IRDAI proposes changes in registration norms for insurance marketing firms

IRDAI has also proposed expansion of the basket of products which can be solicited or procured by an IMF to include group insurance products for Micro Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs), crop insurance for non-loanee farmers and combi products

Regulator IRDAI Monday proposed to relax norms for registration of insurance marketing firms with an aim to improve penetration of insurance products in the country. Insurance marketing firms (IMFs) are registered by the Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India (IRDAI) to solicit or procure insurance products.

Earlier this year, the regulator had constituted a committee for review of IMF regulations.


Based on the recommendations of the panel, IRDAI has proposed several changes in the existing framework governing IMFs.

As part of the proposed changes, IRDAI is considering to reduce the net worth requirement to Rs 5 lakh for applicants opting for an aspirational district. The NITI Aayog has designated 117 districts in 28 states as aspirational districts.

The current capital requirement for registration as an insurance marketing firm is minimum Rs 10 lakh.

IRDAI has also proposed expansion of the basket of products which can be solicited or procured by an IMF to include group insurance products for Micro Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs), crop insurance for non-loanee farmers and combi products.

Simplification of process of resignation of insurance sales person and expansion of the scope of work of Principal Officer are some of the other key changes proposed in the current regulations.

IRDAI has sought comments from stakeholders on the proposed changes by December 15.

Source: Asia Insurance Post

Date: 3rd December 2018


Microsoft offers ₹1.5 crore package in IIT placements

Software giant Microsoft is set to emerge as the top payer at the Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs) this placement season, for the third year in a row. The company is offering the highest annual package, pegged at about ₹1.5 crore for jobs in the US, according to placement teams at the top IITs.

It’s followed by cab aggregator Uber, which is also making ₹1 crore-plus offers for jobs in the US to those graduating in 2019. Placement cell members confirmed that Microsoft is offering as much as $214,600, including base salary, performance bonus, joining bonus and restricted stock units. Microsoft and Uber are so far the only companies offering packages upwards of ₹1 crore inclusive of base salary and all variables at the IITs, they said. Placements at the older IITs start from 1 December, while they start earlier at the newer ones.

“India is a source of strong engineering talent for Microsoft,” said Ira Gupta, head of human resources at Microsoft India. “This year we have already made 400-plus job offers to students at top engineering colleges in India and will continue to look for exceptional talent at the other IITs.” Microsoft seeks to hire from the best schools in India and around the world, she said.The company declined to provide pay details. “Microsoft’s compensation offers are confidential between the company and a candidate. Microsoft does not share details of any compensation offers,” a spokesperson said.

— Prachi Verma, Sreeradha D Basu

Source:- The Economic Times
Date:- 3rd December,2018-Monday

Cybersecurity Insurance Cos Run into a Data Smog

Lack of actuarial data, murky disclosures & speed at which breach may spread have firms in a bind

Cybersecurity insurance, a new buzzword among Indian insurers, has crucial hurdles to overcome before it can live up to the potential promised by the companies. Lack of actuarial data on cyberattacks, murky disclosures by corporate victims and the incredible speed at which a breach may spread globally have companies in a bind.

Actuarial data help insurers evaluate financial implications of risk and uncertainty by applying mathematical and statistical methods, while devising solutions to reduce chances of any future risks and occurrence of any undesirable events. In case of cybersecurity insurance, actuarial data are scarce as it is a new line of business. And the little data that insurance companies have lose relevance because cyberthreat keeps getting deadlier.

Earlier this year, Warren Buffett said cybersecurity incidents will rise, and with them the potential to significantly harm the insurance industry. He said he doesn’t want much underwriting exposure to cybersecurity threats for Berkshire Hathaway’s insurance businesses and expressed scepticism that any insurance company can assess the risk for cybersecurity events. “While the insurers are confident about how cyber risk affects different businesses, they currently face a challenge of lack of enough actuarial data in this new space. Hence, insurance companies rely on qualitative underwriting assessments to evaluate the risk exposures of each client and their security posture,” said Sushant Sarin, executive vice-president — commercial lines & reinsurance, Tata AIG General Insurance. The cybersecurity insurance segment is growing anywhere between 50 and 100% annually, according to aggressive growth projected by various insurance companies and brokers. However, with the growth has come some caution on how to assess a cyber risk. Bajaj Allianz, HDFC Ergo, ICICI Lombard, and Tata AIG are seeking help from either cyber experts or global reinsurance companies.

Cyberattacks not only cause financial losses to companies that are hurt by shutdowns or slowdown in operations, but also expose them to risks of irreparable reputational damage, regulatory fines, and legal liabilities in case of customer data breach. In cyber extortion cases, it is even tougher to quantify the adequacy and requirement of cover.

