Focus on products, tech, customer grievances: Irdai

By: | Published: January 23, 2016 12:10 AM

The Insurance Regulatory & Development Authority of India (Irdai) on Friday asked the insurance industry to focus on products, technology and customer grievances.

The Insurance Regulatory & Development Authority of India (Irdai) on Friday asked the insurance industry to focus on products, technology and customer grievances. However, TS Vijayan, chairman of Irdai, praised the industry for handling of claims after the recent floods in Tamil Nadu.

Speaking at the 17th annual insurance conference, organised by the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI), Vijayan said, “Despite claims being high, the industry has settled the claims very well. We are still monitoring the situation, and few days ago we had some meeting with stakeholders from Chennai markets on the issues.”

According to senior officials, the insurance industry received 50,000 claims amounting to Rs 4,800 crore for Tamil Nadu floods, with a  large number of claims coming from the property, automobiles and small and medium enterprises (SME) sectors. Irdai is also in process to come out with new guidelines on re-insurance and Indian reinsurance companies will get first preference in treaties.

“We have received six applications for reinsurance branch licence and that they will be able to give first stage of licensing by their next board meeting to some of them, Vijayan said. On the sidelines of the event, he also said three to four draft norms on new regulations would come in and the process would be completed by March.

Vijayan highlighted the changes sweeping in the insurance sector in India. Important among these is the change in the Insurance Act. These changes made it imperative for the regulator to respond in an appropriate manner.

“Despite this, the industry is very buoyant. In 2014-15, real premium growth was 1.4% and this highlights the potential for growth at least to catch up with the global standard. The secret is not
on fighting the old but on building the new. Past experience may not be the right guidelines for future,” said Vijayan.

The insurance regulator is also in the process to develop I-Track for E-KYC. Amitabh Chaudhry, managing director and chief executive officer, HDFC Standard Life Insurance Co, said with the passage of the new insurance law, regulators are trying to create the right platform for growth. He cited ‘short termism’ as the bane of the industry. He pointed out that the industry needs to groom leaders and talent.

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