KEEPING INSURANCE HUMAN
31 Aug, 2021 | Weekly

Weekly Insurance Round-up | Tuesday, August 31, 2021

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Hey Everybody! 👋

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! Hope you find this interesting and useful - and don't forget to share your feedback with us! 🤙

So - Let's take a deep breath, and jump in! 🤿


What's inside? 🧐


Got High BP and unaware of it!💓

  • As per the study by the peer-reviewed journal The Lancet, India has one of the lowest rates of hypertension diagnosis in the world.
  • It says that 60-70% of individuals who have hypertension live without getting a diagnosis or treatment, leading to severe complications such as strokes or heart attacks. 
  • Hypertension or High BP - is a condition that can easily be detected even at primary healthcare centers and treated at a low-cost. Despite this, India ranks very poorly at detecting and managing this disease - ranked 193rd amongst women, and 170th amongst men - across the world. 
  • Obesity, unhealthy high-salt diets, lack of exercise and heredity are some known causes of hypertension. As a corollary, a balanced and healthy diet, regular exercise and routine health check-ups are known to reduce the risk of hypertension. 
  • Given hypertension affects the long-term health quality, insurers already think twice before offering policies to individuals with the higher risk factors. However, with routine checkups and healthier lifestyles this risk can be managed and mitigated effectively. 
  • It’s important to investigate such health conditions in detail before making declarations in a proposal form, especially for people who have crossed 35 years of age. Moreover, many individuals downplay Hypertension, High Sugar, Respiratory diseases as health conditions and do not report them. 
  • Advisors should encourage a detailed study of their clients’ health conditions or conduct diligent interviews before signing them up for plans. In fact, they should get their clients and their family members to undergo a medical checkup at their own cost if they are above 40 years. This can ensure that declarations are made right, as well as help the client take preventive measures based on the findings. 
  • Today, several health insurance plans include a free medical test as part of their annual benefits. Financial advisors can send reminders to their clients about this facility so they can take advantage of it. If necessary, they should take additional tests (that are not covered by the insurer) at their own cost as a measure to catch symptoms early and prevent serious illnesses in the future. 

Source: Hindustan Times

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Unvaccinated people are 29 times more at risk of hospitalization🤒

  • A study conducted by the US Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) shows that people who are not vaccinated are 29 times more at risk of getting hospitalized and 4.9 times more at risk of contracting the  Covid-19 infection. While fully vaccinated people and partially vaccinated people did get infected by Covid, the severity was found to be lower than unvaccinated people.
  • In India, vaccination drives started only in mid-January,  and even now we have people who are adamant about not getting vaccinated. Studies like these show how important it is to get vaccinated.
  • Since the launch of the vaccination drive, India has administered 61.2 Cr. doses until 27th August 2021. Out of these, a majority - 47.2 Cr. was first doses and  14 Cr. were second doses. (Ministry of Health and Welfare , Government of India)
  • With only 34.3% getting first doses, and only 10% of the population is fully vaccinated, there remains a large chunk of our population who haven’t got their shots either due to unavailability or hesitancy. 
  • Insurance companies like Reliance General insurance are providing an additional one-time 5% discount on their Reliance Health Infinity plan for people who are vaccinated and thus motivating them to get vaccinated.  Also, reportedly TATA AIA and Max Life have made it mandatory to get vaccinated, at least with the 1st dose, before the issuance of any new term insurance policies.
  • Vaccination, along with hand-washing, masking-up, and social distancing measures is the only way to remain safe in these highly volatile times. 
  • At the same time, it is also important to protect oneself from the financial impact of an infection through good health insurance cover. As hospitalization costs continue to soar, we urge everyone to invest in an adequate health cover and protect their families from the financial burdens of hospitalization. 

Source: The Tribune

Full report: CDC

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Major relief to policyholders, as LIC now allows revival of lapsed policies🧘

  • Life insurance policies lapse and all benefits offered to the insured cease, if they miss paying a premium before the due date or the additional grace period.
  • LIC launched a two-month campaign to help individuals revive policies - lapsed because of delayed/ unpaid premiums resulting from the financial crunch during the pandemic. The campaign started on 23rd August 2021 and will continue till 22nd October 2021.  
  • While there is no leniency on  medical requirements, policyholders can avail concessions on the late-fees on all policies including Health and Micro Insurance plans (with the exception of Term Assurance and High-risk plans.)
  • Concessions provided are as follows:    
Total receivable Premium% Concession of late fee allowedMaximum Concession allowed
Up to ₹1,00,00020%₹2,000
From ₹1,00,001 to ₹3,00,00025%₹2,500
From ₹3,00,001  and above30%₹3,000

Only those policies that have lapsed in the last 5 years (but haven’t completed the term) are covered by this scheme. 

  • Our research team also spoke to the LIC customer care and received a confirmation on the documents policyholders need to submit to utilize this scheme. 
    • Good Health Declaration Certificate (Provided by the branch)
    • Revival form. (Provided by the branch)
    • Copy of PAN card
    • Copy of Aadhaar card
  • LIC of India had launched a similar campaign from August 10, 2020, to October 9, 2020.
  • We must note that LIC is not the first or only insurance company offering such an opportunity. In the past, insurers like Tata AIA Life Insurance Co. Ltd and Bajaj Allianz Life Insurance Co. Ltd too have done this. 
  • In fact, insurers are required by IRDA regulation to offer a 3-5 years revival period for their customers depending on the type of policy.

