Aathira Varier

All stories by Aathira Varier

Base effect to hit life insurers' March biz

Base effect to hit life insurers' March biz

Rediff.com21 Mar 2024

New business premium (NBP) growth of life insurers in March is expected to be weak owing to the high base effect in the year-ago period due to revision in taxation norms for high-value policies, insurers said. In the Budget, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman proposed that insurance policies (excluding unit-linked insurance plans or Ulips) with an aggregate premium exceeding Rs 5 lakh would be taxed. This rule came into effect on April 1, 2023. In March 2023, the NBP of life insurance companies witnessed a strong growth after the tax announcement. Premiums rose by 14.45 per cent year-on-year (Y-o-Y) to Rs 59,608.83 crore in March 2023 from Rs 52,081.12 crore.

Medical inflation, high coverage drive up ticket sizes for retail health insurers

Medical inflation, high coverage drive up ticket sizes for retail health insurers

Rediff.com13 Mar 2024

The average ticket size of retail health insurance in India has increased by nearly 48 per cent over 6 years due to elevated medical inflation and increased demand for higher coverage policies among policyholders. According to data by online insurance broker PolicyBazaar, the average ticket size of retail health insurance in India has increased to Rs 26,533 so far in FY24, up 48.22 per cent from Rs 17,900 in FY19.

Unclaimed insurance funds higher in agent-sold policies: Analysts

Unclaimed insurance funds higher in agent-sold policies: Analysts

Rediff.com4 Mar 2024

The unclaimed funds within the life insurance sector are higher from policies sold by agents as against other channels like bancassurance or a digital platform, said analysts and officials from insurance companies. Unclaimed life insurance funds refer to the proceeds of insurance policies including death or survival benefits not claimed by the beneficiary or the policyholder. Bancassurance means selling an insurance product through banks.

Credit-deposit ratio inched up in Q3

Credit-deposit ratio inched up in Q3

Rediff.com29 Feb 2024

Credit-to-deposit (CD) ratio of major public sector and private sector banks during the October-December quarter of FY24 inched up as compared to the previous quarter though government-owned lenders reported a lower rate than their private peers. CD ratio is the ratio of the funds that banks lend as compared to the funds raised in the form of deposits. The CD ratio of top public sector banks (PSBs) - State Bank of India, Punjab National Bank, Bank of Baroda and Canara Bank - was lower than their private counterparts.

Private players see 6% rise in benefits paid to Rs 1.57 trillion in FY23

Private players see 6% rise in benefits paid to Rs 1.57 trillion in FY23

Rediff.com12 Feb 2024

The total benefits paid by private life insurance companies to policyholders rose by 5.98 per cent to Rs 1.57 trillion during 2022-23. This figure stood at Rs 1.49 trillion in the corresponding year-ago period. On the other hand, Life Insurance Corporation of India (LIC) paid out 4 per cent fewer benefits at Rs 3.39 trillion from Rs 3.53 trillion in 2021-22.

LIC's VNB margin growth higher than private life insurers in Q3 FY24

LIC's VNB margin growth higher than private life insurers in Q3 FY24

Rediff.com12 Feb 2024

State-backed Life Insurance Corporation of India (LIC) recorded strong growth in the value of new business (VNB) margin in the third quarter of financial year 2023-24 (Q3FY24) while major listed private life insurers reported a weak performance. VNB refers to the profit that an insurer is likely to garner from new business, which comes from policies sold in a particular period. VNB margin is the profit margin of the insurer.

Life insurers ramp up presence in Tier-II, Tier-III cities

Life insurers ramp up presence in Tier-II, Tier-III cities

Rediff.com11 Jan 2024

The overall physical presence of life insurance companies in Tier-II and Tier-III cities increased in FY23 compared to a year ago period on account of the higher impetus given to financial inclusion by the government and insurance regulator, as well as recovery from the Covid-19 pandemic, according to the latest data released by the Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India (Irdai). It is the first time that there has been growth in the number of offices since the financial year 2019-20.

RBI's decision on connected lending may curb India Inc's powers

RBI's decision on connected lending may curb India Inc's powers

Rediff.com18 Dec 2023

The decision by the Reserve Bank of India to introduce a unified regulatory framework on connected lending for all the regulated entities (RE) is expected to reduce the influence of business conglomerates in the Indian lending space, said bankers and experts. "Connected lending pertains to lending to related parties within the same business group. "While the RBI might appear more agreeable to allowing business conglomerates to own banking licenses, it deems it crucial to bolster regulations that would prevent conglomerate-owned banks from gaming the system," said Shivaji Thapliyal, head of research and lead analyst, YES Securities.

Do You Have Cyber Insurance?

Do You Have Cyber Insurance?

Rediff.com15 Dec 2023

Cyber insurance policies cover ransomware attacks and the ensuing damages, including ransom payments, data restoration costs, forensic and other first-party costs, and loss of profit due to business interruption.

Talent Crunch Affects Bank's Cybersecurity Plans

Talent Crunch Affects Bank's Cybersecurity Plans

Rediff.com14 Dec 2023

'We are also conducting ongoing training and grooming at the branch level to pre-empt such cyberattacks.'

