Lifelong renewal on mediclaim is offered by mono-line insurers like Max Bupa and Apollo Munich. Government insurers also offer it on specific products. Now the other private insurers will soon offer this option too, to remain competitive
Bajaj Allianz, Bharti AXA and Future Generali will soon offer mediclaim with a lifelong renewal option, as there is a clear trend in favour of this among customers who are already able to avail of this benefit from competitors, among them government insurers.
Many mediclaim customers face the possibility of termination of their policy if they outlive the maximum renewal age (usually 75 years). This may lead to all the years of premium payment coming to naught, this at a time when they are most likely to need hospitalisation. The policy renewal may be done by the insurer, but it is on a case-to-case basis. Increasing life expectancy is another reason that would make lifelong renewal an imperative offering from insurers.
According to TA Ramalingam, head-underwriting, Bajaj Allianz General Insurance, "When we filed our mediclaim product over a decade ago, lifelong renewal was not as much a requirement as it is today. We want to be fair to existing customers and not turn them away after a certain age. It's not something we are looking at from the selling point. Our actuaries are working on the pricing for ages above 75years. We did not have pricing structure for higher ages."
The Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority (IRDA) wants new mediclaim products to offer lifelong renewal. It is not mandatory that existing mediclaim products also start offering it, but insurers are responding to customer needs.
Bajaj Allianz and Future Generali are in the process of filing for existing product revision and new products respectively, while Bharti AXA has already filed for revision of its existing product. There was no word from ICICI Lombard on the lifelong renewal matter, till the time of publishing the article.
Dr Amarnath Ananthanarayanan, chief executive officer and managing director, Bharti AXA General Insurance says, "We filed for lifelong renewal revision in January 2011 and hope that IRDA will clear our proposal at the earliest. We will offer it post approval from the regulator."
Admitting that health insurance is all the more important as a person gets older, Dr Ananthanarayanan said it would be unfair to deny customers protection when they need it the most. "We constantly improve our products keeping our customers' requirements in mind and this is another step in that direction. We shall offer this benefit to all our customers, including our existing customers, once we receive the regulatory approval," he said.
He explained that the pricing is done in conjunction with the actuarial team, especially to address the challenge of data inadequacy in India. "Of course, we had to consider many other factors, such as medical inflation, the change in life expectancy, and last but not the least the affordability of customers who are in the older age bracket, to come up with the premium levels."
According to Shreeraj Deshpande, head of health insurance, Future Generali India Insurance, "We are in the process of filing health products (indemnity products) which will have no maximum exit age or lifelong renewals."
Under the scheme in the making, the source of money will not have to be disclosed but criminal action would be taken if the assets or money stashed pertain to proceeds of crime
New Delhi: A special voluntary disclosure scheme for bringing back black money stashed away in tax havens abroad may be in the offing, reports PTI.
The Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) is understood to be 'seriously considering' recommending to the government a scheme on the lines of the Voluntary Disclosure of Income Scheme (VDIS) announced in 1996 to tap funds lying abroad for productive use in India.
Sources said the issue gained momentum recently when captains of industry and business met finance minister Pranab Mukherjee and impressed on him the need for encouraging disclosure of unaccounted money kept in tax havens which could be used to fund infrastructure projects in the country.
A proposal for ushering in a similar scheme was proposed earlier by an expert group on black money to the government.
The thinking in the government comes in the midst of a raging debate over unearthing black money and illegal funds parked abroad.
The ministry is considering the formulation of such a scheme in the backdrop of India receiving fresh information under Tax Information Exchange Treaties (TIEAs), Double Tax Avoidance Agreement (DTAA) and the OECD automatic exchange route.
Under the scheme in the making, according to sources, the source of money will not have to be disclosed but criminal action would be taken if the assets or money stashed pertain to proceeds of crime.
Official sources said committee on black money headed by the CBDT chairman is expected to discuss and decide on the proposal during its proposed meeting later this month.
Incidentally, an expert group on black money had earlier suggested that an offshore voluntary scheme may be considered by the government to collect tax on undisclosed bank accounts and assets held by resident Indians abroad.
Experts on the subject said that such a scheme is prevalent and has been implemented in the US, UK, Germany, France, Greece, Italy and Portugal among others.
Sources said that now that the country's efforts to revive and implement the various tax treaties have started giving results, such a scheme could be operationalised as compared to the earlier practise where it was very difficult to obtain bank accounts and assets data of such a taxpayer.
The nitty-gritty of such a scheme and the amount of penalty, etc, on the disclosure of such funds stashed abroad could be worked at a later stage, the sources said.
The CBDT through the Income Tax (I-T) department has taken several measures in the recent past to update the article concerning exchange of information in existing DTAAs to specifically allow for exchange of banking information and information without domestic interest.
India has also decided to negotiate TIEAs with priority countries and jurisdictions.
In the last two years, India has concluded negotiation of 16 TIEAs, 18 new DTAAs and renegotiation of 21 existing DTAAs.
Magma Fincorp, nationally, had disbursed Rs5,415 crore in 2010-11 through its network of 172 offices across 21 states
Magma Fincorp said it plans to ramp up disbursements by another 50% in retail loans in Rajasthan during the current fiscal. The company disbursed Rs399 crore in the state. The company, nationally, had disbursed Rs5,415 crore in 2010-11 through its network of 172 offices across 21 states.
The company will continue with its focus on providing asset finance to the economically disenfranchised in Rajasthan and expect to further grow in the states, Magma Fincorp senior vice-president Sumit Mukherjee said.
The Kolkata-based company already has a footprint in the state with 12 offices and plans to add one more office in SriGanganagar in this fiscal.
"The company disbursed Rs399 crores in 2010-11, which was 50% higher than FY10. Tractor finance, Suvidha (refinance), car finance and commercial vehicle finance posted a healthy growth of 162%, 137%, 79% & 58%, respectively.
"The aggressive marketing strategy adopted by the company helped in attaining this phenomenal growth rate and played a major part in the market expansion drive for the company in this region," he said.
In the first quarter of the current financial year, the company has posted an overall growth of 68% in Rajasthan, compared to the corresponding period of the last financial year. Tractor finance, car finance, suvidha, commercial vehicle finance & construction equipment finance witnessed a growth of 124%, 94%, 86%, 66% and 53%, respectively.
"The primary sales of assets have witnessed robust growth in the past several quarters and we hope the same would continue. This augurs well for our business. With the development of infrastructure further, we hope our products will continue to do well as majority of them cater to the growth in rural and semi urban markets," Mukherjee said.
On Wednesday, Magma Fincorp ended 0.21% up at Rs72.60 on the Bombay Stock Exchange, while the benchmark Sensex gained 1.47% to 16,709.60.