Posts Tagged ‘premium’

IRDA Allows Banks to Sell Insurance Products of Multiple Companies

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The Insurance Regulatory & Development Authority (IRDA) is likely to permit banks to sell insurance products of more than one company.

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The move will allow banks to retail insurance products and not just be distributor for one insurer.

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A panel, set up by the IRDA to look into bancassurance, is finalizing its report, an IRDA official said.

From 2002, IRDA had allowed bancassurance.

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A bank was allowed to act as an agent for only one life and one general insurer according to the norms.

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Bancassurance is a delivery channel in which an insurance company uses a bank”s sales channel to sell its products.

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At present, bancassurance garners more than a quarter of the entire premium collected by the insurance industry.

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Combining scheduled commercial banks, co-operative banks and regional rural development banks, India has close to 1,70,000 bank branches.

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IRDA has been concerned about tie-ups between banks and insurance companies and is considering a regulatory framework for an open architecture for such arrangements

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ULIPs to be Commission Free after April 1, 2011 :)

ULIPs to be Commission Free after April 1, 2011

ULIPs to be Commission Free after April 1, 2011

Those investing in Unit Linked Insurance Plans (ULIPs) are set to be secured of this burden of paying commission after April 2011 even though consumers buying pure-life insurance products will have to go on paying commission to sellers of these policies.

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However this is said :

– to help improve returns to investors in ULIPs,

-curb mis-selling and

– help raise insurance penetration by having a modest commission on pure insurance products in turn creating incentives for sellers.

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Further, it will also pave the way for a load-free regime on most financial products after April 1, 2011.


Moreover, the suggestion to cut commissions from the policy-holders” premium is against the insurance regulator IRDA‘s demand to keep the existing structure intact
while agents are entitled to get a commission of upto :

– 40% of the premium in the first year,

– 7.5% in the second year and

– 5% in the third year and thereafter.

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Further, if the panel”s proposal passes muster with the HLCC, upfront commissions embedded in the ULIP premium will be cut to 15% by April and 7% by October next year.

While, ULIPs will be load-free by April 1, 2011 just like mutual
funds and pension products under the new pension scheme
and insurance companies will help their agent”s transit to a
fee-based model instead of a commission based model.

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Additionally, sellers of term insurance products with pure lifecover sans investment will have to reconcile to lower commissions which will be cut to 5% of the premium after April1, 2011 and will continue till penetration reaches the targets set by the government.

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Surge in Vehicles Sales Pushes Profit of General Insurance Industry, Up :)

general insurance

The general insurance industry reported growth of 14 per cent in July, mainly due to sales of motor insurance policies.

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In July, passenger vehicle sales reported growth of 29.1 per cent and commercial vehicle sales grew at 9.6 per cent.

Consequently, sales of motor insurance policies also increased.

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In the reporting month, gross written premiums (GWPs) of the public sector insurers stood at Rs 1,680 crore, which is higher by 13.5 per cent.

Private sector players’ GWPs grew 14 per cent at Rs 1,176 crore.

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Meanwhile, state-owned players such as United India Insurance, New India Assurance and Oriental Insurance posted double-digit growths.

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National Insurance was the only public player to have a single-digit growth.

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Even as the public sector players posted a good growth,the two big private players β€” ICICI Lombard General Insurance and Bajaj Allianz General Insurance β€” registered negative growth.

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However, market is picking up.

Though there is some slowdown in the travel insurance segment, but motor insurance is picking up.

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Private Sector Life Insurers Sailing in Choppy Waters :(

Private insurers sailing in choppy waters

Even after 8 years in operations, most of the companies seem to be sailing in choppy waters while the latest profit/loss numbers reveals that almost all of the 22 companies are still making losses.

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Net losses of the private sector life insurers have risen to a whopping Rs 4850 crore during the last fiscal from 2001-2002, showing a uncanny rise of over 2000%.

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However, Reliance Life has suffered the highest loss of Rs 1085 crore and its pool of the policy holders fund is a meager Rs 50 crore.

Moreover, ICICI Prudential Life is sitting on a net loss of Rs 780 crore while the cushion for policy holders is Rs 200 crore.

