ICICI partners McLeod Russel to offer unique micro savings product
Kolkata, 25 August 2009
Kolkata, Aug 25 : ICICI Prudential Life Insurance Company Limited, India's leading life insurance company, has entered into a partnership with McLeod Russel India, the largest tea producer in the world to offer its unique micro savings product 'Anmol Nivesh' to the tea plantation workers of McLeod Russel India in Assam.
Rishi Srivastava, Senior Vice President-Head of Sales, ICICI Prudential Life, said, 'We are extremely proud to partner with one of the largest tea producers in the world and offer our unique product to their employees in the tea-estates of Assam. We are confident that through this partnership we will be able to reach out to a substantial number of our consumers and offer them a secure medium to meet their short term and long term financial requirements in an effective way.'
Anmol Nivesh is a unit-linked endowment product which will provide savings and protection plan for the tea labourers. It will be available at a minimum premium of Rs.100 per month, in line with the premium payment capacity of the consumer segment. This policy comes with a term of 7-15 years with bonus allocation of 5% of annual premium after every 5 years. Partial withdrawals are allowed after 3 policy years to provide financial support during unexpected emergencies.
It ensures premium guarantee and also provides flexible liquidity options, making it an ideal product for the low income segment. The policyholder can avail Sum Assured as high as Rs. 30,000 and on maturity, one can avail the amount higher of the fund value or sum of premiums paid till date net of partial withdrawals.
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China Life has intention to buy into the Agricultural Bank of China
Xinhua via COMTEX, 18 August, 2009
China Life Insurance Co. has expressed an interest in the Agricultural Bank of China's (ABC) planned initial public offering on Shanghai and Hong Kong stock exchanges. It expects to buy ABC shares both to boost banking-insurance cooperation generally and to promote joint operations in banks and insurance companies, said Liu Jiade, vice president of China Life.
Through cooperation with the ABC, China Life can obtain a larger market share in rural areas and promote sales of insurance products through the bank, which has more than 24,000 outlets around the country.
Yang Chao, president of China Life's parent company, the China Life Group, has said that China Life has become the main force exploring the microinsurance market in China's rural areas.
Liu also said that China Life plans a further expansion of its sales force, more and bigger sales channels and a greater variety of products to ensure steady premiums growth this year.
The ABC, one of China's four largest state-owned commercial banks, is providing trust and settlement services for China Life. The bank currently is the largest insurance agent bank in China.
The ABC is still working on the technical preparations for its IPO launch, but to date no fixed timetable has been announced.
Ignorance hurting insurance sector in Uganda - NIC
The New Vision, 14 August 2009
Segun Akinwale, managing director of the National Insurance Corporation (NIC), answerers on the NIC's Initial Public Offering (IPO), Uganda's changing insurance trend, and updates us on the country's agricultural insurance situation. To see the answers, click on the link below.
- Has the global economic recession impacted on your business?
- Why has the sale of the Government stake in NIC been characterised by delays?
- Uganda has low uptake of insurance. How are you changing this trend?
- Give us an update on the agriculture insurance product.
- Do you expect this to be a major feature of your business in future?
- What is your competitive advantage?
Click here to see Segun Akinwale's answers to the questions.
Microinsurance thrust targets 42 million poorest of the poor
Business World Online, 14 August 2009
Investing in insurance products that target the Philippines’ poorest sectors promises to be a lucrative business due to its huge market, which constitutes almost half of the country’s population, the Finance department said yesterday.
Finance Undersecretary Gil S. Beltran told reporters that potential clients of microinsurance schemes are the beneficiaries of the government’s microfinance program, who total 42 million.
He pointed out that since these people already have access to funds, they are capable of buying insurance products.
"Initially, right now, there are seven million families benefiting from the microfinance program. For a family of six, that means 42 million. That is number of the potential clients of microinsurance," he said during the signing of a cooperation agreement between the government and German aid agency German Technical Cooperation (GTZ).
"Since they have income, they can already avail of services...The 42 million out of 90 million Filipinos is a very large market and we think there are players who wish to take that opportunity.
The government and the GTZ are creating a framework for the development of health microinsurance for the poor, including designing such products for the informal sector. They are also developing strategies that would provide low-income households, the unemployed, and microenterprises access to insurance.
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Blue Develops Unique Insurance Product for Local Markets
TradeInvest Africa/All Africa Global Media via COMTEX, 12 August 2009
Traditionally Blue Financial Services has been known as a microfinancier, providing loans to low-income individuals, however the group has also been developing an insurance division and this month will the see the launch of a new dedicated insurance arm in Zambia.
