Life insurers line up 500 schemes for launch in 2014

PTI Posted online: Sunday, Dec 29, 2013 at 0000 hrs
New Delhi : As many as 500 new insurance schemes are all set to hit the market in the next couple of months, following the approval of industry regulator IRDA as part of its new guidelines applicable from January 1, 2014.

The regulator has cleared over 500 products in line with the new design norms which are being introduced by the domestic life insurers, an IRDA official said adding that most insurers have already redesigned their products and also obtained approvals.

Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority (IRDA) had issued new guidelines to make policies more customer-friendly. The new guidelines have introduced three broad categories of products - traditional insurance plans, variable insurance plans (VIPs) and unit-linked insurance plans (ULIPs).

Insurance behemoth LIC has already decided to stop selling as many as 48 insurance plans, including Jeevan Anand, Jeevan Madhur and Jeevan Saral, to comply with new regulatory guidelines, and planned to unveil a slew of new insurance schemes.

Private sector insurer Reliance Life Insurance has lined up over two dozen new insurance schemes, which include protection and retirement, for their launch in the next three months.

"We will begin selling 13-14 of our key products, which are compliant with the new product guidelines from January 1, 2014," Reliance Life Insurance CEO Anup Rau said, adding traditional plans will contribute 80 per cent while the ULIPs will contribute around 20 per cent to the top-line in the new product environment.

Aviva Life Insurance has already launched 13 products that are compliant with the new traditional product guidelines.

Another player Max Life Insurance has plans to launch four new products by the first week of January in line with the revised IRDA guidelines. The company has already launched 13 products.

"Of the 17 products for which we have clearance, 13 have already been re-launched. Another four will be introduced next month," said V Viswanand, Director and Head Product Solutions Management, Max Life Insurance.

Bajaj Allianz Life Insurance has received approvals for its individual and group insurance plans under the new product guidelines and planned to launch three new insurance schemes.

"We are launching three new insurance plans which will cover the needs of individuals at their different life-stages and will be launching a suite of online and channel specific insurance plans by next month," Bajaj Allianz Life Insurance Managing Director and CEO Anuj Agarwal.

HDFC Life will make available 21 products to consumers from 1st January 2014 which will be compliant with new regulations issued by IRDA. Others including ICICI Prudential, Birla Sun Life, Tata AIA and SBI Life are also planning to launch their product suit next month.