Life insurance companies clock 25.28% drop in premiums

Life insurance companies clock 25.28% drop in premiums

Rediff.com8 Dec 2023

The life insurance industry reported a 25.28 per cent decline in new business premium income in November 2023 to Rs 26,494.83 crore from Rs 34,588.8 crore recorded a year ago. The fall in group premium and change in taxation norms for policies with a higher ticket size dragged the premiums of the state-run Life Insurance Corporation of India (LIC) and private insurers, respectively. According to the data released by the Life Insurance Council, the premium of private insurers slipped 9.33 per cent Y-o-Y to Rs 10,360.29 crore from Rs 11,426.73 crore as a result of a change in product mix due to the measures taken to counter the impact of tax imposed on the premiums of Rs 5 lakh.

LIC is world's fourth-largest insurer: S&P Global

LIC is world's fourth-largest insurer: S&P Global

Rediff.com6 Dec 2023

Insurance behemoth Life Insurance Corporation of India (LIC) is the fourth largest insurer in the world, according to a ranking based on life and accident & health reserves of companies in 2022 by S&P Global Market Intelligence. The state-owned insurer is ranked after Allianz SE, China Life Insurance Company, and Nippon Life Insurance Company. According to the report, LIC's reserves stood at $503.7 billion. Germany's Allianz SE ($750.20 billion), China Life Insurance Company ($616.90 billion) and Nippon Life Insurance Company ($536.80 billion) are the top three insurance companies in the world.

RBI's new risk-weight rules likely to spur co-lending by banks, NBFCs

RBI's new risk-weight rules likely to spur co-lending by banks, NBFCs

Rediff.com29 Nov 2023

Co-lending deals between non-banking financial companies (NBFCs) and banks are likely to rise after the Reserve Bank of India's (RBI's) decision to increase the risk weight on consumer credit, industry leaders and experts say. Smaller NBFCs, they add, may increasingly opt for co-lending as capital markets could become costlier for them. "Smaller NBFCs will be more comfortable with co-lending because they are geography-specific in terms of industry or customers.

High-value insurance policies in the slow lane after tax overhaul

High-value insurance policies in the slow lane after tax overhaul

Rediff.com28 Nov 2023

High-value insurance policies experienced muted growth in the first six months of the current financial year after the Centre decided to tax such products in this year's Budget. Simultaneously, there has been a marked improvement in the growth of policies with premiums of 'less than Rs 5 lakh', mainly originating from smaller cities. During this year's Budget, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman proposed that insurance policies (excluding unit linked insurance plans or ULIPs) with an aggregate premium exceeding Rs 5 lakh, and the maturity amount, would not be exempt from tax.

Bad air quality may breathe fresh life into health insurance business

Bad air quality may breathe fresh life into health insurance business

Rediff.com14 Nov 2023

General insurance companies are likely to see a surge in demand for health insurance in the coming months due to falling air quality in the country. The health insurance segment has registered a strong growth after the pandemic due to higher awareness. In the first half of financial year 2023-24, the segment grew by 24.4 per cent to Rs 54,713.52 crore from Rs 43,981.54 crore in H1FY23, driving growth of the non-life insurance industry.

LIC's market share drops to 59% till September from 68.7% in a year

LIC's market share drops to 59% till September from 68.7% in a year

Rediff.com10 Oct 2023

The share of Life Insurance Corporation of India (LIC) in monthly new business premium (NBP) in the life insurance sector declined to 58.50 per cent in September 2023 from 68.25 per cent in September 2022 -- a drop of 975 basis points -- owing to shortcomings in the product and distribution side of business. However, the market share saw a marginal uptick from the 57.37 per cent recorded in August this year. According to the monthly business data released for September 2023 by the Life Insurance Council, the NBP of LIC up to September 2023 stood at Rs 92,462.62 crore as compared to about Rs 1.25 trillion in the same period a year ago.

Debit card usage slow for three years and UPI transactions up 428%

Debit card usage slow for three years and UPI transactions up 428%

Rediff.com11 Sep 2023

Debit card payments remained sluggish due to the surge in digital transactions after the pandemic, and the Unified Payments Interface (UPI) has emerged as the most popular mode of money transfer, particularly for small value transactions, according to RBI data. In July 2020, the total debit card spends stood at Rs 2.81 trillion, as compared to Rs 3.15 trillion in July 2023, reflecting a growth of 11.96 per cent. UPI spends have seen a whopping growth of 428 per cent, zooming from Rs 2.90 trillion to Rs 15.33 trillion during the same period, the data revealed.

Outward remittances under RBI's LRS rise 50% to $9.1 billion in Q1

Outward remittances under RBI's LRS rise 50% to $9.1 billion in Q1

Rediff.com30 Aug 2023

Outward remittances under the Reserve Bank of India's (RBI's) liberalised remittance scheme (LRS) surged by 50.64 per cent to $9.1 billion in the April-June quarter (first quarter, or Q1) of 2023-24 (FY24), driven by healthy growth across segments due to a revision in the timeline of tax collected at source under the LRS scheme and normalisation in international travel. Major drivers include equity and debt investments, deposits, and the international travel segment, among others. According to the latest RBI data, the amount remitted under LRS stood at $9.1 billion in Q1FY24, compared with $6.05 billion in the same quarter last year.