Latest Updates from Industry

      
      

Insurance schemes under the Pradhan Mantri Jan Suraksha Yojana will not see any premium increase this financial year. While pure-term insurance and personal accident policies under the scheme have ...

With the authorities tightening the screws on directors and senior corporate bosses after Láffaire Vijay Mallya and the Panama Papers revelations, there has been a scramble by companies to get ...

Private insurance companies are using drones to photograph farms and if permitted by the agriculture ministry these could provide data to calculate crop yield.


Insurers are using unmanned aerial ...

Life Insurance Corporation of India has used market volatility during the March quarter to raise its stake in companies on the Sensex, including Housing Development Finance Corporation (HDFC), HDFC ...

LIC owns about 15% in Axis Bank, but now it's pushing Axis bank to sell insurance policies through its more than 2,500 branches, testing its existing partnership with Max Life.


"We are in talks ...

LIC is aiming to double its business in terms of new policy issuance to four crore in the current fiscal and will hire two lakh new agents to augment its field strength. Life Insurance Corporation ...

Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India (IRDAI) will make certain changes to its guidelines for facilitating insurance companies to go public, according to a top official.


Insurers ...

The insurance regulator has warned life companies against overdependence on banks for selling policies. Banks are now the dominant mode for distributing policies of private insurers, and the share ...

The Insurance Regulatory & Development Authority of India has ordered Universal Sompo General Insurance Company's managing director Taketoshi Nagaoka to step down immediately due to his foreign ...

Insurers may soon have to lower commissions to insurance agents in certain product categories, such as participating products even as they are faced with high agent attrition.


Incidentally, to ...

 

Most companies have mailers sent out by the central travel desk that advise employees on the countries impacted and those where travel is restricted. It also suggests precautions to be taken by ...

Future Generali is expecting 30 per cent growth in India's rural and micro insurance sector in the current fiscal.


"Insurance penetration is a real concern in India today and these tie-ups will ...

 

Mr. M Ravichandran, President-Insurance of Tata AIG General Insurance has expressed his views regarding the latest development of IRDAI proposing norms for selling and servicing of insurance ...

 

Remedinet is a cloud-based platform simplifying the back-end of cashless health insurance claims. The platform enables the hospital and the insurance company to communicate in real-time, ...

 

“The Government’s endeavour to educate the common man on the importance of having life security related products like Life Insurance, Health Insurance has continued in this year’s budget also.



...

 

“This year’s budget announcements are reflective of the Government’s intent to move towards a better economic growth and to restore confidence in India Inc. It has laid out a clear roadmap to ...


The elderly will form 20% of India’s population by 2050. As a nation, we are not adequately prepared to address the financial challenges this ageing population profile will create, given the ...

Budget 2016 -17 can transform the life insurance industry in the country. Life insurance Companies have played a major role in the development of the country. Life Insurance sector has supported ...

The health insurance sector in India today is at a very critical juncture where changes and movements in various key areas are pushing the government and the regulator to act fast. State ...

 

With regard to the mood on the overall business environment and reducing blockages...

While the government is putting a lot of effort in removing blockages with a host of announcements, so that ...

Insurance schemes under the Pradhan Mantri Jan Suraksha Yojana will not see any premium increase this financial year. While pure-term insurance and personal accident policies under the scheme have seen claims being reported and paid, the price of the cover has not been revised upwards.


Insurers expecting some upward movement due to claims will now have to provide the cover at the same cost. Besides, a pension scheme (Atal Pension Yojana), the scheme provides term insurance and an accident insurance scheme - Pradhan Mantri Jeevan Jyoti Bima Yojana (PMJJBY) and Pradhan Mantri Suraksha Bima Yojana (PMSBY). Eleven months since launch, the schemes have sold almost 124 million policies.


"Volumes have been big and, hence, the sector has faced claims as well. Some premium increase was expected but we are told that there would not be any in this financial year," said a senior general insurance executive. There could, he said, be some revisions from FY18, based on data. The plans have a cover of Rs 2 lakh each, with a premium of only Rs 12 a year for accident insurance and Rs 330 for the life product.

With the authorities tightening the screws on directors and senior corporate bosses after Láffaire Vijay Mallya and the Panama Papers revelations, there has been a scramble by companies to get large Directors and Officers Liability (D&O) insurance policies.


Corporates are opting for covers as large as Rs 500 crore, says Mahesh Chainani, Senior VP at Howden India Insurance brokers, which specialises in D&O policies.


Premiums in this segment have crashed almost 60 per cent in the last five years due to rising competition among insurers, Chainani adds.


However, a key exclusion in the D&O policy is loss arising from dishonesty, fraudulent conduct and self-admission (of wrongdoing), but the policy will cover all innocent employees, say insurers.


KG Krishnamoorthy Rao, MD & CEO, Future Generali says, "Initially, D&O policies were taken only by listed companies. However, in the last two years, there has been a demand for such policies by non-listed companies such as SMEs and start-ups as well."


Insurers also say that with increasing litigation and widening corporate exposure, the coverage sought has widened beyond the basic policy.

