Irda working on guidelines for micro-insurance sector

Written by fe Bureau | Kolkata | Updated: Jul 7 2012, 06:52am hrs
The Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority (Irda) is planning to come out with guidelines for regulating the micro-insurance sector in the country, said Sudhin Roy Chowdhury, member (life), IRDA. The micro-insurance industry has issues that need to be addressed, he said on Friday.

We are working on coming out with guidelines for the micro insurance industry. Micro-insurance is important to ensure financial inclusion. There are a lot of issues in the industry and these needs to be ironed out, Roy Chowdhury said.

According to him, insurance companies should look at coming up with new products aimed at addressing the demands of the micro insurance sector. Moreover a better awareness especially among the rural masses will help them in penetrating deeper in those areas.

The regulator also said that the homegrown insurers might consider making their footprints in overseas locations. While they are advised to venture into newer geographies the regulator has asked them to open branches there.

This is time now when our homegrown insurers should look at overseas countries both in terms of acquisitions and opening branches there, Roy Chowdhury said. According to him, while the foreign insurance companies are venturing with Indian partners, Indian companies can also step into newer geographies.

If foreign companies can come to India in a big way, why cant we spread our wings abroad, he said. At present there are 47 life and non-life companies in India.

Present at an insurance summit organised by the Indian Chamber of Commerce, he said that regulations regarding pension products are in an evolving stage. Last year the regulator issued guidelines for pension products and asked insurance companies to withdraw all products not conforming to the guidelines effective January 1, 2012.

We are in constant dialogue with the industry. We are coming out with suggestions and sending it to insurance companies for their observation. Based on their consensus we will take a look at it, Roy Chowdhury said.