Sources: Moneycontrol | Deccan Chronicle

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Increased risk awareness propels insurance demand 🚀

  • The pandemic has brought a positive increase in insurance demand across health and life sectors, as there is a significant rise in risk awareness now. 
  • As per the Swiss Re’s Sigma report on World Insurance, the contribution of Insurance to GDP globally (Insurance Penetration) increased from 3.76% in the year 2019 to 4.2% in the year 2020. 
  • This annual report covers premiums written in the global primary insurance industry, across 88 countries between 2019-2020. 
  • Life insurance penetration has increased from 2.8% in the year 2019 to 3.2% in the year 2020 whereas non-life penetration has increased from 0.94% in the year 2019 to 1% in the year 2020. This increase indicates the development of the insurance sector in the geography. 
  • According to the latest survey, respondents felt that they are underinsured even after having both medical and life insurance, with 25%-50% of them intending to purchase new policies. 
  • This intent is higher in developing countries in Asia - particularly in India - when compared to other Asian nations such as China. 
  • Besides Insurance penetration, Insurance density (the ratio of total insurance premiums to the whole population) is also an important parameter analysed in this report. 
  • While insurance penetration affects the economy, insurance density helps insurance professionals estimate the opportunity in the market. 
  • As per the Swiss Re data India’s insurance density remained the same in 2019 and in 2020 which was $78 - $59 for life insurance and $19 for non-life insurance. It basically means that per person in our country, $59 is being spent on life insurance, and $19 is being spent on health insurance. 

Source: The Times of India

Full report for 2021: SwissRe report 2021

Full report for 2020: SwissRe report 2020

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Growing need to protect children against the long-term impacts of Climate change🧒

  • According to a report released by UNICEF, India is one of the 4 South Asian countries where children would face a high risk of the impact of climate change. 
  • The Children's Climate Risk Index' (CCRI) ranks countries based on children’s exposure and vulnerability to climate and environmental shocks.
  • While a report on the impact of the climate crisis is not new, the focus of this report was on children, and the impact on their health, education, nutrition, and social protection. CCRI is not restricted to climate hazards but takes a holistic look at the broader environmental issues that children face – such as air pollution or exposure to other toxic stresses.
  • Children are always most prone to be ill and the current change in the environment, the water crisis, air pollution plus the Coronavirus pandemic, etc are only adding more to it. As a takeaway, the report recommends that it is imperative for nations to invest in water, healthcare, and education systems to ensure better quality of life for tomorrow’s citizens. 
  • As a result, having adequate insurance could help mitigate the risks associated with poor conditions of life and their financial impact effectively. As more and more children get impacted by this global crisis, it might become necessary to start investing in health insurance at a very young age (even for children), when the premiums are lesser as well. 

Source: The New Indian Express

Full Report: UNICEF Website

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LIC launches ANANDA app, a step towards digital shift 📱

  • In November 2020, LIC of India launched their ANANDA module on their website exclusively for their agents and intermediaries to onboard policies online. Taking a step further, they’ve now launched the ANANDA mobile application.  
  • Built on a paperless KYC process for policyholder-authentication, ANANDA or Atma Nirbhar Agents New-Business Digital Application aims to make the process of onboarding prospective customers paperless and smooth.  
  • Further, agents can also download brochures, check pending leads and get the Virtual ID from the app dashboard. They can also view or edit proposals through this mobile app. 
  • LIC’s chairperson Mr. Kumar stated that the high use of the ANANDA module was the main inspiration for developing this mobile app. He predicts that the launch of the application will encourage the usage of the ANANDA module and this, in turn, will be a shift to digital technology.
  • Currently, only specific types of cases are being accepted online. Policies for children, those requiring medical tests, or those with high sum insurance will still need to be processed offline. 
  • There’s a cap on the premium at ₹50,000/-, but the Sum insured may vary from ₹2 lakhs - ₹1 Crore. Yearly, half-yearly and quarterly payment mode options are available through the app. 
  • The plans currently available on the app are as follows:
    • LIC's Bima Jyoti (860)
    • LIC's New Endowment Plan (914)
    • LIC's New Jeevan Anand (915) 
    • LIC's New Money Back Plan - 20 YEARS (920)
    • LIC's New Money Back Plan - 25 YEARS (921)
    • LIC's Jeevan Lakshya (933)
    • LIC's Jeevan Labh (936)
    • LICs Jeevan Umang (945)
  • The launch of this app lets LIC agents register new policies from the comfort of their homes and this is a boon considering the current situation and the risk involved in traveling and physical meetings with prospective customers. 
  • With the app, the agents can reach more and more customers without any hassle of paperwork. This is not only beneficial for the agents but also for the customers as even they will not have to visit the branch or meet the agent for submitting their documents.

Source: The Hindu Businessline | News18

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Team Beshak
Written by,
Team Beshak, We breathe insurance :)

We are a group of young members of the Beshak community. We come together to brainstorm, write relevant and useful content for people (just like us) who want to figure insurance on their own. If you too want to share inputs/write for us - send us a "hey" to info@beshak.org

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