“In privacy and data breaches, the losses could be financially devastating and with increasingly stringent guidelines and laws imposing stricter than ever penalties, it is not easy to quantify the potential losses,” said Sasikumar Adidamu, chief technical officer, Bajaj Allianz General Insurance. He added that due to the increasing use of cloud computing services and platforms, cyberattacks may lead to breaches on multitudes of connected devices, which leads to accumulation — a term used for the domino effect in the insurance industry. “There is reason for concern. The risk is new and the effects are global. Cyber risk can affect different entities of one company across the globe or different companies at one go. Underwriting cyber insurance is a challenge because there aren’t too many models for risk assessment,” said Sanjay Datta — chief underwriting, claims and reinsurance, ICICI Lombard.

One of the reasons for the general lack of data, apart from the newness of the segment, is the inadequacy of public disclosures. Although the number of cyberattacks is increasing, a majority go unreported. Unlike in India, in the US, the SEC has mandated the disclosure of cyber security risks and breaches, including potential weaknesses that have not yet been

 Source: Economic Times

Date: 22nd November 2018

Ikea parent to create 11,500 jobs globally over two years

Ikea parent Ingka says 7,500 employees of the current 160,000 across 30 markets globally may become redundant

Bengaluru: Ingka Group, the parent company of Swedish furniture retailer Ikea, said it plans to create 11,500 new jobs worldwide over the next two years as it seeks to grow its footprint. It will also invest in setting up fulfilment centres and to expand its digital capabilities.

The holding company, however, said that 7,500 employees of the current 160,000 across 30 markets globally may become redundant. In India, though, it will be on an expansion spree.

In August, the first Ikea store opened in Hyderabad. The retailer’s second offline store is due to open in Mumbai next summer, and it is also set to launch its online operations in the city.

Ikea has four land parcels across Telangana, Maharashtra, Karnataka and Delhi-NCR, and is continuing to look for opportunities in all major Indian cities.

“The idea (behind the global transformation) is how we can meet customers additionally, apart from our big box stores, how we can meet them more closer in the cities under new (offline) formats that are being developed, and also to meet them digitally. This fits fantastically in India where we see that the smartphone plays a very important role. It’s a digitized country,” said Peter Betzel, CEO, Ikea India.

Ikea plans to increase its India headcount from 1,500 to 15,000 with half of the jobs reserved for women, said Betzel without giving a timeframe. It plans to create 3,000 new jobs over the next two years in the country. That said, certain existing roles will change in India, too.

The company confirmed that all employees will get to explore new opportunities. Apart from jobs at IKEA stores and city centres, the furniture maker will create new roles in digital, data analytics, diversified fulfilment networks and personalisation.

“India is an expanding market. We will create many more jobs in many new areas. We will now have to have competence working in our smaller city store formats, and competence in e-commerce, for instance, and then inside the organization a few jobs will transform. So there will be people who are today working in one job and tomorrow will take on another job. That is also part of the transformation,” said Anna-Carin Mansson, country people and culture manager, Ikea India.

Ingka Group is assessing its workforce globally and is looking to simplify its business model to enable greater focus on value additions.

“We continue to grow and perform strongly. At the same time, we recognise that the retail landscape is transforming at a scale and pace we’ve never seen before. As customer behaviours change rapidly, we are investing and developing our business to meet their needs in better and newer ways…Together these elements guide our work and build our inclusive, open and honest culture, and we’re going to support our co-workers in the best possible way throughout this change,” said Jesper Brodin, CEO, Ingka Group.

Source: Livemint

Date: 21st November 2018

Walmart to lay off 200 at Jabong today, merge it with Mynt

The Jabong layoffs are expected to be announced at a town hall today morning

Bengaluru: Days after announcing that Myntra and Jabong would be rolled into Flipkart following Binny Bansal’s resignation as group chief executive, Walmart is set to carry out a massive layoff at Jabong and integrate the online fashion retailer completely into Myntra, according to three people aware of the development. The Jabong layoffs are expected to be announced at a town hall early on Friday morning, said the people mentioned above. All of them requested anonymity.

Jabong currently has 600-700 employees, a majority of whom are expected to be retained and will become employees of Myntra, the people mentioned above said. About 150-200 employees are expected to be laid off, they added. The Jabong site will continue to run, but the traffic from the website will be directed to Myntra, after the merger with Myntra is completed.

While Myntra has been growing fast, Jabong has struggled to expand sales this year. Myntra had bought Jabong in July 2016 from Rocket Internet for $70 million, primarily to avoid a rival buying it.

Mint reported on Tuesday that Walmart’s decision to put Myntra and Jabong under Flipkart has created uncertainty about the direction of the specialty online retailers, which had largely operated independently within the Flipkart group since Myntra was acquired by the e-commerce firm in 2014.

