December 28, 2009

IRDA allows products combining life and health insurance

The Insurance Regulatory & Development Authority (IRDA) allowed a new product class Health plus Life Combi Products for promoting the combined products of pure term life insurance offered by life insurance companies along with standalone health insurance products offered by non-life insurance companies under the single product umbrella.

IRDA said the proposed product class enhances the penetration of personal lines of insurance business with a wider product choice to policyholders. While the IRDA adopts a business facilitative approach, it is expected that all insurance companies will put in place prudent market conduct practices and operational procedures for protecting the interests of policyholders.

The ‘Combi Products’ may be promoted by all life Insurance and non-life insurance companies, Irda said. However, these guidelines do not apply to micro insurance products which are governed by IRDA (Micro Insurance) Regulations, 2005. Also the combi products are not allowed through ‘bank referral’ arrangements.

The insurers are expected to offer the best covers as an attractive proposition for the policyholders. The underwriting aspects, premium collection issues and also other policy service related issues of the ‘Combi Products’ under reference require suitable IT support at the offices of both the insurers. Hence, an advanced technology support is an essential pre-requisite to support the service of the ‘Combi Product class’.

The premium components of both risks are to be separately identifiable and disclosed to the policyholders at both pre-sale stage and post-sale stage.

The proposed productis expected to help policy holders choose an integrated product under a single roof without shopping around the market for two different insurance coverages from two different insurers.

Link: Original Article

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