SBI Gen Insurance expects to wipe out losses in FY19

SBI General Insurance, a subsidiary of the country’s largest lender SBI, expects to wipe out accumulated losses during the current fiscal and may go in for listing next year.

“The company has already achieved break-even but some accumulated losses are still there, which should get wiped out during the current fiscal,” SBI General Insurance Managing Director Pushan Mahapatra told PTI.

After wiping out losses, the company would look at listing on bourses, he added.

When asked if the listing would happen in the next fiscal, Mahapatra said it may happen depending on the board’s decision.

SBI General Insurance, a joint venture between State Bank of India (SBI) and Australian insurance major IAG, turned in its maiden profit for fiscal 2016-17, its seventh full year of operations.

The company reported a net profit of Rs 153 crore as against a loss of Rs 120 crore in the previous year.

Mahapatra said the company has registered a growth of 36 per cent in the premium for the fiscal ended March 2018.

Talking about the proposed Ayushman Bharat scheme of the government, he said it is going to change the entire dynamics of health insurance in the country.

Last month, the Cabinet cleared the launch of the Ayushman Bharat – National Health Protection Mission (AB-NHPM), which was announced in the Budget. The scheme will provide a coverage of Rs 5 lakh per family per year and benefit more than 10 crore families belonging to the poor and vulnerable sections of the society.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

Source- Business Standard

Date- 9th April 2018

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HDFC in talks to buy Apollo Munich insurance for Rs 1,000 crore

The country’s largest mortgage lender Housing Development Finance Corp. (HDFCNSE 0.71 %) is in advanced talks to acquire Apollo Munich Health Insurance Co. for an approximate valuation of Rs 1,000 crore, said two people aware of the development.

“HDFC is close to acquiring Munich Re’s health insurance venture in India with Apollo,” said one of the people cited above. “Since Ergo has a partnership with HDFC in the general insurance space, it was easier for the two to strike the deal.” HDFC Ergo General Insurance is a joint venture between HDFC and Ergo International AG, part of Germany’s Munich Re group, a leading reinsurer in Europe. HDFC has a 51% stake and Ergo holds 49%.Arpwood Capital is advisor to the deal.

“We are open to organic growth opportunities, whether it is at the HDFC level or at the level of any of our subsidiaries but that depends obviously on the opportunity that is available,” said Keki Mistry, vice chairman of HDFC, which raised Rs 13,000 crore through a qualified institutional placement (QIP) earlier this year.

Apollo Munich is a joint venture between Chennai-based Apollo HospitalsNSE -1.01 % promoted by Prathap C Reddy and his family and Munich Re. It is the second largest standalone health insurance provider in the country, with a 1.08% market share after Star Health. The company’s gross premium income grew 31% to Rs 1,446 crore in the April 2017-February 2018 period. Apollo has a 51% stake in the company while Munich Re has a 49% stake.

“As a company policy we do not comment on market speculations of this nature or regarding shareholding matters,” Apollo Munich said in an email.

HDFC Ergo had considered Star Health, when the business was put on the block, for a possible acquisition, said the people cited above. A deal is expected to close in the coming weeks. HDFC Ergo has acquired the L&T General Insurance business and is now the third-largest private sector insurer in the Rs 1.5 lakh crore industry.

The health insurance sector is the fastest-growing segment in the insurance space. Overall health expenditure in India is in excess of $100 billion, according to the World Health Organization, with little of it covered by insurance. India has only six pure health insurance providers, although a few have applied for licences to the regulator. These companies are looking at increasing scale by writing retail, corporate and mass insurance policies.

Many new companies have introduced innovative products and are trying to be distinctive through customer experience, especially with digital channels of sales and service. “The sector needs patient and long-term growth capital to penetrate the population,” said Joydeep Roy, partner, PwC. “Retail insurance in health is highly profitable and therefore the companies that grow fast will also be highly valued and quicker IPOs can be made practical to access long-term capital.”

