Indian Insurers Scramble to Beat e-Policy Deadline

Indian insurers and repositories in India are trying to beat the 1 October deadline imposed for issuing electronic policies to customers who pay at least Rs10,000 (US$150) in premium annually.

Specifically for life and motor retail, policyholders would get their policies in an electronic format, according to an issuance from the Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India (Irdai).

Electronic policies are a documentary evidence of the contract, issued and digitally signed by the insurer.

Some of India’s general and health insurers who have not yet tied up with insurance repositories are now signing agreements to issue e-policies, according to S V Ramanan, chief executive officer, CAMS Repository Services, one of the five Irdai-licensed insurance repositories.

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Though the traction is currently low, Ramanan said customer adaptability is expected to gain ground soon.

Irdai in its issuance has also asked insurers soliciting business through the electronic mode to come up with an e-proposal form, similar to the physical proposal form approved by the authority.

SBI Life ‘to become No. 1’ in India

A top company executive has claimed that SBI Life Insurance Company will become India’s leading life insurer in the private sector.

Arijit Basu, managing director and chief executive officer of SBI Life, thinks that if they keep their growth, they will eventually emerge the top insurer even as HDFC Life and Max Life Insurance are set to merge to become the largest private life insurer in the country.

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SBI Life, a joint venture between the State Bank of India and French insurer BNP Paribas Cardif, posted 69% growth in new business premium on annual premium equivalent basis to Rs7.22 billion (US$108 million) in the first quarter of the current financial year.

Its gross written premium growth was 53% during the same period. Kotak Institutional Securities data showed that as of June, HDFC Life and Max Life had a combined market share of 11.3% while SBI Life’s share was 10.8%. Life Insurance Corporation of India still ruled the market with 48.7%. –