Blue has registered brokerages throughout Africa and has already registered a fully licensed life insurance company in Zambia, Blue Assurance Services (Zambia).
The Zambian division has a limited and traditional product range, which will be expanded over time. The strategy is to expand using the current micro-lending infrastructure to get to critical mass quicker.
"We place our insurance sales teams inside existing micro-lending branches where we not only provide advice to walk-in clients, but also send our people out to look for potential insurance clients," says Greg. Although work has begun, the company will officially be launched in July 2009.
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Farmers in the Philippines begin to see value in crop insurance
Business World, 10 August 2009
YUCHENGCO-LED Malayan Insurance Co. is expecting to book millions in insurance premiums from its crop insurance offering as more farmers realize the value of protecting themselves against losses from typhoons.
Enofre G. Manuel, vice-president for retail lines at Malayan Insurance, said the company is expecting as much P7 million in insurance premiums from its Agri-Asenso product by yearend.
This is a weather index-based insurance that provides protection to farmers in case typhoons ravage their crops.
The product offering was made in partnership with Micro Insurance Associates Agency, Inc., the Philippine unit of global insurance intermediary MicroEnsure.
MicroEnsure uses global positioning system (GPS) technology to see whether a typhoon has hit insured farms.
Insurance premiums are priced at 8-10% of cost of production. This means that a farmer will have to pay about P100 in premium per P1,000 in his production cost.
Mr. Manuel said Malayan will offer the product to several provinces in the Central Luzon region as well as the Caraga Administrative Region in Mindanao, after it was first sold in Iloilo in May.
He said Malayan collected P2 million in insurance premiums from some 1,000 farmers in May, and 2,000-3,000 more farmers are expected to avail of the product as the second planting season begins in in September.
"We expect other farmers to come in. We also expect those who have previously availed to renew [contracts with us]," Mr. Manuel said last week.
Malayan Insurance is the largest non-life insurer in the country with assets amounting to P11.57 billion as of end-2008. — Gerard S. dela Peña
PICC Property & Casualty Begins Insuring Migrant Workers
SinoCast Daily Business Beat via COMTEX, 5 August 2009
PICC Property & Casualty Co. started its trial run of microinsurance services to migrant workers from the Chinese rural areas lately, citing a report.
The trail run is said to last three years in the Chinese regions of Guangdong Province and Chongqing municipality, where migrant workers will be insured against accidents and diseases. Afterwards, such services are expected to spread throughout the whole country.
PICC property & Casualty signed an agreement with the International Labor Organization (ILO) not long ago, when the ILO was set to facilitate the Chinese insurer's migrant-worker-oriented microinsurance business via subsidies and technical support.
In fact, many China-based insurance firms have increased their microinsurance products in the local rural market, including China Life Insurance, China Pacific Insurance (Group), Taikang Life Insurance, and New China Life Insurance. By now, more than 6.1 million Chinese rural residents have bought personal microinsurance, involving premiums of CNY 140 million totally.
SBI unveils group microinsurance plan Grameen Shakti
Iris, 3 August 2009
State Bank of India (SBI) introduced group microinsurance product in association with SBI Life Insurance named `Grameen Shakti` for the weaker sections of the society.
It is meant only for the members of self help groups (SHG) and will provide life insurance cover at a very affordable cost of Re 1 per day.
The close ended scheme will remain open for 45 days between Aug 1 and Sep 14, 2009.
A dual-benefit life insurance plan provides cover for 5 years and the premium payable is Rs 361 per annum per member (inclusive of service tax) for a sum assured of Rs 30,000.
On death of the group member, the nominee receives the sum assured on the other hand, on maturity of the plan the group member, if alive, receives 50 % of the premium paid for a 5 year term.
The product is available to a person who is between 18 to 50 years of age and is linked to SBI. Further no medical check up is required for joining the scheme.
BSP Considers Changes to Bancassurance Rules
Business World Online, 24 July 2009
THE BANGKO Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) is studying changes to its regulations to allow rural banks to sell insurance products in their branches.
The BSP said this was in line with its efforts to allow small banks to offer a wider range of financial services to underserved areas of the country.
"What the rural banking industry is looking at is the ability to also sell insurance products," BSP Deputy Governor Nestor A. Espenilla, Jr. told reporters Wednesday night.
"In terms of the ability of thrift and rural banks, conceptually, I don’t think we have a big problem with it, especially if we define the insurance products to be relatively plain vanilla."
A roadblock, however, stands, Mr. Espenilla said, noting that currently, universal and commercial banks are only allowed to sell the insurance products of affiliates where the banks hold an at least a 5% stake.