Source- Economic Times

Date- 9th April 2018

ONGC renewal cost falls 12 pc to USD 12.9 mn, GIC Re leads the reinsurance deal in 2018-19

Almost 10 per cent of ONGC has been retained by the four state owned insures, New India Assurance(NIA), United India Insurance(UII),Oriental Insurance Company(OIC) and National Insurance Company(NIC). Among the four, NIA at three per cent has retained the maximum.

For 2017-18, a clutch of reinsurers and insurers led by the state owned GIC Re, have renewed the insurance cover of the ONGC(Oil & Natural Gas Corporation),the largest offshore exploration and production company in India with USD 40 billion assets, with almost 13  per cent lesser cost.

ONGC’s reinsurance deal for  2017-18 was placed in the London Market last week at a cost of around $12.9million almost 12 per centcheaper than previous year’s premium of $15 million.

While United India has continued to lead the account in India, GIC Re has yet again emerged successful in the international biddingprocess for reinsurance of ONGC’s Offshore Package Policy program 2018-2020.

Almost 10 per cent of ONGC has been retained by the four state owned insures, New India Assurance(NIA), United India Insurance(UII),Oriental Insurance Company(OIC) and National Insurance Company(NIC). Among the four, NIA, at three per cent ,has retained the maximum.

Over the years, GIC Re has been leading the offshore energy package of ONGC and the lead has been followed and supported by international reinsurers.

The program extends comprehensive coverage to upstream offshore assets valued at more than $40 billion.

“ONGC program with its attractive claims history did witness competition in this international bid which saw premium come down in high single digit in percentage terms.  With the company adopting global risk management practices, reinsurers find the risk attractive,’’ said GIC Re adding that pricing is an outcome of interplay of international forces of demand and supply and reflects consensus on risk assessment of the client exposures.

These types of mega risks cannot be fully absorbed in domestic risk market alone and require placement in international market for better spread of risk, said GIC Re

It is noteworthy that GIC Re leadership on the account for almost the entire last decade is supported by significant participation of international reinsurers.

Mega risks reinsurance follows international norms in coverage and pricing is an outcome of global capacity supply for such risks.  Local competitive factors and market cycles do not apply to risks which require reinsurance capacity from across the globe.

Source: Asia Insurance Post

Date: 3rd April 2018

India to See Uptick in Hiring Make in India initiative, activity in renewable energy sector among reasons for projectedrise in hiring

Kolkata: Recruitment activity is set to see an upsurge in India on the back of robust economic growth, says recruitment firm Michael Page’s India Salary Benchmark 2018 report, shared exclusively with ET.

The main factors behind the projected increase in hiring include the government’s Make in India initiative that has sharpened focus on public infrastructure projects, moreoverseas companies recruiting to build their teams in India, enhanced activity in the renewable energy sector and increasing role of technology.

“Overall, 2017 saw an upward trend in talent acquisition across many sectors. Michael Page anticipates this to further increase in 2018. Proactive initiatives by the government of India will boost various industry sectors, resulting in economic growth of the country,” said Nicolas Dumoulin, managing director, Michael Page India.

The report, based on Michael Page’s internal data as well as conversations with leading companies, sheds light on the likely new job trends and positions this year, along with the level of increments employees can expect while switching jobs.

SALES & MARKETING

Sales professionals with good leadership skills are likely to be in demand across industries while in marketing, professionals with experience in consumer, digital and sales-enablement segments will be highly sought after, as per the report.

Top recruiters are likely to include ecommerce and Internet, energy, professional services and chemicals companies while roles in demand will be head of sales, regional or area sales managers and digital marketing heads.

The report has projected 21-25% average salary increase while moving jobs.

FINANCE & ACCOUNTING

With investments in 2018 pouring in from private equity firms in infrastructure, energy and ecommerce sectors, there is likely to be greater demand for finance candidates in these sectors, with a strong focus on fundraising and investor relations experience.

Healthcare, FMCG manufacturing or industrial, ecommerce, infrastructure and renewable energy will be the top industries hiring chieffinance officer or controller, corporate finance (fundraising) and head of taxation with goods and services tax, or GST, implementation experience will be among the roles in demand, with 21-30% average salary increases while moving jobs, the report said.

