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Volume 10, Issue 11, November 2014

Online insurance sales to touch Rs 15,000 crore by 2020: Report
According to 'Insurance @Digital -20X  by 2020' report, the insurance industry is estimated to grow in its online sales bv 20 times to reach a value of Rs. 15000 crore by 2020.

The Insurance sector has taken leverage on the information technology with high internet access and smart phones which will boost the online policy sales. The online insurance market is now is over Rs 700 crore, in which life insurance sales contributed Rs 300 crore, motor insurance around Rs 250 crore and other segments like health and travel make up for about Rs 150 crore.

The majority of policies sold on online mode are term plans and travel insurance plans which have already picked up substantially in the last few years.

Source: Economic Times

Reliance Life launches 'Do Good' campaign on lines of Swachh Bharat
Reliance Life Insurance follows the campaign of our Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Clean India “Swachc Bharat with its launch on “Do Good” campaign.

The campaign aims at recognising and inspiring selfless acts of goodness by people across demographics, social strata and causes that impact society positively, the company said in a statement. Mr. Anuip Rau, in a press report said that "Our 'Do-Good' campaign aims to provide such a platform for sharing and recognition,"

Life Insurance Corporation loses market share in first half
The insurance industry saw a 1.7 per cent dip in first-year premium collections due to the lower growth registered by LIC. Data released by regulator Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority (IRDA) showed that first-year premium collection stood atRs 49,178 crore in September against Rs 50,056 crore a year ago. LIC saw a 5 per cent dip in new business in the first half to Rs 35,833 crore. The reason for the dip in new business in the first half of 2014 was absence of products and scanty presence of ULIP policies.

Among private insurers, DLF Pramerica saw 386 per cent growth, mainly because of a low base. Private sector leaders ICICI Prudential and HDFC Standard Life logged 37 per cent and 31 per cent growth, respectively, in the same period.

It further said LIC has just 22 products in the market versus 60 or so products earlier. Ulips have gained some gloss with the rally in equities. Such instruments allow the policyholder to choose the asset in which savings are invested and returns are linked to the performance of this asset. While traditional products require that the bulk of the investments is in government bonds, Ulip holders can choose to invest their entire contribution in equities.

Source: Economic Times

Sahara Life, Aviva Life fined by IRDA
IRDA, the Insurance Regulator has imposed a penalty of Rs. 25 lakh on Sahara Life and Rs. 5 lakh on Aviva Life for violation of regulations.

For Sahara, it did not fulfil the social obligation and for Aviva, the company has violated certain regulatory provisions and the fundamental principles governing the contract of life insurance while underwriting the policies. The IRDA said it has imposed a fine of Rs 5 lakh on Aviva for not obtaining proper approval of customers on certain issues including extra mortality rate charge.

Max Bupa bags IT Leadership Awared”
Max Bupa Health Insurance has been conferred with the 'IT Leadership Award' at the Asia Insurance Technology Awards 2014 for its coveted recognition of implementation of its business process automation platform. This new technology initiative has reduced the turn-around time of customer service and the operating costs. The company is committed to provide a seamless and personalized customer experience by way of hassle-free processes with the use of advanced technologies.

The awards were presented at the third edition of Asia Insurance CIO Technology Summit held in Singapore. This is Max Bupa's third recognition in the year for its technology prowess and excellence.

IDBI Federal Lifesurance Whole Life Savings Insurance Plan
IDBI Federal Life Insurance has launched a whole life product - IDBI Federal Lifesurance Whole Life Savings Insurance Plan, providing for life cover up to 100 years of age. This is a traditional plan which is a non-participating plan. This not only covers the policy holder for a life-time, but also builds a substantial corpus over the years.

Vighnesh Shahane, CEO, IDBI Federal Life Insurance said that this plan was designed taking advantage of the increased life expectancy rate in India which was 63.9 years in 2004 to 69.6 years in 2014. Lifesurance Whole Life Savings Insurance plan is designed for individuals who seek financial protection for life, want to plan a milestone event using guaranteed return, lump sum payout and wish to leave a legacy for their loved ones.

The plan offers protection for life and helps the policy holder build substantial corpus. The customer receives guaranteed additions in the first five years of the policy term and reversionary bonuses from the sixth policy year onward till the end of premium payment term when the customer receives the Guaranteed Sum Assured, Guaranteed additions and vested reversionary bonuses.

Key features of the plan include:

      Life cover until 100 years of age

      Lump sum payout at the end of the premium payment term to plan a milestone
      event; second lump sum payout at 100 years of age

      Guaranteed additions and bonuses to boost the savings

      Option to enhance financial protection with Accidental Death benefit

      Loan facility up to 85% on the policy once it acquires surrender value.

      Tax benefits u/s 80C and 10(10D)

Insurance Amendment Bill 2014 – Opposition to Stall the Proceedings
As per media reports, the Chairman of the parliamentary select committee looking into the Insurance (Laws) amendment Bill, Chandan Mitra, has asked in a written request to the Rajya Sabha, to extend the deadline for filing its report to 12th December.

Since the opposition parties have a divergent views on a lot of clauses of the Bill, are trying out various tricks in the book to stall its filing . It remains to be seen when the final report is tabled in the parliament for discussion, but it is highly unlikely that it would be done in the present winter session of the parliament. One of the important change that the bill proposes is to remove the Section 64 UM from the Insurance Amendment Act 1968 and replace it with another section which would move the licensing issues to the regulations framed by the IRDA

BJP does not enjoy majority in the Rajya Sabha and will have to depend on the opposition parties and mainly the Congress to push through the bills. In a 250-member Upper House, BJP has 43 seats while the Congress occupies 68 seats.

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