As for Birla Sunlife, the loss amounts to Rs 700 crore with a 130 crore surplus for the policy holders fund while HDFC Standard Life has netted losses of Rs 500 crore with a policy holders fund of 160 crore.

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Additionally, IRDA is looking at the numbers very closely now and is also doing a check on the risk profile of individual companies and trying to build in a system of early warning given the fact that life insurance is a long gestation business.

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Meanwhile, it is the speedy expansion in business that has cost the companies dear and the coming days will see a change in strategy.

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At the same it is said that such multi million losses may hit valuations of private life insurers especially if the companies are keen to list on the stock exchanges.

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As IPO Market Falters,Companies Eye New Funds !!

Market falters

The post-listing dismal performance of the initial public offering ( IPO) of public sector power major NHPC Ltd is set to force many companies to rework their fund- raising strategies in the coming months.

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Qualified institutional placements (QIPs), global depository receipts (GDRs) or those shares issued to overseas investors and listed on exchanges abroad are likely to be the most favoured means for these purposes, leading investment bankers said.

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Some of the companies are already planning to revise their issue prices downwards to ensure that offerings will not fall through.

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Oil India Ltd (OIL), which is open for subscription now, is the first to draw lessons from the NHPC episode and revise its issue price.

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OIL has revised their price band to Rs 950- 1,050 per share, from Rs 1,250- 1,400, after the NHPC episode as per few bankers.

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NHPC fixed the price of its IPO at Rs 36 per share last month.

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Though the stock listed on September 1 at eight per cent premium to the issue price, at Rs 39, it closed just 70 paise or 1.94 per cent above the issue price.

Over the last two days, the premium further narrowed to just 10 paise.

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Jagannadham Thunuguntla, equity head of SMC Capitals Ltd, cites heavy selling, coupled with no follow- up buying as the reasons for the lacklustre listing of NHPC.

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NHPC’s IPO price was 30 times its earnings per share (EPS).

“In fact, well- established companies like NTPC are available at much lower valuations. Hence, there was no follow- up buying from the investors on NHPC listing,” Thunuguntla explained.

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Further, majority of the oversubscription is not due to genuine investor interest but is due to the borrowed funding through ‘IPO financing“.

Naturally, all such investors were forced to sell on the day of listing as these involve a lot of interest cost. This resulted in heavy selling on the day of the listing,” he added.

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After the market rebound since March 2009, fundstarved companies started tapping the market.

And when the elections gave a more convincing victory to the UPA combine, the market gathered greater strength.

Since March, companies were able to raise funds to the extent of Rs 21,191 crore through 22 QIPs; and $ 1.88 billion through four GDRs/ ADRs (funds raised from US- based investors and listed in the US).

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However experts maintained that these are the sources of funds for which few institutional investors are to be convinced, rather than working on creating confidence among the whole investor community.

At the same time such companies should have a high corporate governance track- record as well.

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price band

Investor’s Dilemma : Are ULIPs just another Mutual Fund??

ulips

At almost every investor mind a question is generally cropped up: β€œWhat is the difference between a ULIP and a Mutual Fund?”

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The reason, perhaps for the wide extent of confusion, lies largely in the way ULIPs have been sold by agents. As just another mutual fund.

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Unit Linked Insurance Policies (ULIPs) as an investment avenue are closest to mutual funds in terms of their structure and functioning.

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As is the case with mutual funds, investors in ULIPs is allotted units by the insurance company and a net asset value (NAV) is declared for the same on a daily basis.

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Similarly ULIP investors have the option of investing across various schemes similar to the ones found in the mutual funds domain, i.e. diversified equity funds, balanced funds and debt funds to name a few.

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Generally speaking, ULIPs can be termed as mutual fund schemes with an insurance component.

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Mutual Fund is a body corporate that pools the money from individual/corporate investors and invests the same on behalf of the investors /unit holders, in various investment avenues like equity shares, Government securities, Bonds, Call money markets etc., as per the pre-specified objective and distributes the profits earned from such investment.

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In India, Mutual Funds are registered with the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI).


ULIPs vs Mutual Funds

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ULIPs are a mix of investment and insurance. πŸ™‚

But very long term investment, not even medium term.

Insurance companies themselves admit, that if your investment horizon is anything less than 7 years, don’t even consider a ULIP.