HUMAN RESOURCES

High demand is projected for HR professionals who are analytical and execution-focused, along with those experienced in performance management, leadership and highvolume hiring.

Ecommerce, insurance, retail and manufacturing companies are expected to figure among leading recruiters and look for roles with experience in compensation and benefits, HR business partners in sales and talent management, and diversity inclusion, among others.

LEGAL

There will be a continuation of high demand for in-house legal roles, litigation specialists in consumer industries and roles in compliance, according to the report, with banking, financial services and insurance or BFSI firms, along with pharmaceuticals, FMCG, engineering, infrastructure and energy companies hiring in good numbers. Compliance specialists, litigation specialists and legal and company secretaries with dual qualifications are projected to be in demand, with 26-30% average salary increases while moving jobs.

TECHNOLOGY

With technology such as machine learning, AI and predictive analytics reshaping the business landscape, software product, aggregators, fintech and ecommerce will drive the demand for technology professionals with relevant skills such as digital transformation, data security and cybersecurity, the report said.

Engineering (cloud, full stack, machine learning, AI, UI/UX), data and cybersecurity and CTOs are the roles in demand, with a projected 26-30% average salary increase while moving jobs.

DIGITAL & ANALYTICS

Demand for digital and analytics candidates will continue to increase in 2018, as per the report, as organisations delve into data science, machine learning and Internet of Things (IoT). Demand is expanding to new industries as big data and analytics become essential to most businesses.

Top industries hiring will include consulting, banking and financial services, ecommerce and media with data scientists and professionals in big data, machine learning and risk analytics expected to be in demand, with 31-35% average salary increase while moving jobs, the report said.

ENGINEERING & MANUFACTURING

Companies are looking to expand their manufacturing operations and thus, the engineering and manufacturing job market is expected to have an uptick throughout the year, according to the Michael Page report.

It said that the top industries hiring this year will be chemicals, paints, engineering, FMCG and retail, with average salary jumps of 23% to as high as 45% while moving jobs.

Source-Economic Times

Date-03-04-2018

7 reasons to buy insurance online

The trend of buying insurance policies online is slowly and steadily growing in India. Gone are the days when you had to visit the insurer’s office, or fix an appointment with an insurance agent or a broker to buy a policy.

Today, the entire spectrum of insurance products, be it health, motor, travel, or life, all available to you on the internet.

The Internet has made the life of a common man easy. Whether it is talking to our loved ones, shopping, booking movie or concert tickets, opening a bank account, or buying vegetables, every chore that once required us to step out of our house is now one click away and we have been using theseservices with ease.

Despite this, insurance is one such market that is still left untouched. With a lot of people trying to revolutionize this space, insurance companies are themselves allowing users to buy their policies online and also provide detailed information on coverage and relevant quotes. Also, the security in banking and finance sector is drastically changing, thus giving people a sense of security with their confidential data.

From easy access and no documentation to lesser premiums with higher sum insured, there are way too many benefits of buying an insurance online. Let’s have a look at a few of them.

You are the decision-maker

The digital world is full of information and this allows you more flexibility and options in choosing your required plan. However, you need to conduct research on your own while buying a policy online. There is no advisory involved and you can reach through the clause and select a plan that suits you the best.

Time-saving

When you buy an insurance policy online, you save precious time that would have been otherwise wasted at every step of the manual process. Thanks to the internet, you can now browse, compare, apply, and pay anytime, from anywhere and have your policy in your mailbox within a few seconds.

Ease of comparison

Online aggregator companies help insurance buyers to compare plans from different companies. This way, you can make an informed decision and buy a plan that fulfills your requirements. Online comparisons include policy benefits, features, exclusions, inclusions, premium etc.

Zero paperwork

Most insurance company websites are easy to understand and engaging. Once you finalize a policy, you need to fill a detailed form, complete your KYC, answer some lifestyle-related questions, and pay to buy the policy. There is no need to create photocopies, seek certificates, or courier documents. It is a hassle-free, no-paperwork process.

