Unable to spend even 50 per cent of earmarked funds for insurance awareness last fiscal, Irdai is looking for innovative methods to utilise this year’s advertisement budget that has been raised to Rs 66.5 crore. The government is keen on increasing insurance penetration in the country, especially in remote areas. The Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India (Irdai) makes use of various platforms like newspapers, television, radio and outdoor publicity to create awareness about importance of insurance. Irdai had a budget of Rs 60 crore towards advertisement, but only an estimated Rs 24 crore, or 40 per cent, was spent.
The advertisement for consumer affairs department of Irdai for 2017-18 has been budgeted at Rs 66.50 crore. While increasing the budget for the current financial year, the regulator in an official document said it is “planning for more advertisement”. Towards this purpose, Irdai has started scouting for creative agencies for production of TV spots, radio jingles, and organising exhibitions.
It also has plans to empanel agencies to carry out publicity campaign at the national level. The empanelment will be for two years extendable by another one year. The regulator looks to spend funds on advertising programmes for promoting insurance awareness among the public, issuing notices, quarterly journal and calendar, among other activities. During the first decade of insurance liberalisation, the sector has reported a consistent increase in market penetration to 5.20 per cent in 2009, from 2.71 per cent in 2001.
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Since then, this has been in decline. However, there was a slight increase in 2015, when it reached 3.44 per cent compared to 3.3 per cent in 2014.
While insurance penetration is measured as the percentage of insurance premium to GDP, insurance density is calculated as the ratio of premium to population (per capita premium).