General Insurers can Sell Auto Cover via Dealers

In a bid to offer more choices to customers, regulator Irdai (Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority) has allowed all general insurers to sell motor cover policies through auto dealer networks by offering differential pricing.

The move, under the new guidelines will offer customers choices in terms of pricing apart from increased competition among insurers to offer best price to customers.

Earlier, it was mandatory for customers to buy an auto insurance from an insurer with whom the auto dealer already has an exclusive arrangement. Also, insurers were not allowed to offer differential pricing which would reward good customers and ensure higher premium for bad customers.

An August 31 Irdai circular recognised the role of auto dealers in distributing and servicing of motor policies along with a regulatory oversight over their activities connected to insurance.

Source: Economic Times

Date: 11th September 2017


ICICI Lombard Sets IPO Price, Could Raise Up to Rs 5,700 cr

ICICI Bank has set a price band of `651-661 for the `5,700-crore IPO of ICICI Lombard, its general insurance joint venture with Fairfax, which will open for subscription on September 15 and close on September 19, said two people close to the development.

ICICI Bank and Fairfax will sell 19% stake in their joint venture, valuing the company at `30,000 crore.

ICICI Bank owns 63.31% in the venture, while Fairfax has approximately 22.13%.

The IPO is an offer for sale of 86.24 million shares by ICICI Bank and the joint venture partner FAL, an affiliate of Canadian billionaire Prem Watsa-led Fairfax Financial Holdings Ltd. The IPO will help Fairfax get approval for a second general insur ance company.

ICICI Bank will sell 31.76 million shares and Fairfax 54.48 mil lion shares, according to the draft prospec tus filed with the Sebi.

Bank of America Merrill Lynch, ICICI Securities and IIFL Holdings are lead merchant bankers for the offer, which includes reservation of up to 4,312,359 for ICICI Bank shareholders.

ICICI Lombard is the largest private sector general insurance company with market share of 8.4% in non-life insurance industry , as on March 31, 2017. Its gross direct premium income stood at `10,725 crore at the end of the last financial year.Its total worth of investment assets is `15,079 crore for the financial year ended March 31, 2017.The company had posted net profit of `622.1 crore in FY17.

Fairfax sold 12.18% stake in ICICI Lombard for `2,500 crore as part of a plan to float a new insurance joint venture. The buyers were private equity firm Warburg Pincus LLC, IIFL Special Opportunities Fund and Tamarind Capital hich is part of Singapore’s Clermont Group.

Source : The Economic Times

Date : 08-09-2017

Settle car accident claim in 1 hr with video proof

Getting Motor Insurance Payouts, Policy Renewals Becomes Easy With Mobile Apps

When aspeeding biker knocked off the exterior rear-view mirror of N Krishna’s car, he did not want to proceed on the Bengaluru-Chennai highway without fixing it. So he took the car to the nearest garage. As he waited for the mechanic to fix it, Krishna decided to try and file the claim on his mobile. He shot a video of the damage, filled in the details and uploaded his claim.To Krishna’s surprise, the claim amount of Rs 1,200 was processed immediately and the amount credited to his bank account, all within an hour -before the mechanic could finish repairing his car.

Settlement of accident claims with an hour has become the new add-on in insurance.And companies are able to do this because of automation.

Take for instance Bengaluru resident Syed Saifulla, who works in an IT company and was recently surprised by a pleasant experience. “My policy expired and I thought I’ll try the self-inspection video service. The turnaround was very quick. It was fast, simple and processed at my convenience,“ he says.

Every month, more than 25,000 users are doing their own photo shoot for renewals, says insurance aggregator Policybazaar, which has general insurance providers like Kotak Mahindra, Liberty Videocon, Bharti Axa and TATA AIG on board for renewal of lapsed policies.

But insurers like Bajaj Allianz and ICICI Lombard General Insurance are going a step further by offering this for accidents via their in-house designed mobile apps. With insurance regulator IRDAI allowing policyholders to do self-assessments for vehicle damage of up to Rs 50,000, this has proved of enormous help to many .

“With `Motor on the Spot’ facility, vehicle users can just click pictures of the damaged vehicle, their driving licence, FIR copy (if required) on their mobile phone and send it to us with the insurance policy number.Using our data analytics, we give an immediate quote to the customer. If the customer is happy with the quote, he can agree and get an immediate settlement. If he is not then he can disagree, and our surveyorscustomer service representatives will get in touch with him,“ Tapan Singhel, CEO, Bajaj Allianz General Insurance, said.

