‘Companies try to reduce cost of employee health benefits:’ Periscope survey 2011

“Employees’ health benefits changes are driven primarily by cost concerns and a desire to infuse employees with a sense of responsibility:” Periscope survey 2011 by Vantage Insurance  Brokers.

Periscope Survey 2011 is a survey by Vantage Insurance Brokers and is a combination of employer survey, insurer survey and trend survey with respect to health insurance benefits provided to employees by employers. The key areas include benefits, claims, premiums and insurance partners.

The key findings of the survey include the fact that the most important objective behind changes made to benefits has been to contain costs. However, employers also stressed that it is equally important to make the employees more responsible towards usage of the health benefits. Room rental restriction is the most popular risk control measure with 87% of the employers adopting this restriction in the policy in 2011.

Co-payment on claims is the second-most popular risk control measure and it has been adopted by 45% of the employers. Cost sharing measures seem to be gaining popularity amongst employers with co-pay/ deductible and premium contribution by employees emerging as the most common change planned for 2012 or later.

While employers believe that the benefits of voluntary parents policy have been well - communicated and that their employees have embraced it as a positive step, the data shows a significant disconnect. Employers, on an average, believe that 42% of their employees have opted for this benefit whereas the actual average enrolment, as revealed through the data analysis, is significantly lower at 19%.

Cashless claims have risen 26% over the two year period between 2008 and 2010 while re-imbursement claims have gone up 9% in the same period. This represents an annualized increase of approx. 10% in average claim size for these 2 years. The survey analysis suggests an upward trend in the average claim size with the increasing sum insured. 60% of the surveyed employers are seeking to control claims through employee awareness. 50% of the employers surveyed are looking at implementing health and wellness initiatives to encourage employees to take better care of their health.


Aegon Religare expects new insurance product to boost online sale

“Currently around 10% of our business, with regard to total plans sold, comes from the online segment:” Aegon Religare Life Insurance CMO.

Life insurance firm Aegon Religare is looking to sell at least 15-20% of its policies through online distribution within two years on the back of its new protection product. The company, which has announced the launch its new online protection plan 'iTerm', also said that it has filed for approval to start a plan focusing on the health segment.

"We ventured into the online distribution segment in 2009 with launch of the Aegon Religare iTerm plan. Now we have a new and improved version of the plan. Currently around 10% of our business, with regard to total plans sold, comes from the online segment. With the new and improved version we expect the numbers to go up to 15-20% within 18-24 months," Aegon Religare Life Insurance chief marketing officer Yateesh Srivastava said. He also said that Aegon Religare has approached the sector regulator Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority for launching a new product.

"This will be a health plan. We have applied for the approval but at this moment I cannot say by when we are likely to secure it," Srivastava said. Regarding the new product, he said it will have the longest policy term in the industry and will extend to the age of 75 years for policyholders. The entry age for the new iTerm is between 18-65 years and the maximum maturity would be 75 years. The minimum sum assured is Rs10 lakh and the policy term is between 5 to 57 years.

The minimum premium for the ITerm plan is Rs1,675 for regular policy and Rs7,075 for single policy and the premium could be paid both in single or annual instalments.

The policy would be available in about 85 cities across the country where Aegon Religare has branches. For the new plan, customers can also avail facility for electronically uploading PAN cards and other documents.

The original iTerm launched in 2009 has sold over 19,000 policies and secured a total sum assured of Rs9,410 crore.

"Of course, with added features, we expect the new iTerm to be even more successful. Besides, with internet penetration likely to reach 300 million citizens in India within two years, we expect a lot from the online segment," Srivastava said.


Tata Motors January 2012 sales at 87,465 nos.

Tata passenger vehicle sales highest ever for any month in January 2012

Tata Motors’ total sales (including exports) of Tata commercial and passenger vehicles in January 2012 were 87,465 vehicles, higher by 16% over January 2011. The company’s domestic sales of Tata commercial and passenger vehicles for January 2012 were 80,382 nos., higher by 14% over 70,475 nos., sold in January last year.  

Cumulative sales (including exports) for the company for the fiscal are 714,235 nos., a growth of 11% over 642,415 nos., sold last year.

The company’s sales of commercial vehicles in January 2012 in the domestic market were 45,713 nos., a 14% growth, compared to 40,263 vehicles, sold in January last year. LCV sales were 27,375 nos., a growth of 15%, compared to 23,776 vehicles sold in January, last year. M&HCV sales stood at 18,338 nos., a growth of 11%, compared to 16,487 vehicles sold in January, last year.

Cumulative sales of commercial vehicles in the domestic market for the fiscal are 420,045 nos., a growth of 18% over last year. Cumulative LCV sales are 254,340 nos., a growth of 24% over last year, while M&HCV sales stood at 165,705 nos., a growth of 10% over last year.

The passenger vehicles business reported a total sale and distribution offtake of 36,770 nos. (34,669 Tata + 2,101 Fiat) in the domestic market in January 2012, higher by 14% compared to 32,386 nos. (30,212 Tata + 2,174 Fiat) in January last year. Sales of Tata passenger vehicles for January 2012 are at 34,669 nos., a growth of 15% over 30,212 nos., sold in January last year, and highest ever for any month. Sales of the Tata Nano were 7,723 nos., higher by 15%, compared to 6,703 nos., sold in January, last year. The Indica range sales were 11,534 nos., higher by 9%, over 10,591 nos., sold in January, last year. The Indigo range recorded sales of 9,272 nos., higher by 10%, over 8,456 nos., sold in January, last year. The Sumo/ Safari/ Aria/ Venture range accounted for sales of 6,140 nos., a growth of 38%, over 4,462 nos., sold in January, last year.  

In the late afternoon, Tata Motors was trading at around Rs248.35 per share on the Bombay Stock Exchange, 1.95% up from the previous close.


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