Private insurance companies are using drones to photograph farms and if permitted by the agriculture ministry these could provide data to calculate crop yield.


Insurers are using unmanned aerial vehicles as a pilot scheme. The agriculture ministry has called for use of such modern technology for the Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana (PMFBY).


Drones have not gained widespread commercial use, as individuals need permission from local governments and other regulatory bodies to fly them. The government is also keen on using technology such as Smartphones and remote sensing to reduce crop cutting experiments and help cut delay in payments to farmers. The government is planning to spend Rs 5,500 crore on the crop insurance scheme.


Anuj Tyagi, member of executive management at HDFC ERGO General Insurance, said his company had conducted a project with drones in Rajasthan.


"We think using drones will be a successful experiment," he added. He said in Rajasthan, his company had looked at data collected by drones as well as satellite images, and they were happy with the results. ICICI Lombard is also using drones for crop yield data.

Life Insurance Corporation of India has used market volatility during the March quarter to raise its stake in companies on the Sensex, including Housing Development Finance Corporation (HDFC), HDFC Bank, Tata Motors, TCS (Tata Consultancy Services), and Maruti Suzuki.


Of the 27 companies where shareholding pattern data for the March quarter is available, LIC raised its stake in 13 companies during the January-March quarter from the level seen in the preceding three months. In seven companies, the holding declined, while in the remaining seven the stake remained unchanged.


"This is a well-known pattern. Whenever the markets are in a correction or a volatile phase, or even when the foreign institutional investors (FIIs) are selling, LIC comes in and buys or raises stake in stocks of blue-chip companies. And the companies it has raised stake in the March quarter have good stocks. These stocks will do well and generate a good return for LIC. The move also acts as a counter-balance to the FII selling," says Dhananjay Sinha, head of institutional research at Emkay Global Financial Services.

LIC owns about 15% in Axis Bank, but now it's pushing Axis bank to sell insurance policies through its more than 2,500 branches, testing its existing partnership with Max Life.


"We are in talks with Axis Bank to sell LIC's products through their branches," said an executive at the country's largest financial institution. If Axis Bank begins the work, it would be an opening that could lead to several such tie-ups in the future as a new rule permits banks to tie up with more than one insurance company.


But that could be a drawback for those like Max Life which already have an alliance to sell their products exclusively.


LIC, which gets less than 5% premium income through banks, would immensely benefit if Axis agrees since banks are key growth drivers. Other insurers get as much as a quarter of their overall new premium income selling via banks. The share of banks in new business was 20.84% for the private sector industry in 2014-15, data from the insurance regulator shows.

LIC is aiming to double its business in terms of new policy issuance to four crore in the current fiscal and will hire two lakh new agents to augment its field strength. Life Insurance Corporation (LIC) currently has an agency force of over 10 lakh.


These targets were set out for LIC by Chairman S K Roy and said, "During Fiscal year 2016-17, let us commit ourselves to set new records in sales and exponentially expand on individual non-single premium segments.


We should target a minimum 4 crore lives to be covered and minimum two lakh agents to be added in 2016-17". His optimism comes from the robust growth the Corporation could record in financial year 2015-16, wherein it grew by close to 25 per cent in terms of new policy issuances.


"Financial Year 2015-16 was a year of recovery for us. We recovered from below-par performance in fiscal 2014-15 to show positive results. On the basis of reporting of figures to the IRDAI, we have grown by 24.74 per cent growth in first year premium and 1.86 per cent growth in policies/ schemes," Roy said.

Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India (IRDAI) will make certain changes to its guidelines for facilitating insurance companies to go public, according to a top official.


Insurers at present has to take the Authority's permission for selling more than one per cent of equity. This stipulation has to be changed when they plan to make an IPO, according to T. S. Vijayan, Chairman, IRDAI.


The IRDAI, he said, was also in the process of announcing a timeframe after which insurers could make an IPO. "We are working with the companies... not decided on the timing (minimum years of operation before going public)," he said.


Listing of the shares would contribute towards better corporate governance and transparency, he said.


IRDAI's move comes in the backdrop of at least two life insurers exploring the prospects of coming out with an IPO.

The insurance regulator has warned life companies against overdependence on banks for selling policies. Banks are now the dominant mode for distributing policies of private insurers, and the share of individual agents which is the core agency force of the insurance industry has declined.


IRDAI had called a meeting of CEOs of life companies and bancassurance was one of the issues raised where the fear was that if there was any eventuality which compelled the RBI to prevent banks from selling insurance, companies dependent on banks would see their sales being hit.


Insurance officials, however, say the bancassurance model is line with the developed markets, and banks are the dominant channel for distribution of life products in Europe and they are growing their share in Asia.


IRDAI also made it clear to the industry that they would not have the freedom to increase commission. Earlier, the regulator had said that it would focus on overall costs to the policyholder, leading many to believe that commission rates would be freed as long as they remain within the overall cost ceiling. The regulator told life companies that the trend was towards lower commission across industry and the insurance sector could not be an exception.

The Insurance Regulatory & Development Authority of India has ordered Universal Sompo General Insurance Company's managing director Taketoshi Nagaoka to step down immediately due to his foreign origin.


