MUMBAI: Taking advantage of the insurance regulator’s new ‘use and file’ guidelines, ICICI Lombard General Insurance has created a record of sorts by launching 14 new insurance plans across health, motor, travel, and corporate. The move is unusual as, traditionally, insurers take months to launch a new product as there is a lot of back-and-forth communication with the insurance regulator before product approval.
In June, the newly-appointed IRDAI chairman Debashish Panda allowed general insurers to introduce products after getting approved internally. Subsequently, the regulator allowed insurance companies to provide coverage beyond the standard template of the motor insurance policy and sell futuristic covers like pay-as-you-use and pay-how-you-use that measure the quantum of risk in real-time using devices.
Besides the motor, the cover includes specialised cover for senior citizens (Golden Shield), a health cover that is valid globally (Health AdvantEdge), a policy that covers even minor OPD treatments like cough and cold, home insurance (Club Royale), drone insurance, cyber-risk cover for individuals and a policy for a self-driving holiday among others.
According to Sanjeev Mantri, executive director, ICICI Lombard, the company wanted to lead from the front in launching innovative products and some of the plans the company was already working on earlier. “Innovation and agility are a part of our DNA, and our products are designed to meet customer needs across age, geographies, socio-economic backgrounds or gender,” said Mantri.
According to Sanjay Datta, chief – underwriting, claims, and reinsurance at ICICI Lombard, IRDAI’s decision to move from rule-based regulation to a supervision based system has enabled insurance companies to launch products in weeks which would have otherwise taken six to eight months. He said that the speed of launches would increase because of the new regulation.