Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Give with one hand –take it away by other hand

Give with one hand –take it away by other hand.

It is very common to hear this type of statement. The same thing was noticed in one of the news item according to which Apollo Munich is going to get approval for health insurance product for senior citizens of any age. This product is going to get approval of IRDA by end of August 2011.

This is one part of the story where it is giving with one hand. The cooling off period will be 1 year or 12 months. This is what we have called is taking away by other hand. We feel Cooling off period of 12 months is totally unreasonable. Which senior citizen will accept this while knowing it? This will encourage tendency for missselling.Let us avoid it .We do hope the regulator will look into this aspect.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Rs 10000 crores underwriting loss by our non life insurance industry during 2010-11 –it needs attention of all of us

Rs 10000 crores underwriting loss by our non life insurance industry during 2010-11 –it needs attention of all of us

It is disappointing to know that Indian general insurance industry which touched premium figure of Rs 42000 crores during 2010-11 has incurred underwriting loss of Rs.10,000 crore .Does it give a signal that for next 5 years these companies will go on incurring losses.
According to Mr. G Srinivasan, chairman and managing director, United India Insurance, commented that the challenges for both the industry and individual insurance companies are enormous.
Over the years, the general insurance industry may be making underwriting losses but the companies have huge investment income by which they have been able to cover up those losses and have been able to show reasonably sound balance sheet over the years, Srinivasan had said at an event in Mumbai.
“The situation will no longer continue because the quantum of losses are increasing. In 2009-10, the general insurance industry had made an underwriting loss of Rs.5,900 crore, whereas in 2010-11 the estimates is that the industry would cross Rs.10,000 crone underwriting losses. The general industry may have to record net losses in 2010-11,’’ he said.
It will be a good idea to know how many cases( number & Rs. Term) are pending against general insurance companies with the following;
Insurance Ombudsmen
Consumer forums at district,state and national level
Civil courts at district ,High Courts,Supreme Court
The figure will be astonishing.

What is the option before the Insurance Companies;
Refix the premium rates
Use the Insurance Broker firms in a big way
Totally do away with their direct sales force .
Strengthen underwriting team.
Merge with other company
Depending on investment income to show reduced losses or a marginal profit is not for what the promoters entered this business. A weak organization is no good for customers.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Free Medicare to all citizens- Time to introspect

Free Medicare to all citizens- Time to introspect.

Times of India of Aug 8, 2011 has carried a news item on the concept being considered under free medicare. Part of it is:

“Working towards its aim of providing free healthcare to all, the government is planning a national health entitlement card (NHEC) for every citizen that will guarantee access to a package of essential primary, secondary and tertiary healthcare fully funded by the centre.

The proposal, finalized by a high-powered expert panel of the Planning Commission, talks of covering both in-patient and OPD services free of cost with cashless facility. The health package will focus on the most common and high-impact healthcare requirements.

While the centre will bear the cost of services offered under the national health package, state government can add more services at their own cost. The health services can be availed through public sector and contracted private facilities, including NSOs and non-profit agencies.

Service providers, be it public or private, who accept the health card will not provide any services to those willing to pay additional fees either out-of-pocket or through their privately purchased insurance policies.

This is being done to keep away those who can pay to avail health services.”

This news came on (the same day) when the world was facing crisis due to debt/ deficite Aug 8, 2011 some of the major countries USA, Italy, Portugal, Greece are facing crisis due to Social Insurance/ Social benefits which were provided by those governments to their citizens.

The question before us is we on the right track. Is there any survey on lignor consumption in localities where we have so called BPL families living. Are we supporting them so that they can spend more on lignor, panmasala and gutka.

Let us include OPD in our health insurance policies.

Let us include OPD in our health insurance policies.

OPD coverage is equally important. Are we living in mid-eighties when Mediclaim product was developed with coverage for Curative treatment?

The News item as above shows the importance of Diagnostic tests where small amount would have saved pain and agony to Joshi/Mishra, their families and the claim which insurance company will have to pay. Imagine the productivity loss which the employer of Joshi/ Mishra has suffered.

The time has come when we should introduce health insurance which offers OPD coverage.