IRDAI has also asked the current chairman ON Singh to continue as an executive till a new MD with local origin takes charge. Once a local MD is appointed, Singh will take up a lesser role as a non-executive chairman, as part of new management structure.


The local joint venture has begun the management level restructuring to comply with the new foreign direct investment rules, which call for full Indian management control.


It has proposed to make the chairman's position a non-executive one, a deviation of a policy practised all along. It has also started scouting for a local chief executive.


"Till we appoint a new managing director, I will continue as the executive chairman," said ON Singh, who has been in the executive role since inception. "The appointment process should be over by mid-July and then I will become the non-executive chairman." Singh told.

Insurers may soon have to lower commissions to insurance agents in certain product categories, such as participating products even as they are faced with high agent attrition.


Incidentally, to improve the returns on insurance products, the Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India has approved a proposal to bring down insurers' overall expenses by around 15 per cent, said Nilesh Sathe, Member-Life, IRDAI.


"If insurers breach the expense limits defined by the regulator, the excess payout will have to come from the shareholders' fund and not from the policyholders' account," Sathe added.


Sathe said that while the regulator has not asked insurers to reduce commission payouts, insurers will have to comply with the expense limit regulations and bring down administrative expenses.


Arijit Basu, MD and CEO, SBI Life Insurance, said that the challenge for many insurers will be to manage commission payouts to agents within the expense limit.


Industry experts say that while the regulator had streamlined other product categories, such as unit-linked products where the commission payout is restricted and clearly defined in the benefit illustration, the expense limits are likely to impact their marketing budgets and commission payout in categories such as participating products where the charges are ambiguous.

 

Most companies have mailers sent out by the central travel desk that advise employees on the countries impacted and those where travel is restricted. It also suggests precautions to be taken by employees travelling to such destinations. Besides this, corporates have tie-ups with travel, medical insurance and travel risk and security support firms.


"Our organisation has a tie-up with the international SOS to provide overseas assignees medical, travel and security support services," says Jagjit Singh, chief people officer, PwC India.


At Mahindra & Mahindra Ltd, the company arranges for temporary relocation of the international assignee and accompanying family in case of medical emergencies, accidents, civil unrest and natural disasters. The business unit in the host country provides for the necessary support required under such circumstances.

Future Generali is expecting 30 per cent growth in India's rural and micro insurance sector in the current fiscal.


"Insurance penetration is a real concern in India today and these tie-ups will ensure that people even in the remotest of places get adequate coverage and are made financially aware. These tie-ups are vital to provide financial access to rural households, thus ensuring better standards of living," said KG Krishnamoorthy Rao, MD and CEO, Future Generali India Insurance.


"We expect rural and micro insurance to grow by 30 per cent by end of 2016-17," Rao said. The general insurer has tied up with 10 medium- and small-size banks in Kolhapur and Sangli districts aimed at increasing rural insurance penetration.


Anurag Sinha, Head, Bancassurance, Future Generali, said, "We have always been focusing on tying up with cooperative and rural banks to provide micro insurance and rural insurance to the wider section of the society. With the recent tie-ups, we have further strengthened our position in Maharashtra region. We expect the bancassurance business to increase by 50 per cent by 2016-17."

 

Mr. M Ravichandran, President-Insurance of Tata AIG General Insurance has expressed his views regarding the latest development of IRDAI proposing norms for selling and servicing of insurance policies through e-commerce platform. 

 

He has said, "The IRDAI's proposed norms for selling and servicing of insurance policies through the e-commerce platform is a welcome move for the under-penetrated insurance space in the country. It will facilitate ease of entry for distributors to get onto digital platforms. Companies can benefit by creating a large network of digital touch points, building more transparency and reach for distribution."

 

He further added, "This also means that insurance companies will have to be ready to undertake multiple integrations in a short span of time. Many insurance companies will need to invest in solutions which clearly allow on-the-go integrations (simple APIs) for partners. Hence this platform would require a technology partner or in-house tech capability, which is not a known strength for traditional distributors. From a customer's point of view, this process is very tedious as they will have to compulsorily have an e-insurance account to buy insurance through this channel. Overall, if companies are able to execute this process appropriately and invest in acquisition efforts, this platform will give companies a huge edge over the competition in the long run."

 

Remedinet is a cloud-based platform simplifying the back-end of cashless health insurance claims. The platform enables the hospital and the insurance company to communicate in real-time, adjudicate and approve claims within hours and in many cases, within 30 minutes. Remedinet is integrated with the hospital and the insurance company where they talk in real-time. Remedinet has a strong presence in South India and are rapidly growing in the North and other areas as well.

 

With over 200 hospitals and 8 top payers, Remedinet’s aim is to make claims adjudication as simple and seamless as possible so that the policy holder benefits. Remedinet has delivered 4,15,000+ transactions and made claims adjudication more transparent, accurate and a reliable process.

 

Tamil Nadu Govt. CM’s health insurance scheme and Karnataka Govt.’s health insurance scheme successfully runs on Remedinet where healthcare delivery is made possible to lakhs of families.

