Sunday, January 22, 2012

IRDA fines MetLife Insurance Rs 2 lakh

New Delhi: Insurance regulator IRDA has imposed a fine of Rs 2 lakhs on private sector insurer MetLife for failure to follow norms while issuing policy.
"IRDA is satisfied that there has been negligence on the part of the insurer (MetLife India Insurance Company) and consequently imposes a penalty of Rs 2 lakh," said an order issued by the regulator.
Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority (IRDA) has passed the order in connection with the delay in communicating the status of life insurance policy to one Suresh Chukkapalli.
Under the IRDA regulations, an insurer is required to process a proposal with speed and efficiency and communicate the decision to the applicant within 15 days of the receipt of proposal.
The IRDA said "insurer (MetLife) did not pay sufficient attention in promptly communicating the underwriting decision as well as in refunding the proposal deposits collected from the complainant within the prescribed timelines."

Star Health announces Rs 600 cr loss in premium

Chennai: City-based health insurance provider Star Health and Allied Insurance has reported a Rs 600 crore loss in premium this fiscal as the AIADMK government has scrapped the Kalaignar Insurance Scheme managed by the company, a top official of the firm said today.
Star Health and Allied Insurance had emerged as the successful bidder for the Kalaignar Insurance Scheme, a pet project of then Chief Minister and DMK President M Karunanidhi. The scheme was aimed at benefiting below poverty line families.
However, as soon as Chief Minister Jayalalithaa assumed office in May, 2011, the Kalaignar Insurance Scheme was scrapped and an improved insurance cover with additional benfits announced. The new scheme was bagged by another city-based insurance provider.
A sum of Rs 600 crore in total premium was impacted this year, Star Health and Allied Insurance CMD V Jagannathan told reporters after unveiling the upgraded version of the company's 'Family Health Optima' insurance plan.
Jagannathan said in Andhra Pradesh, the company bagged the state government-sponsored 'Aarogyasri Community Health Insurance Scheme' for providing quality health care to BPL families. However, it had lost this insurance scheme as there were not many takers and the company lost Rs 200 crore on the total premium.
A company official, on condition of anonymity, said the impact was big as many did not prefer to renew the insurance scheme. "Selecting a scheme is their choice. Similarly, rejecting a scheme is also based on their interest," she said.
On the company's target for this year, Jagannathan said it would remain "flat", with around Rs 1,200 crore in total premium collections this fiscal.
On future plans, he said the company plans to launch a "high-end" health insurance product targeted at elite individuals. "After getting approval from IRDA, we may introduce it this year itself...," he said.
In Madurai, company Vice-President A M Mallesh told reporters the firm also plans to focus on northeastern states.
Tamil Nadu accounted for one-third of the premium collections in the country, he added.

Sachin Tendulkar buys Rs 100 cr cover

Mumbai: Having moved into his "dream house", ace cricketer Sachin Tendulkar has now secured his five-story Bandra residence with a staggering Rs 100 crore insurance cover, one of the biggest insurance deals by an individual.
The cricket icon has bought the insurance from a consortium of general insurers, according to industry sources.
"A consortium of general insurance companies has given an insurance cover for the cricketer's home in Bandra for a value consideration of Rs 100 crore," an official of a public sector general insurance company, who wished not to be named, said.
As per the official, all the four state-run GIs along with a private insurer have provided the cover.
"Oriental Insurance Company, United India Insurance, New India Assurance and National Insurance Company are the four government-owned general insurers providing the cover along with a private insurer," the official said, adding the annual premium would be around Rs 40 lakh.
According to another insurance official, the cover has been taken in two parts. While a fire insurance policy has been obtained for Rs 75 crore, an additional cover of Rs 25 crore has been bought for household items like furniture, electronic gadgets and cricket accessories among others.
The fire insurance covers losses from blaze, terror attacks, natural disasters like earthquakes, and burglary among others. The insurance covers the cost of the land, compound walls, besides electrical equipment.
The Tendulkars had moved into the sprawling 6,000 square feet villa in Bandra West in September from a flat that had been allotted to the maestro under sports quota.
"Everyone has a dream of owning a house. I, too, had this dream. I am happy that I was able to fulfil it," Tendulkar had said while moving into his new abode.
The cricketer's residence stands on a plot that earlier housed a dilapidated bungalow, which he had bought for Rs 39 crore in 2007.
The villa has been secured with high-walled fencing to avoid curious onlookers. CCTV cameras and sensors have also been installed.
Besides the three storeys above the ground level, the villa reportedly has two underground basements.
With this deal, Tendulkar has joined a select league of industrialists and filmstars who have taken such high insurance cover in the recent past.
While filmstar Shah Rukh Khan has reportedly insured his mansion "Mannat", also in Bandra, for Rs 110 crore, Reliance Industry chairman Mukesh Ambani's USD 1-billion Antilla has been insured for around Rs 150 crore.

LIC earned Rs 6,542 cr profit from stock mkt

New Delhi: Country's largest insurer, Life Insurance Corporation, earned Rs 6,542.72 crore profit from investments in stock market in the first seven months of the current fiscal, Parliament was informed today.
LIC had invested Rs 21,294.80 crore in the equity market during April-October period of 2011, Minister of State for Finance Namo Narain Meena said in a written reply to the Lok Sabha.
In 2010-11, LIC invested Rs 43,213.60 crore in the stock market against Rs 61,398.13 crore in 2009-10.
The profit booked from the investments in equity market stood at Rs 17,055.36 crore in the last fiscal as compared to Rs 9,432.25 crore in 2009-10, Meena said.
RBI: The Reserve Bank of India has reported that certain irregularities in the restructuring of loans have been observed in different categories of restructured loans such as agriculture loans, small borrowers and other category of borrowers in some public sector banks.
"In few cases, restructuring was done without conducting any viability study with regard to various financial and business aspects," Meena said.
Repeated restructuring was undertaken in certain cases, he said, adding that irregular upgradation of restructured accounts were also done in some cases.
He also said that RBI, during the second quarter Review of Monetary Policy of 2011-12, on October 25, 2011, had proposed constituting a working group to review the existing prudential guidelines on restructuring of advances by banks or financial institutions.
It proposed the group suggest revisions taking into account the best international practices and accounting standards.
Credit Cards: Credit card related complaints are generally received from the customers on the grounds of non-adherence of banks or its subsidiaries to the instruction of Reserve Bank on credit card operations, Meena said.
During July-November 2011, as many as 5,554 complaints were received by the office of the Banking Ombudsman relating to credit card operations of scheduled commercial banks, he said.
During 2010-11, 11,800 complaints were received by the Banking Ombudsman relating to credit card operations of scheduled commercial banks.