Walmart wants to keep Myntra as a brand but it is evaluating possibilities of integrating some roles between Myntra and Flipkart’s fashion business, and running the two more closely.

Until now, Myntra, while being a wholly-owned unit of Flipkart, has operated completely independently. Flipkart’s fashion business is headed by former Aditya Birla executive Rishi Vasudev.

Along with Myntra-Jabong, Flipkart is estimated to control 60-70% of online fashion sales in India. Its dominance in fashion was a major attraction for Walmart, which agreed to pay $16 billion to buy a 77% stake in Flipkart in May.

Myntra and Flipkart did not immediately respond to emails and calls seeking comment, but in a statement sent to Mint earlier on Thursday, Flipkart CEO Kalyan Krishnamurthy had reiterated the importance of ensuring that Myntra continued to operate as an independent platform.

“The Flipkart group is committed to the success of Myntra and growing the business, now more than ever. The Myntra team has been doing innovative work to grow the company and create India’s leading online platforms for fashion and lifestyle. We want to empower the Myntra team to continue to operate independently to achieve even greater success,” Krishnamurthy said in the statement.



GI Council reconstituted, IRDA nominates four new members

As the new nominated members by the IRDAI, former additional chief secretary, Andhra Pradesh, C R Biswal has been inducted in the council as the eminent person not connected with insurance.The other nominated members of the council are Vikram Jit Singh Chhatwal¸ whole time director, Medi Assist Insurance TPA as the TPA representative, Saumil Dilip Mehta, director, Mehta & Padamsey Insurance Surveyors & Loss Assessors Pvt as the Surveyors & Loss Assessors representative, V V Venkatasubramanian as the policyholders representative and Y Ramanand Rao as the agents’ representative


The General Insurance Council, the self regulatory body of the general insurance industry with 33 players, has now been fully reconstituted after a gap of three years.

 A V Girija Kumar, CMD, Oriental Insurnace Company, has replaced G Srinivasan, as the chairman of the council. Srinivasan has to relinquish the post as he retired as the CMD of the New India Assurance, in July end .

The executive committee of the Council comprises of four general body members of the General Insurance Council elected for three years in their individual capacity by the general body; and five nominated members comprising of persons nominated by IRDAI. They incude an eminent person not connected with insurance business, one representative of Insurance agents,.one representative of Third Party Administrators(TPAs),one representative of Surveyors and Loss Assessors and one representative of policyholders.

Along with Girija Kumar, three  new general body members of  the executive committee  are, Alice Vaidyan, CMD, GIC Re, Ritesh Kumar, MD & CEO, HDFC Ergo General Insurance,Anuj Gulati, MD & CEO, Religare Health Insurance

As the nominated members by the IRDAI, former additional chief secretary, Andhra Pradesh, C R Biswal has been inducted in council as the eminent person not connected with insurance.

The other nominated members of the council are Vikram Jit Singh Chhatwal¸ whole time director, Medi Assist Insurance TPA as the TPA representative, Saumil Dilip Mehta, director, Mehta & Padamsey Insurance Surveyors & Loss Assessors Pvt as the representetive  Surveyors & Loss Assessors Representative, V V Venkatasubramanian as the policyholders representative and Y Ramanand Rao as the agents’ representative.

 Besides, there are regular invitees to the executive council including M Santhana Gopalan,CEO, SCOR SE, India Branch, Ashish Mehrotra, CEO, Max Bupa Health Insurance, Mahesh Balasubramanian, MD & CEO, Kotak Mahindra General Insurance, Rakesh Jain,ED & CEO,Reliance General Insurance, T L Alamelu,CMD,Agriculture Insurance Company.

 R Chandrasekharan has been the secretary general of the GI council for the last six years and currently  is on an extension for six months that will end in March 2019.

  The General Insurance Council has been constituted under section 64C of the Insurance Act, 1938 since 2001 by the Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India (IRDAI). The General Insurance Council is an important link between the Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India and the non-Life insurance industry. It also pushes for the Industry’s issues with the Government. While the Council plays the role envisaged for it by the Insurance Act, it also facilitates overall growth for the industry in a fair and equitable manner in the interest of all stake holders.

 One of the important functions of the GI Council is to developing codes of conduct for member companies, strengthening non-life insurance companies’ disclosure, developing compliance programs to observe laws and regulations, among the industry players.

Source:- The Asia Insurance Post

Date:- 18th November,2018- Sunday

How to claim damage if your car and property is damaged in flood?

