Read Consumer Minds Before New Launches

Hyderabad, November 27: | Updated: Nov 28 2002, 05:30am hrs
The Insurance Regulatory and Develo-pment Authority (Irda) chairman N Rangachary has asked insurance operators to read the minds of the consumers before developing newer insurance products. Though private insurance players have introduced new products with various options, the consumers have not got the products they prefer, Mr Rangachary opined while speaking at the two-day 7th Insurance Summit 2002 conducted by CII at Hyderabad on Wednesday.

"It is time for the industry to think of more innovative products that can satisfy the unfulfilled desire of the Indian consumer," Mr Rangachary said. Further he stressed the need of educating the consumer about the importance and benefits of insurance. Though, tough norm could be set in, he could not do much on the part of educating the consumer about the importance of insurance, he said.

In order to increase the insurance penetration levels from the current two per cent of GDP to five per cent in the next three years, Mr Rangachary felt that there is a need for mass awareness programmes by the industry. Besides advertising the new products offered, the company also shall develop teaser-shots explaining the basic objectives of insurance, its pricing and economic viability, he opined.

Consumer education about the insurance is a vital requirement in the next four to five years and the Irda has asked the government to allow the authority take up the programme from the fees collected from the insurance companies, the Irda chairman said.

"We are waiting for the government approval," he said. Irda collects about Rs 20 crore annually towards license fees and other levies from insurance companies, which is transferred to common good fund, after meeting the expenses.