24*7 customer support

Buying insurance online has become easier in the past few years as online teams now help you make the right choice. From suggesting suitable options to sending timely reminders for premium payments, there are various benefits of buying insurance on the internet. If you are confused about the plan that is best tailored for you, these online companies provide round-the-clock assistance with the help of live chats and video call options on their website.

In addition to this, the automated system also sends outreminders about renewal dates, thus making sure that the complete process is totally stress-free.

Moreover, customer support teams are responsible to make the claim settlement process smooth and fast.

Online reviews

Before you buy an insurance policy online, you can always read reviews, seek opinions, get suggestions, and consider various unbiasedperspectives about the plan and the insurance company you are planning to buy from. You can also know their claim settlement record for your information.

Complete transparency

As each and everything about the product in question, from its features to the customer experience as well as the regulatory action that is applicable in case there is a problem at your end, is online, there is nothing that an insurer can keep from you anymore. Therefore, there is total transparency in the entire process.

The move to digital is unavoidable, and people are trying to revolutionize the insurance industry with the help of Artificial Intelligence (AI) and chatbots. Online insurance is one such boon which will make our life hassle-free. In the near future, insurance will be bought and not sold!

Source-India Infoline

Date-03-04-2018

Insurance Cos Create Policies to Protect IRPs Cover from charges of sabotage to negligence while resolving cases

After large firms, insurance brokers are now designing policies to cover individual insolvency professionals against charges of sabotage and negligence during the timebound resolution of bankruptcy cases.

The insolvency resolution professional is appointed as the CEO in charge of a company by lenders during the bankruptcy proceedings at dedicated insolvency courts. Many default cases are now being tried under the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code (IBC), and there are mounting concerns that IRPs may be exposed to litigation by erstwhile promoters and managements.

IRPs are typically attached to accounting firms. Insurance brokers are in touch with insolvency professionals who have received some work or the other in some form. They have made representations to the committees of creditors (CoC) to make the policy compulsory for all IRPs.

“Insurance brokers are in touch with 750 IRPs who have received some work or the other in some form,” said Amit Agarwal, director, JLT Independent Insurance Brokers. “We have made representations to CoCs to make the policy compulsory for all IRPs.”

Larger assignments were among the first to be covered under such an insurance shield. Smaller IRPs are paid lower fees and they may find the policy expensive. If it is made compulsory for IRPs to buy the cover, it may dissuade them from taking new assignments. The policy covers IRPs for seven years. Agarwal said that if the CoC could bear the cost of the policy, individual IRPs would have the requisite insurance cover.

“We have made representations to CoCs to make the policy compulsory for IRPs. If the CoC could bear the cost of the policy, individual IRPs would have the policy in hand. IRPs are covered for $2 million to $30 million,” said Agarwal.

The policy available in the market covers directors’ and officers’ liability and professional indemnity arising as a result of errors and omissions. Insurance brokers have brought in policies to provide cover to crisis responses, such as instances of kidnapping and demands for ransom.

Source:- The Economic Times-Mumbai

Date:-4th April,2018-Monday

Product Launches

New India Assurance has launched the New India Global Mediclaim Policy. It covers hospitalisation expenses for certain treatments outside India.

The Asian countries’ coverage plan offers a cover of $1 million and the worldwide lifetime coverage insures for $2 million.

Banking

SBI card has partnered with Indian Medical Association to launch ‘Doctor’s SBI Card’, an exclusive credit card for doctors. The card offers a professional indemnity insurance cover of ₹10 lakh. It offers accelerated rewards on spend categories relevant for doctors. The card has been launched on the Visa Signature platform.

Delhi Metro Railway Corporation in association with IndusInd Bank, has launched a dual purpose Metro Plus debit card for Delhi Metro commuters. The card will enable the debit card users to use it as a Metro smart card, in addition to all other regular debit card transactions.

Source:- The Economic Times-Mumbai

Date:-4th April,2018-Monday