 

Remedinet is making it possible for insurance desks at hospitals to file claims, raise queries, upload documents, and settle claims using a simple mobile app. Remedinet is also gearing towards providing healthcare insurance technology to consumers with the release of their consumer mobile apps. With this initiative, the consumer will have a transparent, more informed and real time cashless health insurance experience.

 

CEO, Munish Daga is of the opinion that healthcare in India can be made possible, accessible and affordable for all only by including an outpatient cashless healthcare cover. He can provide his views on how technology can make this happen.

 

“The Government’s endeavour to educate the common man on the importance of having life security related products like Life Insurance, Health Insurance has continued in this year’s budget also.



The implications of providing health insurance of up to Rs. 1 lakh per family and a top up of Rs. 35,000 for people above 60 years is that people will be more aware of the need for insurance and Life Insurance companies can capitalize on the same.



The measures such as withdrawal of up to 40% of the corpus at the time of retirement to be tax exempt in the case of National Pension Scheme (NPS) and Annuity Fund which goes to legal heir will not be taxable, are great incentives for people to inculcate the habit of savings through pension schemes. This will provide a greater thrust for Life Insurance companies to bring out more pension products that will suit the needs of people. Also the reduction of Service Tax on single premium annuity policies from 3.5% to 1.4% will help reduce the cost of the policy, the benefits of which will be passed on to the consumers.

 

The Government has outlined its focus on Growth, with major importance given to rural economic development by providing better livelihood for the farmers and households below the poverty line. This in turn will improve the likelihood of more people getting out of poverty which will give the Life Insurance sector an opportunity to focus on rural India as better livelihood will give rise to the need for life insurance.”

 

 

“This year’s budget announcements are reflective of the Government’s intent to move towards a better economic growth and to restore confidence in India Inc. It has laid out a clear roadmap to promote affordable healthcare in India, especially targeted towards the poor and marginal section of the society.

The existing RSBY scheme which has a limit of Rs 30,000 would be replaced by the new health scheme announced by the Government where the hospitalisation sum insured is increased to Rs 1 lac with an additional top up package of Rs 30,000 for Senior Citizens. With this, the number of ailments/procedures where complete cost of treatments can be covered would increase than in the existing scheme. This would also increase the number of quality hospitals within the network of this scheme with more number of hospitals getting empanelled. For the BPL families, this scheme would definitely reduce the financial burden of catastrophic Health care costs. We anticipate that this scheme would run on the existing RSBY platform and with use of technology, this would be very effective. There would be revised ailment / procedure wise package charges with the network hospitals. As there is a substantial quantum of jump in the sum insured, the overall cost of premiums which the governments, both central and state, share is also expected to go up.

Setting up 3,000 pharmacies under the government’s Jan Aushadhi Yojana is aimed towards better and easier availability of generic drugs through which the overall health care cost would be pushed downwards. This would be a boon to the lower as well as middle income groups especially for patients suffering from chronic illnesses.

Public Private Partnership model in healthcare got a major boost with the launch of a national dialysis service under the National Health Mission to provide dialysis services at district level hospitals. This is a welcome move which would be beneficial to people living with Chronic Renal Failure. Sometimes, the cost of dialysis in private hospitals becomes unaffordable and such facilities are being offered only in major towns and cities. By making Dialysis available at all district hospitals, the treatment cost would come down substantially as the patients will not be required to travel distances to avail this treatment.

Additionally, service tax exemption on premiums of schemes under Nirmaya scheme will reduce the cost of this scheme and will encourage more people to enrol to this. The scheme and subsequent exemption will in turn make people with special needs as much financially independent as possible."

 


The elderly will form 20% of India’s population by 2050. As a nation, we are not adequately prepared to address the financial challenges this ageing population profile will create, given the increased life expectancy and the rising costs of medical care. The Government should consider making withdrawals from pension schemes tax exempt along with an increase in exemption limits on pension contribution making these schemes an attractive investment opportunity. While on the one hand senior citizens will build a security net, on the other, the availability of long-tenure funding can fuel India’s infrastructure growth.

 

Budget 2016 -17 can transform the life insurance industry in the country. Life insurance Companies have played a major role in the development of the country. Life Insurance sector has supported the Government’s various developmental activities, be it in providing capital for infrastructure projects or through the implementation of Pradhan Mantri Jeevan Jyoti Bima Yojana (PMJJBY). There is a need for providing more impetus to life insurance companies for enhancing life insurance penetration in the country, especially when we do not have a social security system in place. To boost the number of people who will buy PMJJBY, the Government should look into increasing the death benefit beyond Rs. 2 Lakh. A benefit of Rs. 5 Lakh will get more people interested in buying the product. Appropriate safeguards and pulling needs to be in place to make this scheme sustainable.

 

To begin with, there is a need to increase 80C exemption limit from Rs. 1.5 Lakh to Rs. 2 Lakh, given the need to encourage financial savings. The TDS on policies bought by NRIs needs to be revisited given that many NRI are staying in the Middle East and cannot obtain tax residency certificates. In addition, the service tax frame work needs to be fine tuned especially the service tax charged on annuity policy should be removed.

