Weekly Insurance Round-up Tuesday, November 2, 2021
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- The Indian Academy of Pediatric Surgeons (IAPS) is in a long discussion with insurers to insure the unborn child from birth defects and surgical problems during infancy. IAPS is a non-profit association of qualified persons practicing or interested in the surgical treatment of diseases occurring in fetuses and children in India.
- This is a move taken to reduce the out-of-pocket expenses that new parents face if their child is born with any defect and currently, Star Health and Allied Insurance have agreed to provide this cover.
- Most insurance companies do not cover birth defects or surgical problems at birth and this can be a major concern for the parents of the newborn, as treatment costs can get very expensive.
- The abortion rate for cases where the parents find defects in their babies in the antenatal sonography has increased as parents realize they won’t be able to afford the cost of the treatments post-birth of the baby. (Antenatal Sonography is a prenatal test that is offered to pregnant women that helps their doctors to check on the baby’s health and development.)
- Dr. S Prakash, MD of Star Health said that they have rolled out a new policy that will cover any birth defect of the newborn child provided that the couple is covered by a Star health insurance policy for at least 2 years. They are currently awaiting IRDAI’s approval on the proposal and would be able to take the policy to the public within a few weeks.
- Beshak Take: This is a great initiative that will help parents meet the expenses for surgical procedures needed by newborn babies with birth defects. While insurance companies do cover delivery and hospitalization charges and also vaccination charges for babies, the complication at the time of birth is excluded and the treatment cost for most of such complications is huge. Covering the unborn child will be a major relief to customers, but this needs to be implemented by every insurer.
- Even though insurers cover maternity and newborn baby expenses in their policies - you should note that there are limits imposed on such covers. For example, Aditya Birla Active health provides only ₹75,000 maternity cover for normal delivery which includes newborn baby expenses and vaccination expenses. With the launch of these dedicated policies to cover unborn children for their defects, insurers should also take measures to ensure that adequate and affordable covers are provided to the public.
Source 👉: The Times of India
- As per the survey done by NITI Aayog, 30% of the Indian population is devoid of health insurance. NITI Aayog is a public policy think-tank of the Government of India that aims to improve cooperation across the states of the country, through structured support initiatives and mechanisms.
- As per this survey, The Ayushman Bharat – Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana (AB-PMJAY), and the state government-run extension schemes provide comprehensive hospitalization coverage to the bottom 50% of the population. In addition, 20% of the population is covered by social health insurance and private voluntary insurance.
- According to the report, the remaining 30% of the population remains uninsured.
- NITI Aayog suggests designing low-cost health insurance products to cover the uncovered population or improving the Aarogya Sanjeevani so health insurance remains affordable.
- The reports suggest that improving health insurance awareness and bringing down its cost are key to improving the quality of health insurance access cover across the country.
- Beshak Take: Even after the government launched many schemes related to health insurance, there are still people who do not have any financial protection for health. Most of the private insurance products are not affordable to the masses who earn daily wages.
To increase the penetration of insurance, it is necessary that low-cost products are launched keeping in mind low-income families, creating awareness among people about the insurance and its benefits.
- IRDAI has shared guidelines for insurers to incentivize insured individuals who meet some defined wellness criteria with reward points.
- On the basis of the insured person’s healthy behaviors like practicing yoga daily, the number of steps per week, a healthy heart rate and calorie count, etc, insurers are asked to provide discounts on the renewal premiums.
- Insurers can provide their customers with wearable devices and health apps so that they can track their health and accordingly, give them reward points.
- Beshak Take: While many health insurers are already offering many wellness plans with their policies like a health coach, nutritional e-counseling, etc. this will be a new trend for the life insurers.
With the introduction of a wellness-based incentive to life insurance, healthy customers can even expect to see their premiums reducing with every renewal. Having an insurance policy with a wellness incentive will motivate users to stay fit and healthy and take good care of themselves.
- On the 28th of October, Max life insurance became the first insurance company to join the Account Aggregator system introduced by the government a couple of months ago.
- Using customer data from the account aggregator system, the insurer can now make informed decisions as well as reduce time taken for policy issuance.
- To join the network as financial information user(FIU), Max Life has collaborated with Finvu (a non-banking finance company as well as an Account aggregator) and Finarkein (A data analytics Company).
- Max Life insurers will be running a pilot project with a few customers to check the swiftness of the data flow, technological requirements, and the acceptance of the account aggregator system by the customers, post which the insurer will be rolling out a commercial scale-up plan in the next financial year, followed by the commercial roll-out.
- Through the account aggregator System, individuals can digitally and securely share their financial information with any financial institution. With their consent, financial institutions will get direct access to this information.
Source 👉: LiveMint
New Bancassurance tie-ups
- Future Generali India Insurance has tied up with the Bank of India to increase its customer base by providing insurance products to the customers of the bank of India.
- Through this tie-up Future Generali will be able to offer its products to 5084 branches of the Bank of India which is spread across India.
- This tie-up would be in addition to the strong alliances Future Generali has already made with 15 other private and public sector banks, as a measure to improve its distribution network.
- In the past as well there have been a lot of bancassurance tie-ups like SBI General insurance company with State bank of India, India First Life insurance company with Bank of Baroda, Andhra Bank, and Legal and General, ICICI Prudential, and ICICI Lombard with ICICI Bank, etc.
Source 👉: The Hindu Business Line
- Aditya Birla Health insurance and Federal Bank have entered into a bancassurance partnership which will enable all the federal bank customers to purchase innovative health insurance products of Aditya Birla health insurance.
- With this partnership, Aditya Birla aims to expand its national footprint via 1250+ branches of the federal banks which are spread across India.
- Federal Bank customers will be able to avail themselves of a range of health insurance offerings provided by Aditya Birla via the bank’s distribution channels.
Source 👉: The Free Press Journal.
- In a new funding round that was led by General Atlantic and Multiples Private Equity, Acko Insurance has raised $225 Mn which makes the companies valuation $1.1 Bn.
- The funding is received to Acko at a time where the insurtech companies are in high demand, due to the increasing awareness about insurance in the post-Covid era. Acko will invest the current funding in the health insurance market.
- This new funding has also led Acko to become the 34th Indian Unicorn (Privately held companies valued at 1 Bn dollars or more) in 2021.
Source 👉: The Economic Times
- Paytm Insuretech Pvt. Ltd. is all set to raise 920 Cr in a strategic round from the global reinsurer Swiss Re. Swiss Re will be investing ₹397 Cr. upfront and the rest will be invested in portions subject to the fulfillment of certain milestones by PayTM
- This investment by Swiss Re is subject to approvals from the regulatory authorities.
- With this step, PayTM aims to take the general insurance product to the masses as well as to gain from the Swiss Re’s global insurance capabilities and build innovative products to tap the Indian market.
- PayTM had also acquired Raheja QBE a few months ago and this acquisition was primarily done to make the regulatory clearance easy.
- Increasing Paytm’s customer base and merchant ecosystem to develop innovative insurance products is the main aim of Paytm Insurtech
Source 👉: Money Control
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