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Charge structure in a ULIP is vastly different from a mutual fund.

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ULIP investors also have the flexibility to alter the premium amounts during the policy’s tenure.

The freedom to modify premium payments at one’s convenience clearly gives ULIP investors an edge over their mutual fund counterparts.

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In mutual fund investments, expenses charged for various activities like fund management, sales and marketing, administration among others are subject to pre-determined upper limits as prescribed by the Securities and Exchange Board of India.

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Insurance companies have a free hand in levying expenses on their ULIP products with no upper limits being prescribed by the regulator, i.e. the Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority.

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ULIPs also allow you to switch from debt to equity within the same scheme, at no extra charge.

So if you want to get the benefits of long term investment and risk cover in one single product, ULIP is the product for you.

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So it is not an issue, of whether a mutual fund is better or a ULIP. It is about your need.

Both can co-exist in your basket of needs. πŸ™‚

So identify your needs with a financial planner and then pick the product suitable for you.

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ULIPs are a mix of investment and insurance. But very long term investment, not even medium term.

Insurance companies themselves admit, that if your investment horizon is anything less than 7 years, don’t even consider a ULIP.

Charge structure in a ULIP is vastly different from a mutual fund.

ULIP investors also have the flexibility to alter the premium amounts during the policy’s tenure.

The freedom to modify premium payments at one’s convenience clearly gives ULIP investors an edge over their mutual fund counterparts.

In mutual fund investments, expenses charged for various activities like fund management, sales and marketing, administration among others are subject to pre-determined upper limits as prescribed by the Securities and Exchange Board of India. Insurance companies have a free hand in levying expenses on their ULIP products with no upper limits being prescribed by the regulator, i.e. the Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority.

ULIPs also allow you to switch from debt to equity within the same scheme, at no extra charge. So if you want to get the benefits of long term investment and risk cover in one single product, ULIP is the product for you.

So it is not an issue, of whether a mutual fund is better or a ULIP. It is about your need.

Both can co-exist in your basket of needs.

So identify your needs with a financial planner and then pick the product suitable for you.

What are ULIPs? How is it different from Mutual funds ?

ULIPs are a mix of investment and insurance

ULIPs are a mix of investment and insurance

At almost every investor mind a question is generally cropped up: “What is the difference between a ULIP and a Mutual Fund?”

The reason, perhaps for the wide extent of confusion, lies largely in the way ULIPs have been sold by agents. As just another mutual fund.

Unit Linked Insurance Policies (ULIPs) as an investment avenue are closest to mutual funds in terms of their structure and functioning.

As is the case with mutual funds, investors in ULIPs is allotted units by the insurance company and a net asset value (NAV) is declared for the same on a daily basis.

Similarly ULIP investors have the option of investing across various schemes similar to the ones found in the mutual funds domain, i.e. diversified equity funds, balanced funds and debt funds to name a few.

Generally speaking, ULIPs can be termed as mutual fund schemes with an insurance component.

And as you would be aware about Mutual Fund, it is a body corporate that pools the money from individual/corporate investors and invests the same on behalf of the investors /unit holders, in various investment avenues like equity shares, Government securities, Bonds, Call money markets etc., as per the pre-specified objective and distributes the profits earned from such investment.

In India, Mutual Funds are registered with the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI).

ULIPs vs Mutual Funds

ULIPs

Mutual Funds

Investment amounts

Determined by the investor and can be modified as well

Minimum investment amounts are determined by the fund house

Expenses

No upper limits, expenses determined by the insurance company

Upper limits for expenses chargeable to investors have been set by the regulator

Portfolio disclosure

Not mandatory*

Quarterly disclosures are mandatory

Modifying asset allocation

Generally permitted for free or at a nominal cost

Entry/exit loads have to be borne by the investor

Tax benefits

Section 80C benefits are available on all ULIP investments

Section 80C benefits are available only on investments in tax-saving funds

ULIPs are a mix of investment and insurance. But very long term investment, not even medium term.Insurance companies themselves admit, that if your investment horizon is anything less than 7 years, don’t even consider a ULIP.

Charge structure in a ULIP is vastly different from a mutual fund.

ULIPs invest for the long term, as they expect investors to stay for the long term. And the purpose of a ULIP is also different build assets through a pension plan, retirement plan or child plan. All of which, need very long term investing, say 10-15 years or even more.