 

Thinking on a long term basis, countries like Japan, Germany, Italy and France have already reached a stage where the number of senior citizens outnumbers the earning population. As healthcare facilities in the country improve, people in India are going to live longer. This will put pressure on both the earning population of the country as well as the Government to make provisions to support them. Hence it will be advisable if the Government incentivises people to think about retirement and pension plans. A tax break of Rs. 2 Lakh and an exemption of annuity should be provided for those opting to buy these plans.

 

Under the government’s Digital India initiative, it is expected that the pace of Internet adoption will accelerate. India should have half-a-billion Internet-connected citizens by the end of 2016. The increase in the number of people who will have access to the internet and their ability to do their own research and decide which product they need and should buy will revolutionise the insurance industry. Digital is transforming consumer behaviour and is driving insurance executives to reassess their business models. This is a huge opportunity for insurance companies as more and more people get comfortable using online and apps, insurance companies are becoming digital ready.

 

Digitisation would translate into our ability to reach the significant uninsured population in the country. The cost of reaching consumers, providing information and processing their claims seamlessly will reduce significantly, the benefits of which will be passed on to the policyholders. Further, the policyholder’s experience of using the product can be enhanced using digital and mobile platforms. The benefits of being able to enhance user experience digitally is that the policyholder will refer the company or the product to near and dear ones, encouraging people to buy the insurance products. In order to encourage this further, the Government should make provisions to provide impetus for insurance companies to provide more and more insurance products online and to do away with paper based record keeping. Government will have to put in place infrastructure for common KYC across the entire financial services industry. This would ease the process of on boarding of the customer.

 

The Government is in a great position to ensure that these recommendations don’t just stay on paper, but actually see the light of the day. It will be a proud moment for both the Government and for life insurance companies if one day when you ask the distant relative of yours who stays in a remote village in Meghalaya about how they are going to sustain themselves if they are not able to work on their farm due to ill-health and they reply saying that their insurance company will take care of them. Looking forward to the day.

 

Arijit Basu, MD and CEO, SBI Life Insurance

The health insurance sector in India today is at a very critical juncture where changes and movements in various key areas are pushing the government and the regulator to act fast. State governments and the government at the center, as well as the IRDAI and other government bodies in the insurance sector are implementing schemes and policies to ensure more and more Indians are insured. In view of this, those with technology expertise are ensuring that the requisite back-end infrastructure is available to ensure that high-volume healthcare services can run on nimble and scalable platforms.

 

In this endeavor, Bengaluru-based Remedinet Technologies is consistently innovating and evolving to ensure that cashless health insurance policyholders benefit from a transparent, real-time and reliable claims exchange process. To continue on this road and achieve higher growth, Remedinet has brought on their board Ms. Asha Nair as an independent Director who comes with a treasure chest of knowledge on implementing and successfully running health insurance policies. She joined the insurance industry in 1980 as a Direct Recruit Officer at the New India Assurance Company (NIA) and went on to become the first woman GM there and later at United India Insurance Co. Ltd (UIIC) as well.

 

Other notable achievements of her include rolling out the first comprehensive insurance software, Genisys, in Delhi Region of New India in 1998. As the General Manager (IT), she launched the centralized Insurance Software for New India called CWISS, which comprised of integrated software for insurance, accounting, customer relationship management, and human resource management. Additionally, she also supervised the foreign operations of the Company, which had offices in more than 12 countries including UK, Japan and Australia.

 

“When it comes to healthcare, insurance is the only aspect one can control, plan and prepare for in advance. No illness or accident comes knocking on your door. Thus, it is only pertinent that a service that can reduce the financial burden of healthcare-related expenditures be built in such a way that it benefits the entire ecosystem. For this, it is essential that the technology infrastructure running it be well oiled – so robust, transparent, reliable, and scalable that it is easy to adopt and easy to use. I have thus, joined Remedinet to further the cause of health insurance in India and perfect the technology that supports it.” said Nair.

 

In 2010, she joined UIIC as the General Manager and later became the Director in 2012. She handled various departments at UIIC, the most significant being Health and IT where, she handled the implementation of the Tamil Nadu Chief Minister’s Comprehensive Health Insurance Scheme, which is running very successfully since 2012.

 

"We are extremely pleased to have her on our panel of Directors and we believe that the tremendous hands-on experience she brings on board will help us to develop the next generation technology solutions that will boost the delivery of health insurance and benefit the ecosystem as a whole.” – Munish Daga, CEO at Remedinet Technologies.

 

Ms. Asha Nair retired from UIIC in 2015 and is also, the member of FICCI’s health insurance committee and, a fellow of the Insurance Institute of India. She has an Economics (Hons) degree from Lady Shriram College, Delhi and a Masters in Social Work from Delhi School of Social Work. In her free time she likes to travel, read and listen to music and she loves addressing audiences across the country on the importance of health insurance.

 

With regard to the mood on the overall business environment and reducing blockages...

