Irda charts IPO roadmap for insurers

Written by Banking Bureau | Mumbai, Aug 29 | Updated: Aug 30 2008, 08:11am hrs
The Insurance Regulatory & Development Authority (Irda) is paving the way for insurance companies to go public. Irda chairman J Hari Narayan said the regulator is consulting the Actuaries Society of India to formulate norms for the valuation of insurance companies. On a recent development where mutual funds have shown interest in selling insurance products, Hari Narayan said there was a big difference between the companies that are selling MF products and the ones that are into selling ULIPs.

But according to our definition, the solvency margins an insurer was required to bring was far more than that of the MF companies. We would welcome the sellers of mutual funds to enter the insurance sector, provided they are fully compliant to the insurance model, he said.

Hari Narayan was speaking to journalists on the sidelines of an event which was held at MET College in Mumbai on Friday.

On the types of complaints that are being received by the Irda, Hari Narayan said that the complaints are of three types.

One set of complaints being received are what I may call administrative problems where policies are not being received by the policyholders. This is happening as these are not being issued by the third party administrators in case of health. These kinds of complaints really reflect upon the administrative capability of the insurance companies. The other type of complaints being received by Irda relates to the claim settlement request.

Some say that their claims have been wrongly projected and some say that their claims are less than what had they expected. But, in these kinds of issues, we must recognize that the insurance companies have also got a right to be heard. It is not as if every company is correct and consequently it is because a legal process is there where evidence, documents etc are required. These types of claim settlements can be considered by the Ombudsman.

The third type of problems come about with regard to interpretation of the wordings in clauses. These are the issues where the regulator and insurers and the general insurance council must sit together to improve and make sharper decisions, the Irda chief said.