In the aftermath of any unforeseen circumstances, for instance, flood or flood like situations, there is typically damage to car body, engine or the windshield; damaged houses are also often seen after any natural disaster.
Due to the heavy monsoon, cities are flooded; cars, automobiles are damaged along with land properties and houses. Can you claim damage done to your car and property through insurance? In the aftermath of any unforeseen circumstances, for instance, flood or flood like situations, there is typically damage to car body, engine or the windshield; damaged houses are also often seen after any natural disaster. One can claim insurance for the damages of their home and vehicle, if they have a comprehensive motor and home insurance cover in place. In such unforeseen circumstances, here is a quick guide on claiming from your insurance policies.

Motor insurance policy

What is covered?
The insurance companies claim to offer coverage for any loss or damage done to the vehicle insured by them but there are only a list of calamities that are covered by the insurance companies. Cases of natural calamities for which the loss and damage of the vehicle is covered by most of the insurance companies are:
a.   Fire, explosion, self-ignition or lightning
b.   Earthquake
c.   Flood, typhoon, hurricane, storm, tempest, inundation, cyclone, hailstorm, frost
d.   Burglary, housebreaking or theft
e.   Landslide and rockslide
f.   Riot and strike
g.    Accident by external means
h.    Terrorist activity
i.    Whilst in transit by road, rail, inland-waterway, lift, elevator or air

For circumstances like the recent flood that has affected so many places in India, one can file a claim under motor insurance for the car getting washed away or damage to the engine due to heavy floods, or serious damage to the car body mostly due to tree fall etc. or damage to windshield due to some other object strike in case of earthquake, floods, arson/riots etc. (unless the person is part of mob which has created the riots/arson).

Procedure of claiming the insurance policy
In case of natural disasters such as floods, earthquake, heavy rain fall etc, the insured should immediately inform the insurance company about the incident and damage that has happened. The insurance company inspects the damages and estimates the cost of repair. “In case, you get your car repaired after an unforeseen event on your own and without informing insurer, your claim might get rejected. This is simply because the insurer will not be able to trace the damage once the car is repaired” says, Tarun Mathur, Co- Founder and Director,

The insurance companies normally mention about their exclusions and exceptions in their terms and conditions. There are certain cases in which the insurance companies refuse to give a helping hand even though you might have your car insured from them. Mostly these cases are quite common for all the insurance providers.
1. The insured has to prove that the loss or damage of the vehicle happened independently and was in no way occasionally done, but if the insurance company finds it otherwise, the company will not make any payments for such a claim.
2.  Damage to engine when driving through water logged area. A recent example is the scenario of the heavy rain fall in Mumbai, but if the person has taken an engine protector as an add-on, in that case it will be covered.
3.   Depreciation on plastic parts, tyre /rubber parts etc. will not be covered by the insurance company but if the insured has purchased a zero-depreciation add-on, which covers such damages, then the insurance company will pay.
4.   Damage to electrical accessories in the vehicle will not be covered unless electrical accessories value has been added to the coverage while taking the policy.
5.    Features like assistance on the spot of the vehicle will not be provided unless the policy has roadside assistance as part of the coverage.
Home insurance policy
What is covered?
Insurance companies covering your home insurance usually cover damage due to natural calamities such as flood, rain, earthquake and man-made disasters (like fire, terrorism, riots, etc.) The complete structure of the building and contents are covered under this scenario; but the companies has a list of circumstances based on which your insurance company will pay you

1.   Flood, storm, cyclone
2.   Fire & lightning
3.   Aircraft damage
4.   Riot, strike
5.   Missile testing operations
6.   Burglary and theft cover

Many policies do not cover flood or overflow of the sea, rivers and lakes caused due to earthquake. Read the policy document carefully before buying the policy.
The contents of home are also covered against burglary or theft including silver articles, jewelries, precious stones and other valuable items, but they should kept in a locked safe place, to get claims on it.

Procedure of claiming the insurance policy
Every insurance company has its own time between which one has to inform about their losses, which varies between 7-15 days. But before filing for a claim, they have to lodge an FIR which needs to be submitted with insurance company.

“The claim process after any unforeseen event under home insurance is hassle-free” says, Mathur. The insured needs to provide documents to show that house is in the name of a person filing the claim. The insurance company inspects the damage to property and content, and settles the claim. “However, one needs to be careful and have all receipts in place if something is repaired before informing the insurer” adds Mathur of Policybazaar.

a. The company will not settle claims if they find out direct or indirect involvement of any member of the house in an attempted burglary.
b.   No loss or damage will be covered by the company on loss of vehicles, money, securities, deeds, bonds, certificates, documents of any kinds, debit or credit cards, unless it has been previously specifically mentioned by the company.
c.  If a house is left unoccupied for more that 30 days consecutively and the insurance company is not informed about it, no claim will be provided by the company.

Source : Business Today