While Bajaj Allianz General is offering this facility for customers up to damages of Rs 20,000, ICICI Lombard General Insurance supports up to Rs 50,000. Sanjay Datta, chief underwriting & claims, ICICI Lombard General Insurance, says, “When it comes to assessing the damage, everyone has a smartphone these days. And we have not really faced any difficulty in terms of video quality being too poor for us to reasonably assess the damage.“

Policybazaar’s co-founder Tarun Mathur says adoption of their app has increased after they started offering it in seven regional languages.“We realised it takes the customer four-five minutes to shoot their videos and upload. We then created a help video, which gives instructions -`Turn right, turn left, shoot the bonnet, shoot the side-door, etc’. After that, it takes our customers just 50 seconds-1 minute to shoot and upload the video,“ he says.

Policybazaar says for every 100 renewals, there are roughly about 30 of those for lapsed policies. “Physical inspection of the vehicle and documentation can take twofive working days. For those who live in rural or semiurban areas, getting hold of an inspection agent can be time-consuming. With the self-inspect video feature, policy renewal has become faster,“ he says.

Source : The Times Of India

Date : 08-09-2017

Insurance brokers can offer up to Rs 10 crore without prior Irdai nod

The Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India (Irdai) will soon come out with regulations that would allow insurance brokers to offer claim consultancy up to Rs 10 crore without the prior approval of the regulator.


The Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India (Irdai) will soon come out with regulations that would allow insurance brokers to offer claim consultancy up to Rs 10 crore without the prior approval of the regulator.

For claims above Rs 10 crore, the brokers would need to take approval from Irdai.

Sanjay Kedia, president of the Insurance Brokers Association of India (IBAI), said: “This point was discussed in the last board meeting of Irdai and our demand has been largely been agreed by the regulator and we welcome the move.” He was speaking at the launch of new volume of its “General Insurance Claim Insights for Policyholders: A Handbook” on September 06, 2017.

Claim consultancy services will provide for efficient liaisoning with the insurance companies so that the claims can be settled on time. Senior officials in the insurance industry say that, this move will ensure that policy holders do not approach unauthorised agencies to get assistance for claims. “We have been verbally told regrading the change in regulations and we are happy with the move. Going forward we hope that, regulator remove all the restrictions of prior approval of above `10 crore for claim consultancy services,” said a senior official.

Data from the handbook showed the claims settlement ratio is the highest by the New India Assurance, at 70.97%, among the  public sector insurance companies, while Royal Sundaram’s claims settlement ratio stood at 70.79% among large private general insurance companies. Insurers are evaluated and ranked basis the above five criteria for individual lines of business such as fire, marine cargo, marine hull, motor own damage, motor third party, health and niscellaneous, and for all lines of business combined.

The handbook intends to capture data in these parameters and present it in a lucid and accessible manner, which would help policyholders in making an informed decision while choosing a general insurance policy.

However, claims settlement ratio for motor third party has been very less for the entire industry, the data suggests that, claims settlement ratio is below 20% for general insurance companies. While in health insurance claims settlement ratio for New India Assurance is 83.83% in public sector insurance companies.

These 3 Insurance Cos Rejected Most Number of Claims


ICICI Lombard, Liberty Videocon and Oriental Insurance have rejected most claims out of the total number of claims available for processing, based on the latest data available for the the quarter ended September 2016. ICICI Lombard repudiated 7.78% claims, Liberty Videocon 6.20% and Oriental 4.26%, data by Insurance Brokers Association of India showed.

Claims Repudiation Ratio is calculated as total number of claims repudiated upon total claims available for processing.

“Insurers repudiate claims when they suspect frauds, therefore, takes time to investigate before closing,“ said a senior insurance executive of one of the three companies mentioned. “Other reasons are when the claim filed is not covered by the policy and lack of proper documents submitted.“ The number of claims available for processing is calculated by taking total number of claims outstanding at the begin ning of the quarter and total number of claims reported upon total number of claims booked during the quarter. Private sector Iffco Tokio has the best claims repudiation ratio of 0.05% as of September-end 2016. New India Assurance has the lowest percentage of claims repudiated among public sector firms at 1.22%, according to the data.

In terms of claims outstanding for the period, ICICI Lombard has the best ratio of 27.85%. Claims are rejected for many reasons such as suspicious fraud cases.

Source: Economic Times

Date: 29th  August 2017

Office Desk Sensors Can Cause Employee Anxiety

Experts say HR should be ready to explain the necessity of such devices

Companies worldwide have attached special sensors beneath their employees’ desks to monitor office space usage and reduce real estate costs.

But mistrustful employees have balked at OccupEye, the small black monitoring devices under their workstations. Some have claimed invasion of privacy; others have wondered why their employers are watching them.

