18 Jan, 2022 | Weekly

Weekly Insurance Round-up Tuesday, January 18, 2022

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We're back, with the next edition of Beshak's Weekly News Round-up - an analysis of all Insurance News & Updates, straight from our research desk! Don't forget to share your feedback with us, and give us a thumbs up if you find this helpful! 

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What's Inside? 📦

✴️ Life insurance companies insist on a 3 month waiting period for Covid-19 recovered people 

✴️ 7.3% increase in Gross Direct Premium for Non-Life insurers 📈

✴️ 78% of Indians think insurance is key to overall financial planning: Survey

✴️ LIC and Hero Insurance Brokers come together to increase insurance penetration 🤝

✴️ Star Health introduces WhatsApp Services for its customers 📱

Life insurance companies insist on a 3 month waiting period for Covid-19 recovered people ⏳

  • People who have recovered from Covid-19 infection will now have to wait for three months before they can buy a term insurance policy.
  • Insurers are asking people to fill a Covid declaration form that, among other things, asks if they were diagnosed with the virus in the last 90 days.
  • Based on the severity of the infection, insurers might also demand extra medical check-ups, including chest X-rays before issuing a term insurance policy.
  • Different parameters have been set by different insurers to qualify Covid-19 affected people for buying term insurance. 
  • As per insurance experts, these changes have been initiated by reinsurers who want to protect themselves from claims.

Source: The Economic Times

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7.3% increase in Gross Direct Premium for Non-Life insurers 📈

  • As per the Monthly Business Figures Data released by IRDAI on 10th January 2022, the gross direct premium of non-life insurers grew to ₹18,953.09 Cr. in December 2021 from ₹17,662.32 Cr. in December 2020, indicating a 7.3% increase. The overall gross direct premium up to December 2021 increased by 11.18% to ₹1,61,081.60 Cr. from ₹1,44,879.54 Cr up to December 2020.
  • The gross direct premium of general insurers registered in December 2021 was 4.1% more than the gross direct premium registered in December 2020. (December 2021- ₹16,109.62 Cr., December 2020- ₹15,463.51 Cr.). The overall gross direct premium for up to December 2021 was ₹1,36,278.45 Cr. which was 9.21% more than ₹1,24,780.19 Cr for up to December 2020.
  • Five stand-alone private health insurers registered a gross direct premium of ₹1,740.15 Cr. in December 2021, which was more than ₹1,325.03 Cr. in December 2020. The overall gross direct premium up to December 2021 was ₹14,198.42 Cr. which was 36.24% more than ₹10,421.26 Cr. up to December 2020.
  • Two specialized insurers also saw an increase of 26.27% in their gross direct premiums registered in December 2021, which was ₹1,103.33 Cr. Their overall gross direct premium up to December 2021 was ₹10,604.73 Cr., which was 9.57% more than ₹9,678.09 Cr. up to December 2020.

Source: Business Standard

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78% of Indians think insurance is key to overall financial planning: Survey

  • As per Financial Immunity Survey 2.0 conducted by SBI Life Insurance and NielsenIQ (India), 78% of Indians think it is important to consider insurance in overall financial planning.
  • The survey was conducted across 28 metro and tier I, II, III cities to understand the financial and physical preparedness of people for the future owing to Covid-19. 5000 people across the age group of 21-45 took part in it.
  • As per the results, 44% of the respondents purchased life insurance and 46% purchased health insurance for the first time during Covid-19.
  • Compared to the first and second waves of Covid-19, 80% of Indians feel prepared with respect to physical immunity needed to tackle the possible third wave and 38% think the current situation may worsen in the next three months. The top three worries of people are - 
    • Rising medical and treatment costs.
    • Instability of Jobs
    • Concerns around the health of self and family members.
  • The survey tried to find the impact of the pandemic on the finances of Indians and it was noticed that - 
    • 79% faced income reduction, out of which 44% feel their income has been restored, while more than 1/3rd are still facing income reduction.
    • 64% feel their milestones, like accumulating savings, leisure traveling, providing for child education, etc. were affected in some or other way.
  • The survey also checked the steps taken by Indians to tackle the impact of the pandemic on income and it was found that -
    • 60% reduced spending on non-essential items. 
    • 50% used their emergency funds.
    • 44% took loans from friends and family.
    • 44% generated multiple sources of income.
  • As per the survey, 57% of the Indians associate financial immunity with maintaining financial security and stability of self and family.
  • With the pandemic and the fear of the third wave around, there is a change in the behavior of Indians towards savings and investments - 
    • 75% of Indians have increased their savings/ investments since January 2021.
    • 50% of India's income is more focused on building financial immunity through savings, investments, and insurance.
  • Further, it was found that many people in India are underinsured. The life cover to personal annual income ratio is only 3.8 times, which is way below the recommended 10X to 25X of annual income. 

Source: Livemint

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LIC and Hero Insurance Brokers come together to increase insurance penetration 🤝

  • Life Insurance Corporation of India and Hero Insurance Brokers have joined hands to increase insurance awareness and availability in semi-urban and rural parts of India. 
  • With this tie-up, both companies aim to increase insurance benefits amongst the uninsured sections of the country and as a result, improve financial stability.
  • LIC will provide all its 32 insurance products through Hero Insurance Broking’s vast distribution network of 2,700 customer service locations.
  • Hero Insurance Broking India Pvt. Ltd. is a part of Hero Enterprises. Hero provides services both physically as well as digitally. Its insurance broking portal allows distributors to sell multiple general insurance products to their customers. 

Source: Outlook

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Star Health introduces WhatsApp Services for its customers 📱

  • With an aim to provide 360-degree support to their customers from purchase to claim, Star Health Insurance has started WhatsApp services for its customers.
  • Customers can download policy papers as well as apply for claims through the WhatsApp service. All they need to do is send a Hi message from their WhatsApp number to Star Health's WhatsApp Number +91 959765225.
  • The information between the customer and the insurer will be private and end-to-end encrypted. 
  • The managing director of Star Health, Anand Roy, thinks WhatsApp will be the best platform to stay connected with all their customers at any point as it has grabbed a significant position in India.
  • Along with WhatsApp messaging, Star Health also provides assistance to the customers through its chat assistant Twinkle, customer care numbers, agents, official website, branch offices, and the Star Power App.

Source: UNI

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