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Thursday, October 24, 2013

Religare Health Insurance explores the Bancassurance channel

The bancassurance channel has always been a promising distribution channel for the insurance companies. Through it the insurance companies can use the bank's network to reach out to the different areas of the country. All major insurance companies are tied up with banks to increase penetration to the different parts of India. 
The newest in the line exploring this idea is Religare Health Insurance Company Limited (RHICL). The standalone health insurer which began operations in the year 2012 is planning tie -ups with several banks to expand its bancassurance channel. According to CEO Anuj Gulati, the company would break even by 2017-18. 
Till now banks have been following a corporate agency model where a bank can represent one life insurer, one general insurer and one standalone health insurer. The recent relaxation of the Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority (IRDA) to banks allows them to act as brokers as well. This gives the bank the option to pitch different insurance companies products to the same customer. This option is however still to be approved by the Reserve Bank of India, the regulator for Indian banks. Religare's CEO is open to tie up with banks functioning as brokers

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Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Insurance for HIV Positive People in India

Insurance for HIV positive people in India may soon become a reality. In one of its most humanitarian moves, Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority (IRDA) of India has asked insurance companies to put in place a board approved underwriting policies with respect with life insurance for people living with HIV/ AIDS. The underwriting policy is to cover clear guidelines on life insurance with people living with HIV/AIDS (PLHA). IRDA has also asked the insurance companies to put in place underwriting policies for health insurance offered by life insurance companies to people acquiring HIV/AIDS after the commencement of insurance policy. Guidelines also facilitates conversion of the lump sum amount into an annuity for life, if the insured became HIV positive while holding the policy

Unlike India, insurance is available for the HIV people in the West. The Indian insurance market is quite aggressive on their financials and costing. The guidelines provided by IRDA are more humane and less lucrative. Experts feel that this initiative might not be welcome by the Indian Insurance Companies. That is, of course, unless IRDA decides to take a leap ahead and impose mandatory bindings on the insurance companies.

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