However, Neil Steele, OccupEye’s head of sales and marketing, told SHRM Online, “OccupEye is not about monitoring employees. OccupEye is about real estate.”

Here’s how it works:

Sensors are attached under desks to detect “the presence of a human being through a combination of body heat and motion,” Steele said. “None of the OccupEye suite of products identifies individuals.” The data from these workspace utilization devices is transmitted from the devices to the web and reported “to those [employees] occupying the space as well as building and facilities managers,” he said.

U.K.-based data management company Cad-Capture said its OccupEye technology has made companies more energy efficient and helped them save millions in real estate costs.

That hasn’t made people less leery of the devices.


[SHRM members-only toolkit: Managing Workplace Monitoring and Surveillance]

The Creep Factor

At Barclays Plc in London, “managers were peppered with queries when investment bank staff in London discovered” the OccupEye boxes stuck beneath their workstations, Bloomberg reported recently. Several anonymous Barclays employees told the news site the devices tracked how often employees were at their desks.

Lloyds Banking Group Plc in London uses similar devices.

“The sensors aren’t monitoring people or their productivity; they are assessing office space usage,” Barclays said in statement e-mailed to Bloomberg. “This sort of analysis helps us to reduce costs, for example, managing energy consumption or identifying opportunities to further adopt flexible work environments.”

Steele said OccupEye users “across six continents, including some of the largest and most prestigious in the world, have made tangible real-estate savings running into the hundreds of millions of dollars” by using the technology.

That hasn’t kept employees from being creeped out by the monitors, however. OccupEye’s boxes were removed the day they were installed at the London-based The Daily Telegraphafter employees balked at the “Big Brother-style surveillance.”

Said Steele: “The only negativity we ever experience is born from uninformed misperception; anyone willing to spend 30 minutes reading up on [this type of] sensor technology or industry-leading guidance on best practices around space utilization and smart building management would clearly have zero reason for concern.”

People Don’t Like Being Watched

Whether the devices are to analyze the use of office space, to increase energy efficiency or to monitor people’s whereabouts, “it all comes down to trust,” said Henry Albrecht, CEO of Limeade. Limeade is a corporate-wellness technology company in Bellevue, Wash. “If employees don’t feel trusted, they don’t feel valued and won’t be engaged at work. If you’re pushing … tools that make people feel like you’re always looking over their shoulders, you’re eroding trust, which ultimately isn’t good for your business.”

HR, experts say, should convey to employees exactly what the devices are monitoring.

“There is no physical way for the system to technically detect individual persons by identity,” Steele said. “OccupEye is all about promoting efficient and smart use of space. Organizations need to communicate this message clearly, and staff need to become educated on current best practices in property management.”

HR should consider the company’s culture, too.

“Company culture is going to be the primary driver of responses to this technology,” said Brian Petro, a lead JavaScript talent agent with in San Francisco. “Employees that have developed a sense of trust with their employer are open to trying new things.”

Source : SHRM

Date : 28-08-2017

Irda Wants Capital Commitment from Pros Seeking Insurance Licence

The Insurance Regulatory Development Authority of India is looking at capital commitment from professionals applying for general insurance licence to ensure that funds continue to flow for future growth, especially those backed by short-sighted private equity players.

“We want commitment for long-term investment from promoters getting in the insurance space,“ said an Irda official on condition of anonymity. “In case of individuals, we want to ensure that the net worth of the promoter is strong and capital is longterm and sticky.“ Irda is looking into applications from three individuals backed by large funds seeking to operate general insurance companies: Go Digit General Insurance by Kamesh Goyal, Acko General Insurance by Varun Dua and Aspire Health Insurance by Rajesh Relan.

“The regulator is going slow in giving out licence as it wants to see who will fund future capital call and ensuring stickiness of capital,“ said one of the applicant.“They are not keen on individuals becoming promoters, therefore asking huge capital commitment from individuals.“

Irda is focused on the ability of promoter to build a successful business depending on how well one understands that business and how much money can one bring in. Insurance companies need funding support more from domestic sources as foreign direct investment limit is capped at 49%.

Irda will take up the issue at its board meeting on Monday. The board will take up applications filed by professionals including Acko General Insurance which is founded by Varun Dua co-founder Coverfox, backed by Narayan Murthy’s Catamaran and other domestic, foreign venture capital.

Any one with more than 10% is given promoter status, as per Irda guidelines.

“As a promoter, one should demonstrate domain knowledge either by partnership or on their own,“ said another individual who is looking to apply backed by private equity.

Source : Economic Times

Date : 28-08-2017