Cigna and TTK have begun the process of seeking approval from the IRDA
The diversified TTK Group and US-based health service provider Cigna have signed a joint venture agreement to sell a range of health, wellness and insurance products.
Cigna and TTK have begun the process of seeking approval from the IRDA (Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority) and plan to submit a comprehensive filing early next year, the companies said in a joint statement.
"Full licence to operate would not be expected until 2013," the statement said, without disclosing the financial terms of the agreement.
“With over 80 years of customer experience, the TTK Group brings a strong brand, local market knowledge and proven strategies for distribution," Cigna International President William Atwell said. "Coupled with Cigna's broad portfolio of products and expertise in direct marketing, we can help meet the needs of the domestic market in an entirely new way. Together, we will be a powerful combination."
"We are committed to improving access and quality of care while reducing costs," Atwell added. "Cigna has proven capabilities to improve the health and wellness of consumers, and we share with Cigna a deep commitment to serving the people of India," TTK Group chairman TT Jagannathan said.
Motilal Oswal new issue closes on 5th December
Motilal Oswal Mutual Fund has launched Motilal Oswal MOSt 10-Year Gilt Fund, an open-ended gilt fund.
The investment objective of the scheme is to generate credit risk-free returns by investing in a portfolio of securities issued by the central government and state government. The new issue closes on 5 December 2011. The minimum investment amount is Rs10,000.
The 10-year Benchmark GOI Dated Security and CRISIL Gilt Index are the benchmark indices. Abhiroop Mukherjee is the fund manager.
IRDA’s guidelines on comparison websites will make it impossible for likes of PolicyBazaar.com and MyinsuranceClub.com to survive in their current form
The Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority’s (IRDA) stringent guidelines for comparison websites are seen as a deathblow for likes of PolicyBazaar.com, Myinsuranceclub.com and ApnaPaisa.com. Clamping down on advertising, ratings, endorsements or bestselling insurance products will surely help customers to get unbiased information for making a good buying decision. The main points, which will help customers, are as follows –
The main points which do not help web aggregator business are as follows –
Lead generation, which refers to website visitor information (with approval) being sold to insurance companies for pursuing sales was the main business of comparison websites. The commissions for many online products were negligible, but revenues were generated from advertising. They earned Rs80-Rs100 per lead with quality leads sold to one insurer even fetching Rs200 to Rs250. IRDA regulating the financial remuneration will cut-off all sources of money being passed for wrong reasons and bringing the lead generation to Rs10 will wipe out the business.
Deepak Yohannan, chief executive officer, MyInsuranceClub.com has a balanced view of the guidelines. According to him, “Approved channel from the regulator will give confidence to the customers. The insurance industry will take the channel seriously. Banning advertising, ratings, endorsements or bestsellers is also positive step. IRDA was very receptive of our views and gave us a patient hearing.”
“Lead payment of Rs10 is impractical and impossible. One Google click costs more than Rs10 and it takes 10 clicks to generate a lead. If my cost is Rs100, how can I sell for Rs10 to maximum three insurers? If IRDA had allowed Rs50 per lead, it may have been viable considering three insurers may buy the lead. Moreover, getting 25% of the commission when brokers/agents get 100% of commission is also unfair. We want to display information of all the insurers’ products. Why will all insurers pay Rs1 lakh per year when they can get it for free?” he said.
PolicyBazaar.com, the leader in the web aggregation business, is also an unhappy camper. Akshay Mehrotra, chief marketing officer, PolicyBazaar.com, said, “The guidelines will result in companies like us almost not to function. We used to specify which product is bestselling, but we cannot do it anymore. How can IRDA stop public opinion on product feedback? It is vested interest of some insurers who don’t want comparison websites.”
“We make for 70% of online insurance sales today which helps in reducing distribution costs of insurance companies. We had suggested to IRDA for allowing Rs100 per lead. Why should I get only Rs10 per lead and 25% of the commission? Is it legitimate regulation? It is like telling us to shut down our business. We may have to change the business model to not sell leads or go out of business,” he added.