mostrecruiters find LinkedIn most effective when vetting candidates during the hiring process (87 percent), but they also use Facebook (43 percent) and Twitter (22 percent) to source candidates.

What Recruiters Are Looking For

Recruiters said candidates’ soft skills, including enthusiasm (78 percent) and conversational ability (73 percent), are most likely to influence a hiring decision after hard qualifications have been met. Communication style is the trait most considered when deciding whether a candidate is a cultural fit, according to 83 percent of respondents.

Recruiters are checking out candidates’ social profiles and admit to bias in regards to appearance, personal behavior and even political beliefs. About 40 percent of recruiters believe that seeing a picture of a candidate before meeting him or her influences their first impression. In-person looks matter too—46 percent of recruiters said that appearance influences hiring decisions during the interview.

Almost three-fourths (71 percent) of respondents view marijuana use on social media negatively and almost half (47 percent) view photos of alcohol consumption on social media negatively. Even more off-putting than references to alcohol or marijuana: typos in candidates’ social media profiles, according to 72 percent of recruiters.

Notably in this election year, 10 percent of respondents said a candidate’s political affiliations on social media would affect their decision to move forward. But recruiters are 64 percent more likely to be biased against a supporter of Donald Trump than a supporter of Hillary Clinton.

Challenges and Successes

Recruiters cited a lack of skilled candidates (65 percent) and dealing with hiring managers moving candidates through the hiring process (48 percent) as their biggest challenges.

While the obstacles have stayed the same in recent years, the way recruiters are measured is evolving. Traditional metrics like time-to-hire and cost-per-hire are still recognized as valuable benchmarks, but 61 percent rated post-hire metrics such as performance and retention rate higher.

Nearly all (93 percent) recruiters feel valued in their roles, and in addition to finding and managing candidates through the hiring process, 72 percent of recruiters said they are also involved in onboarding candidates into the company.


Source: SHRM

Date: 27th Sept, 2016

LIC ties up with Axis Bank to sell life covers

The financial institutions signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU), under which Axis Bank branches will be selling LIC’s policies, a joint statement issued said.

In one of the largest bancassurance partnerships since life insurance policy sale by banks was liberalised, industry behemoth LIC and third largest private sector lender Axis Bank on Thursday entered into a tie-up to sell the former’s products.

The financial institutions signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU), under which Axis Bank branches will be selling LIC’s policies, a joint statement issuedsaid.

This is one of the biggest tie-ups announced after financial sector regulators liberalised norms governing the sale of insurance products by banks, calledBancassurance, under which lenders were allowed to sell products of multiple insurance companies in 2013-14.

“The coming together of the two major reputed organisations would enable them tocombine and utilise the synergies for enhancing customer satisfaction,” LIC executive director for bancassurance Mukesh Gupta said.

“Over the past five years, the life insurance business at Axis Bank has grown at a CAGR of over 25 per cent. The partnership with LIC would enable us to further expand our existing bouquet of offerings,” Axis Bank retail banking head Rajiv Anand said.

To start with, Axis Bank branches in Bengal, Bengaluru and Haryana’s Panchkulawill start selling LIC’s multiple products, the statement said.

LIC commands a 76.8 per cent market share in policies and 70.4 per cent share in first premium, while Axis Bank has a network of over 3,000 branches, including extension points.


Source: Business Today

Date: 30th July’ 16

AirAsia India ties up with Reliance General Insurance for passenger insurance


AirAsia India has tied up with RelianceGeneral Insurance to provide travel insurance for customers flying with the airline.
The policy will cover customers against trip cancellation, delay, missed flight connection, damage or loss of baggage and hospitalisation. Travellers can buy insurance for Rs 149 for a period of 30 days, Rs 279 for 60 days and Rs 399 for 90 days.
AirAsia India has also relaunched its Red Carpet service in New Delhi, Jaipur, Guwahati, Vizag, Kochi, Bengaluru, Pune and Hyderabad for Rs 850. With Red Carpet access, flyers can access a dedicated check-in counter, priority baggage tagging, access to lounge and porter assistance.
Apart from this, regular AirAsia India travellers can opt for lounge access at New Delhi, Bengaluru, Kochi, Pune, Guwahati and Hyderabad for Rs 550.

Source: The Times Of India

Date:  26TH September,2016


Bajaj Allianz General Insurance bets big on 2-wheeler package policy, launches first telematics offering

Bajaj Allianz General Insurance is eyeing for 30% of its total two-wheeler insurance sales through long-term package policy by the end of this financial year.

The private sector non-life insurer has already sold 6,000 such policies so far in 2016-17.

Two-wheelers can be insured for up to three consecutive years under this policy which was introduced at the beginning of the current financial year.

“We have already sold 6,000 policies under the long-term two-wheeler package policy which was kicked off on April 1. We are looking at 30% of our total two-wheeler insurance sales to happen through this policy by the fiscal-end,” Bajaj Allianz General Insurance managing director and chief executive Tapan Singhel said on Monday.

