Reliance Life to tap Gulf returnees

Wednesday 25, June, 2014 Private life insurance company Reliance Life Insurance is looking to tap non-resident Indians (NRIs) returning from the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries — Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates. “We are planning to provide services to the returning NRIs from GCC countries. A lot of people in those regions want to invest in an Indian product, a rupee-denominated product,” said Anup Rau, CEO of Reliance Life. He said the company decided to tap this segment because a lot of people work in those countries for a few years and then come back. Reliance Life already has a representative office in Dubai to cater to the NRI population as well as provide leads as and when prospective customers from that region travel to India. Rau said whenever these individuals are in India for vacation or travel, the company’s insurance representatives visit them and complete the documentation and know-your-customer processes, so that the policy can be handed over in a timely manner. Claims guarantee On Tuesday, Reliance Life launched ‘Claims Guarantee’, a customer-centric service initiative to settle death claim payment in the shortest possible time. Under this initiative, Reliance Life guarantees to pay claims within 12 working days of the receipt of all death claim documents from the nominee or claimant, provided full premium is paid by the policyholder for at least three policy years and the required claim application documents are submitted. If claims are not settled within 12 days, then the company will pay a 6.5 per cent per annum interest to customers. “With Claims Guarantee, we have further eased the claims settlement mechanism to support the deceased family and settle their claims payment in 12 working days. We believe our relationship extends beyond the policyholders to embrace their loved ones, when they need us the most,” said Rau. According to the guidelines of the insurance regulator, death claims must be settled within 30 days of receiving claim documents. If there are any pending documents, then the insurer must inform the insured within 15 days. The company guarantees to process the fund value amount of the policy for payment in case of death claims under the unit linked insurance policies (Ulip) within 48 hours of the intimation and submission of the required documents by the nominee. Banks as Brokers Rau said in case banks were to become brokers, any one of the top seven life insurers could become No 1. While Reliance Life has tied-up with cooperative banks, Rau said this does not compensate for not opening the bancassurance channel. At present, banks can only sell products for one life, one non-life and one stand-alone health insurer. “Our number one bancassurance partner (cooperative bank) does over Rs 2,000 crore, number two and three do Rs 1,600-1,700 crore, number four does Rs 1,000 crore, while the rest do business in hundreds of crores. Though we value our relationship with cooperative banks, at this point, the top three or four banks have a large chunk of the business," said Rau. Rau said Reliance Life plans to have a double-digit growth both on individual and group premium. He said there are positive sentiments in the markets that would enable Ulips to make a comeback. He, however, explained that in the non-bancassurance channels, it is unviable to make it work under the current charge structure.

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