While the government is putting a lot of effort in removing blockages with a host of announcements, so that companies can move with speed, execution continues to remain a challenge. The bureaucracy must also get their act together and speed up the process of execution. The government must devolve more powers to the bureaucrats and encourage them to take quicker decisions so that the ease of doing business in India becomes a reality. A case in point in the general insurance sector is the insurance schemes supported by the government. These schemes are extremely laudable. However, to make the scheme more attractive, the government must ensure much faster transmission of the premiums to the insurers.

 

With regard to the liberalization in the FDI policy in insurance sector...

Quite clearly there is interest in the general insurance sector as well as the reinsurance sector. India must develop into an attractive market for reinsurers and the liberalisation in the FDI policy will go a long way in this process.

 

With regard to the penetration of insurance sector in India still being very low....

One of the reasons for low penetration of the insurance sector is the lack of awareness of the benefits of taking insurance. Natural calamities cannot be the advertisement for buying insurance. The price individuals and families are paying during these calamities are extremely severe. For a small premium individuals / families can protect their livelihood, homes, health etc. For this the government, the industry and the regulator must commence campaigns encouraging people to be protected (insured). We have seen how sustained campaigns have helped in eradicating polio. Once people are aware and have insured themselves everyone benefits – insurance companies, families and the government. Insurance companies can invest these premiums in the infrastructure / housing sectors which need capital for longer durations, which cannot ideally be serviced by the banking industry.

 

The innovative things that India needs to do to spur its economic growth on the back of the global economic slack...

I am a firm believer that if we address some very basic issues in the Indian business environment it will undoubtedly spur growth

  • Ease of doing business - This is the government is very focussed on. However all stakeholders - centre, states and the bureaucracy must participate in it
  • Remove uncertainty - Investors must feel assured that there is certainty in tax and business laws so that they know in advance what they are getting into
  • Invest in infrastructure - The government must start investing in top class infrastructure to attract investments. Most of Indian cities are crumbling owing to infrastructure that cannot sustain the growth that they are burdened with

 

Other general industry expectations for the budget 2016-17...

  • The government must put a road map for introduction of the GST so that there is clarity on the date on which GST would come in place
  • The government must put a roadmap for converging the tax laws with the proposed Ind AS (Accounting standards)
  • The government must fast track the Universal Health Schemes and spread to as many states in India as possible

 

IRDA EXAM: Sample Questions for 50 hours exam

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Created on 12 February 2012 Published Date

Sample solved Question Papers for IRDA 50 hours Agents Training Exam. The answers are marked in bold. From Sashi Publications, Kolkata

1. The concept of insurance involves a transfer of

A. liability.

B. needs.

C. ownership.

D. risk.

2. Rakesh recently bought a health insurance policy and a personal accident policy. What main section(s) of the insurance market do these products normally fall into?

A. Life insurance in both cases.

B. Life insurance for health and non-life insurance for personal accident.

C. Non-life insurance in both cases.

D. Non-life insurance for health and life insurance for personal accident.

 

3. The main role of an underwriter in a non-life insurance company is normally to

A. assess the acceptability of particular risks.

B. certify a loss when claims are submitted.

C. design the structure of the products to be offered.

D. negotiate with the industry regulator.

 

4. Akshat is a relatively cautious person. In insurance terms, this will normally increase the likelihood that he will

A. be considered an above average insurance risk.

B. be considered a below average insurance risk.

C. require insurance cover.

D. require reinsurance cover.

 

5. How are perils and hazards normally distinguished under term insurance policies?

A. Perils are medical factors which influence the risk of dying and hazards are lifestyle activities which influence the risk of dying.

B. Perils are risks that policyholders will die before a specified date and hazards are factors which could influence that risk.

C. Perils are factors which affect the risk being insured and hazards are the size of the risk being insured.

D. Perils are factors which could influence an insured event occurring and hazards are the actual events which will trigger a payout.

 

6. In insurance terms, the risk of suffering a disability is best described as what type of risk?

A. Financial.

B. Fundamental.

C. Homogenous.

D. Speculative.

 

7. For a household insurance policy, insurable interest need only exist at outset and at what other point?

A. The date the cancellation period expires.

B. The date a claim occurs.

C. The date the policy document is received.

D. The termination date.

 

8. Rahul is employed by Sunny. In respect of this employment, Rahul automatically has insurable interest in Sunny’s life up to what limit, if any?

A. Rahul’s monthly salary.

B. Rahul’s pension fund value.

C. Sunny’s annual profit.

D. There is no limit.Sample Questions IC-33 7

9. Arun started a 20-year term insurance policy. Once established, when, if at all, is the insurer next entitled to ask him for proof of continuing good health?

A. At no point.

B. After the end of the first 12 months.

C. At the point when he changes occupation or retires.

D. When a lapsed policy is revived.

 

10. The concept of indemnity is based on the key principle that policyholders should be prevented from

A. insuring existing losses.

B. making false insurance claims.

C. paying excessively for insurance cover.

D. profiting from insurance.

 

11. Once an absolute assignment is effected under a life insurance policy, who will be the titleholder(s) of this policy?

