Irda working with insurers for simple products

The Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India (Irda) is working towards introducing simple products which can be sold over the counter, its chairman T S Vijayan said.

The insurance regulator is currently working with non-life insurers to launch such products which will be followed by life insurers.

"We are working on introducing simple insurance products which can be sold over the counter and we have already come out with points-of-sales regulation for non-life products. We are also working with life insurers to launch such simple products which could happen later," Vijayan told reporters in Mumbai on Monday.

"We don't want any complex products to be sold through points-of-sales," he added after launching the Registry of Hospitals in Network of Insurance (Rohini).

To a query why only a few foreign partners of insurance companies which are operational in the country have announced increasing their stake from currently existing 26 per cent in spite of the new Insurance Act coming into force early this year, Vijayan said, "I hope they are waiting for the right time to increase their stake."

Some overseas insurers, which have announced plans to raise stakes in their joint ventures here, include the Japanese major Nippon in Reliance Life, the French giant Axa in Bharti Axa Life, Bupa in Max Bupa health Insurance and Sunlife Financial Inc in Birla Sunlife.

Vijayan said the obligatory cess which is charged by state-owned reinsurer GIC Re from insurers will continue even if foreign reinsurers open shops here.

He also said Irda will be coming up with a host of guidelines after its next quarterly board meet, which is slated for the month-end or early January.

"We will come up with a number of guidelines after our next quarterly board meeting, which may take place either by the month-end or by early next month," Vijayan said.

On the devastating floods in Tamil Nadu, he said, "The regulator is working on providing some kind of procedural exemptions, particularly for the non-life segment for the state."