India’s terror insurance pool set to jump: Regulator

December 3rd, 2008 - 4:12 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, Dec 3 (IANS) India’s terror insurance pool is set to jump from the current level of Rs.750 crore (Rs.7.5 billion/$150 million) in the wake of the recent attack in Mumbai, the country’s watchdog for the industry has said.The pool, organised by the Insurance Regulation and Development Authority (IRDA) for the non-life sector, will also grow, as insurance firms were bound to face an increasing number of claims, said J. Hari Narayan, chairman of the authority.

“Terror insurance products are also bound to be upgraded and the rate of premia might change depending upon the evolution of new products that the industry will come up with,” he told a seminar hosted by the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (Ficci).

The terrorism risk pool, managed by the state-run General Insurance Corp of India, ensures that the bottomlines of insurance companies do not take a hit when claims are made following such attacks.

Narayan said the watchdog was examining a host of issues such as rationalisation of insurance intermediaries, permitting outsourcing of non-core activities, new distribution modes like e-sales and payment of premia with re-charge coupons.

“We have cleared as many as 288 new insurance products this year,” he said, adding these will give more flexibility and a choice of options for general insurance products.

At the same time, a data warehouse will be in place by January with IRDA to help industry improve its understanding of the market and analyse trends. This, in turn, will help in improving the quality of products, he added.

Narayan also termed as “simply unacceptable” the current rate of settlement of claims, which stood at 70 percent. Of the 30 percent unsettled grievance cases, some 40 percent were due to administrative and managerial issues, he said.

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