A. The assignor in all cases.

B. The assignee in all cases.

C. Either the assignor or assignee depending on the type of policy involved.

D. The assignor and assignee jointly.

 

12. How long is the free look-in period under a term insurance policy from the date of receipt of the policy document?

A. 5 days.

B. 10 days.

C. 15 days.

D. 20 days.

 

13. A life insurer issued a quotation on 10 February, guaranteed for 14 days, which was accepted by the customer on day 10. Consequently the insurer can only decline this risk if the

A. customer submits a second quotation request.

B. insurer increases its underlying premium rates.

C. market place experiences a significant downturn.

D. material facts change.

 

14. A policy document for a money-back policy includes the statement ‘the proposal and declaration signed by the proposer form the basis of the contract’. In which main section of the policy document will this normally appear?

A. Attestation.

B. Operative clause.

C. Preamble.

D. Terms and conditions.

 

15. A life insurance policy can only be made paid up if what particular policy feature exists?

A. Indexing contribution.

B. Nomination facility.

C. Rider benefits.

D. Savings element.

16. The main reason why a life insurance proposal form often asks for the proposer’s height is to enable a reasonable comparison with the proposer’s

A. age.

B. gender.

C. occupation.

D. weight.

 

17. Where annually increasing flexible premiums operate under a life insurance policy, what rate of increase will generally apply?

A. 2.5%

B. 3.0%

C. 5.0%

D. 7.5%

 

18. The amount paid out by the insurer under a 30-year life insurance policy exceeded the sum insured plus revisionary bonuses. The excess is likely to result from?

A. charges refunded.

B. a frequency loading.

C. a tax rebate.

D. a terminal bonus.

 

19. What normally happens to the sum insured under a life insurance policy once the period of the lien expires?

A. It reduces.

B. It increases.

C. It is temporarily suspended.

D. It is replaced by a newly-underwritten sum insured.

 

20. The main protection need of a 19-year-old is most likely to be

A. self-protection.

B. home loan protection.

C. protection of dependants.

D. protection of children’s future.

 

21. Raunak recently arranged a life insurance policy under which he is classed as the master policyholder. This addresses his role as

A. a creditor.

B. a debtor.

C. an employee.

D. an employer.

 

22. The need for investment advice from an insurance agent normally results from what overriding key factor?

A. Absence of any long-term goals.

B. Inability to prioritise future financial needs.

C. Lack of market knowledge.

D. Shortage of available funds.

 

23. When undertaking financial planning for individuals without capital, what savings need is likely to be addressed in every single case?

A. Emergency funds.

B. Funds for children’s savings.

C. Funds for educational costs.

D. House purchase funds.Sample Questions IC-33 9

24. Naveen is addressing his income needs by investing directly in corporate bonds. In what form will he receive this income?

A. Annuity instalments.

B. Dividend payments.

C. Interest payments.

D. Rental payments.

 

25. Nikhil is looking for tax-efficient savings methods for his disposable income. He is considering an equity-linked savings scheme, national savings certificates and an endowment insurance policy. Premiums for which of these investments are allowed to be deducted from his taxable income?

A. The national savings certificates only.

B. The equity-linked savings scheme and the national savings certificates only.

C. The national savings certificates and the endowment insurance policy only.

D. The equity-linked savings scheme, the national savings certificates and the endowment insurance policy.

 

26. An investor holds a wide range of shares. If the Reserve Bank of India announces a series of significant interest rate increases, the prices of these shares are most likely to

A. become volatile.

B. decrease.

C. increase.

D. stagnate.

 

27. The main purpose of the guaranteed insurability rider benefit is to give the policyholder the right to

A. cancel a health-based exclusion after a symptom-free period.

B. include his parents under the policy.

C. increase cover when a key life event occurs.

D. maintain cover despite a fall in investment value.

 

28. The changes in healthcare costs over recent years has had what general impact on healthcare insurance?

A. A fall in average premium levels.

B. A reduction in underwriting requirements.

C. A rise in the need for cover.

D. A strengthening of the insurable interest rules.

 

29. The general need for a pension policy results from the existence of what key problem?

A. Anticipated fall in income.

B. Lack of employment opportunities.

C. Likely deterioration in health.

D. Uncertainty over investment performance.

 

30. Yash pays health insurance premiums for himself, his wife and his two children aged 13 and 8. Premiums for which of these individuals will qualify as deductible from Yash’s taxable income?

A. Yash only.

B. Yash and his wife only.

C. Yash, his wife and his oldest child.

D. Yash, his wife and both his children.

31. The sole focus during a client’s fact-find session was healthcare requirements and estate planning. Which main life stage is he most likely to fall into?

A. Young married.

B. Young married with children.

C. Pre-retirement.

D. Retirement.

 

32. Apart from the salary level, what other key feature of Alok’s job is likely to have a major impact on the level of his pension, life insurance and health insurance needs?

A. Whether the job is office or field-based.

B. The normal retirement age in relation to the job.

C. Whether the job is in the public or private sector.

D. Whether the job is manual or non-manual.

 

33. In the context of financial planning, how is the difference between real needs and perceived needs best described?

A. Real needs are financial needs and perceived needs are non-financial needs.

B. Real needs are actual needs and perceived needs are based on a client’s thoughts and desires.

C. Real needs are identified by the insurance agent and perceived needs are identified by the client.

D. Real needs are needs which satisfy an objective and perceived needs are needs which do not satisfy an objective.

 

34. In order to fulfil the ‘know your customer’ procedures, at what stage in the financial planning process is the insurance agent most likely to request a copy of the customer’s photograph?