ULIP investors also have the flexibility to alter the premium amounts during the policy’s tenure.

For example an individual with access to surplus funds can enhance the contribution thereby ensuring that his surplus funds are gainfully invested; conversely an individual faced with a liquidity crunch has the option of paying a lower amount (the difference being adjusted in the accumulated value of his ULIP).

The freedom to modify premium payments at one’s convenience clearly gives ULIP investors an edge over their mutual fund counterparts.

In mutual fund investments, expenses charged for various activities like fund management, sales and marketing, administration among others are subject to pre-determined upper limits as prescribed by the Securities and Exchange Board of India. Insurance companies have a free hand in levying expenses on their ULIP products with no upper limits being prescribed by the regulator, i.e. the Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority.

Mutual fund houses are required to statutorily declare their portfolios on a quarterly basis, albeit most fund houses do so on a monthly basis. Investors get the opportunity to see where their monies are being invested and how they have been managed by studying the portfolio.

*There is lack of consensus on whether ULIPs are required to disclose their portfolios. While some insurers claim that disclosing portfolios on a quarterly basis is mandatory, others state that there is no legal obligation to do so.

ULIPs also allow you to switch from debt to equity within the same scheme, at no extra charge. So if you want to get the benefits of long term investment and risk cover in one single product, ULIP is the product for you.

So it is not an issue, of whether a mutual fund is better or a ULIP. It is about your need.

Both can co-exist in your basket of needs.

So identify your needs with a financial planner and then pick the product suitable for you.

Insurance : QUESTIONS and ANSWERS

Insurance

What is insurance?

We face a lot of risks in our daily lives. Some of these lead to financial losses. Insurance is a way of protecting against these financial losses. For a payment (premium), an insurance company will take the responsibility of compensating your financial losses.

What is general insurance?

Insuring anything other than human life is called general insurance. Examples are insuring property like house and belongings against fire and theft or vehicles against accidental damage or theft. Injury due to accident or hospitalization for illness and surgery can also be insured. Your liabilities to others arising out of the law can also be insured and is compulsory in some cases like motor third party insurance.

Why should one insure ?

One of the main reasons one should insure is to protect one’s belongings and assets against financial loss. When one has earned and accumulated property, protecting it is prudent. The law also requires us to be insured against some liabilities. That is, in case we should cause a loss to another person, that person is entitled to compensation. To ensure that we can afford to pay that compensation, the law requires us to buy liability insurance so that the responsibility of paying the compensation is transferred to an insurance company.

Who should buy general insurance?

Anyone who owns an asset can buy insurance to protect it against losses due to fire or theft and so on. Each one of us can insure our and our dependents’ health and well being through hospitalisation and personal accident policies. To buy a policy the person should be the one who will bear financial losses if they occur. This is called insurable interest.

What kinds of policies are there?

Most general insurance policies are annual – that is, they last for one year. Some policies are given for longer periods – like fire insurance for residences – and some for shorter periods – like insurance for goods transportation or for emergency medical treatment during foreign travel.

How much should I insure for?

The amount you insure for is called the sum assured. Normally a policy should cover the value of the asset – either the market value while insuring, or the cost of replacing the asset should it be lost or destroyed. The premium will depend on the sum assured.

What is the periodicity of premium payments?

Most general insurance policies are annual and the premium payment is in advance. No risk commences unless you have paid the premium. In some long term policies companies have the facility of collecting premiums periodically.

Why do different people have different premiums ?

The premium is calculated on the extent and nature of the cover you want. A higher sum insured means a higher rate of premium. Similarly a higher risk will be charged a higher premium. An example of this is that an older person will have to pay a higher premium for health insurance for the same sum insured. Sometimes the risk is higher depending on the location of risks – for example in motor insurance in areas where accidents are higher. So the premium will vary according to the nature and severity of the risk.
If I buy a policy and don’t make a claim, it is a loss. So, why should I buy insurance?

General insurance is not meant to be for savings or investment returns. It is meant for protection. What you pay for is the protection against a risk. To approach it as something from which returns should be obtained is not the correct approach as there is a price to pay for protecting a property worth lakhs for a few hundred rupees.