The company on Monday launched the industry’s first telematics offering known as ‘drive smart’. The telematics service gives investors real-time feedback on their driving behaviours and helps align itwith their motor premium. This service will be available for customers who buy or renew their motor insurance policy with Bajaj Allianz General Insurance with add-on covers.

“Drive Smart is not just a telematics offering, it is an entire ecosystem related to the car which offers safety, security and convenience to the customers and also assists in savings costs. This service fundamentallycovers three aspects – one, good drivers will no longer have to subsidise cost for bad drivers, two, the safety features would keep customers, their family members and the car secure and three, the customer will be able to save money based on good driving history and patter,” Singhel added.

Customers can opt for this service while buying company’s motor insurance package policy of while renewing their policy. The general insurers is quite positive on the future prospectus of two-wheeler insurance segment as more than 75%of the two-wheeler in the country are not covered at present. Officials also say that, in the last financial year they had sold around 21lakh motor policy.

Motor insurance has seen huge attraction in the last few years in both two-wheeler and car insurance. In the last few months we have seen many insurers selling three-year two wheeler insurance which has been very successful. In the motor insurance segment, gross direct premium income underwritten by the non-life insurers upto the month of August was R19,314.53 crore with R10,302.54 crore for private sector and R9,011.99 crore for public sector companies.

Source: The Financial Express

Date: 27th September,2016

Life insurers want exemption from GST; general insurers have demanded differential rates for their products

As the GST rollout plans gathers momentum, life insurers have sought exemption from the new taxation regime on premiumincome, while general insurers have demanded differential rates for their products.

Life insurers, who are set to write to the Prime Minister seeking exemption from the new tax regime, feel that their premium income has remained stagnant since the industry was brought under service tax in 2012.

A resolution to this effect was passed during the annual general meeting of the Life Insurance Council held here on September 16.

Since life insurers are passing on service tax to customers, it has impacted their premium income growth which has been stagnant since then. The present service tax on life insurance premium rate is 15 per cent including 0.5 per cent ‘Swachh Bharat’ cess.

The demand comes as the first two-day GST Council meeting that ended on Friday in the National Capital, decided to meet on October 17-19 to finalise the maximum and minimum rates in the single national taxation regime.

Finance Minister Arun Jaitley has been repeatedly calling for ending tax exemptions to have lower GST rates as exemptions are forcing the government to impose higher rate of tax on othertaxable items/sectors.

The Life Insurance Council, which is the umbrella body of 24 life insurers, is all set to write to the Prime minister in this regard shortly, as their representations to the finance ministry in the past have not been successful, a senior council executive said.

“Life insurers’ new business premium has remained stagnant at around Rs 1.25 trillion per annum since 2012 after theservice tax was imposed by the government on premium income. This is in spite of the fact that earning capacity of the people has been constantly increasing,” Life Insurance Council secretary V Manickam told PTI.

“We have to pass it on to customers and they don’t find investing in insurance attractive any more,” he added.

Source: Asia Insurance Post

Date: 25th September 2016

Lloyd’s of London considers setting up EU subsidiary

Insurance market Lloyd’s of London is working on “contingency plans” to ensure it can trade across Europe when the UK leaves the EU, said  BBC report.

Chief executive Inga Beale told the BBC that Lloyd’s may set up a subsidiary or branches in mainland Europe.

She estimates that 4% of revenues could be lost after Brexit because Lloyd’s would lose its licence – or passporting – rights to operate across the EU.

The fallout from Brexit “is a major issue for us to deal with”, she said.

Lloyd’s, one of Britain’s oldest institutions, is the world’s leading insurance and reinsurance market and houses around 90 syndicates. It focuses on specialist markets, such as marine, energy and political risk, and this year insured the taste buds of a Cadbury’s chocolate taster.

Continental Europe accounts for about 11% of gross premiums written by the London market. Ms Beale told the BBC that Lloyd’s was now “focusing our attention” on maintaining its position in a post-Brexit landscape.

It had not yet been decided whether to establish branches in individual EU countries or an EU-wide subsidiary, but the latter option would probably be cheaper, she said.

But Ms Beale said Lloyd’s had to respond. “It’s the lack of certainty for our clients. Business cannot hang around,” she said. “Boards are going to insist that they make plans [for life after Brexit]”

‘Difficult conditions’

She did not disclose details of the size of any EU-based subsidiary or consequences for jobs, but said: “Some people may end up doing their jobs in other parts of Europe rather than in London.”

Her comments came as Lloyd’s reported half-year pre-tax profits of £1.46bn, up from £1.20bn for the six months last year.

Despite the rise, premiums continue to be under pressure, said Lloyd’s chairman John Nelson.

He said: “Whilst we are operating in difficult conditions, we have continued to make significant progress in growing our presence in the fast-growth markets across the globe.

“In 2016 we have applied for onshore reinsurance licences in India and Malaysia as well as opening a new office in Bogota, Colombia. This complements the growth we are seeing in Dubai, China and in our more traditional markets, particularly the United States.”

Source: Asia Insurance Post

Date: 23rd September 2016