A. At the end of the fact-find meeting.

B. At the end of the presentation meeting.

C. As soon as the application is accepted by the insurer.

D. As soon as the insurer is ready to issue the policy document.

 

35. An agent has recommended an investment product with non-guaranteed benefits. The benefit illustration passed to his client will therefore use assumed annual growth rates of

A. 5% and 8%

B. 5% and 10%

C. 6% and 8%

D. 6% and 10%

 

36. The main purpose of including commission details in the documentation to clients is to increase

A. competitiveness.

B. efficiency.

C. flexibility.

D. transparency.

 

37. A client has been recommended a low-risk investment product by his insurance agent, but the client insists the agent arranges for the money to be invested in a higher risk product. What action should the agent take?

A. Carry out these instructions, but document that this contradicts the recommendation.

B. Conduct a new fact-find.

C. Invest a reduced amount of money in this product.

D. Refuse to act for the client.Sample Questions IC-33 11

38. An insurance agent has advised a client to surrender an existing investment product and start a new investment product. What key indicator should be used to determine whether this advice was ethical?

A. The best interests of the client.

B. The difference in potential income and capital growth between the two products.

C. The flexibility of the new product compared to the old one.

D. The views expressed by the client.

 

39. What key impact will low persistency levels have on insurance policyholders?

A. An enhancement in product choice.

B. An improvement in investment performance.

C. An increase in insurance cover.

D. A reduction in benefits.

 

40. Raju died 5 years before the end of his 30-year endowment insurance policy. What factor most likely caused the insurer to investigate the claim using the early death claim procedures?

A. He paid the most recent premium during the period of grace.

B. His cover was originally accepted with a premium loading on medical grounds.

C. His death resulted from a recently acquired sudden illness.

D. The policy had lapsed and was revived shortly before he died.

 

41. A claim under a term insurance policy is submitted by an individual who has substantially understated his age. As an alternative to paying out the full claim the insurer is most likely to take what action?

A. Deduct the underpaid premiums from the sum insured.

B. Make the policy paid up.

C. Pay out the surrender value.

D. Reject the claim on the grounds of misrepresentation.

 

42. On the maturity of an endowment policy, a reduced sum insured is paid out. What is the most likely reason for this?

A. The instalments were commuted by the policyholder.

B. The policyholder’s health seriously deteriorated during the policy term.

C. The policy was made paid up during the policy term.

D. The policy was subject to a lien.

 

43. What key event is most likely to prevent insurers from ensuring that each insured person brings a fair premium to the pool for the risk presented?

A. A fraudulent claim.

B. A policy assignment.

C. A steep rise in inflation.

D. A sudden illness.

 

44. An insurance agent served an insurer continually and exclusively for 20 years, after which he retired from work. In accordance with Section 44 of the Insurance Act 1938, renewal commission due to him after the termination of his agency can only be withheld if

A. he ceases to remain a resident of India for tax purposes.

B. he survives beyond the age of 75.

C. there has been a change in regulator.

D. there is fraud involved.

45. Legislation gives which body the power to specify a code of conduct for surveyors and loss assessors?

A. Institute of Insurance and Risk Management.

B. Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority.

C. Life Insurance Council.

D. Securities and Exchange Board of India.

 

46. What key legacy has been left by the activities of the Tariff Advisory Committee?

A. A central compensation fund.

B. Customer classification status.

C. Illustrative projection rates.

D. Standard policy wordings.

 

47. Apart from conducting a comprehensive fact-find, the other main action that an insurance agent can take at outset to minimise the risk of subsequently receiving a customer complaint is to

A. ask for referrals.

B. offer commission rebates.

C. provide detailed disclosures.

D. register with the Insurance Ombudsman.

 

48. An award made by the Insurance Ombudsman will only be binding on the insurer if the

A. complainant accepts this decision.

B. Consumer Forum is involved in the case.

C. insurer signs a disclaimer.

D. value of the award is less than 2 lakhs.

 

49. A policyholder asked his insurance agent for guidance on submitting a claim for the maturity benefit under his life insurance policy. Due to pressure of work, the agent declined to assist. Consequently, this action is deemed to be a breach of the

A. General Insurance Council’s guidelines.

B. Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority’s Code of Conduct.

C. Insurance Ombudsman’s protocols.

D. Insurance Brokers Association of India’s membership rules.

 

50. During the process of applying for life insurance, the customer discloses confidentially to the insurance agent that he had a mild stroke four months ago, however this was NOT mentioned on the application form. In accordance with the Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority’s Code of Conduct, how should the insurance agent deal with this information?

A. Ask the policyholder’s doctor to send details to the insurer.

B. Notify the insurer of this matter.

C. Refuse to act for the customer in this case.

D. Respect this confidentiality by not discussing it with anyone else.


© Prepared by The Chartered Insurance Institute 2011

 

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