Following deliberations between the finance ministry and the Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority (IRDA), the regulator will soon notify exchange traded funds as an investment product for insurance firms, according to media reports. The move is expected to help the government tap into the huge resources of insurance companies and to ensure long-term investments through this mode. We are not sure whether the move would be beneficial to the government. Moneylife believes that ETFs are trading products while insurance companies are required to invest for the long term. Many ETFs are not liquid enough to accommodate the large liquidity needs of insurance companies, especially when they want to sell.
Astudy conducted by consumers’ rights organisation, Consumer Voice, has found that four out of every nine health insurance policyholders have faced problems while getting their insurance claims approved and settled. The survey was conducted across eight Indian cities, Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata, Chennai, Bengaluru, Hyderabad, Ahmedabad and Lucknow, to find out whether or not the health insurance providers keep their promises and settle the policyholders’ claims. In all, 3,312 respondents participated.
The claims include those made with insurance providers and third party administrators (TPA). Out of this, 26% claimants say documentation is the toughest part, while 21.8% complaints relate to authorisation of claims. Close to 17% respondents rated ‘unjustified deduction by TPA in claim settlement’ as a major problem they have to deal with at the time of claim processing.
Astudy for DSP Blackrock conducted by Neilson reported that about 77% of working women in India depend on their father or spouse for making investment decisions for them. Of the 23% women who invest on their own, 18% are single working women.
“Most women are only informed of investment decisions already taken; or at best, are joint decision makers… Women are inclined towards safety and believe in long term investing. The main reason why women don’t take investment decisions is that they are safety oriented and reluctant to take risk,” the report noted.
Among working women, sole decision-makers in the urban areas stood at 24% while in the rural areas the number was 20%. Among non-working women, sole decision-making power was mainly with women in the metros.