Money & Banking

Next big challenge for insurance regulator is digital push: TS Vijayan

G Naga Sridhar Hyderabad | Updated on January 24, 2018 Published on January 24, 2018

TS Vijayan, Chairman, IRDAI

My tenure has been eventful and satisfying, says IRDAI chief, who retires next month

Facilitating growth in the context of increasing focus on digital transactions will be a challenge for the insurance regulator, according to TS Vijayan, Chairman, Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India (IRDAI).

“How to internalise digitisation in the insurance process for the benefit of the customer will be the thing,” Vijayan, who will be retiring on February 21, told BusinessLine on the sidelines of a conference of insurance brokers held here on Wednesday.

The IRDAI chief said the industry will face challenges as more and more technology is deployed.

Giving an example, he said, by adopting technology such as analytics and big data, custom-made products can be designed. “Pricing will be better and products will be better. So, adopting it (technology) is going to be increasingly important,” he said.

‘Active and lively’

Referring to the industry situation, he said, it was “active and lively” with double-digit growth in 2016-17, which saw about ₹4 lakh crore and ₹1.27 lakh crore in premium collection in the life and non-life insurance segments, respectively.

The general growth in the economy, he said, will also drive expansion of the insurance market across the life, health and motor segments.

Demonetisation, GST, and focus on Aadhaar were leading to formalisation of the insurance sector which, Vijayan said, is a ‘good development’.

Satisfied

A former chief of Life Insurance Corporation of India, Vijayan headed IRDAI for over four years and was “very satisfied” with his tenure. It was “eventful”, he said, with policy reforms such as hiking the foreign direct investment limit in the insurance sector from 26 per cent to 49 per cent and permitting foreign re-insurers to open offices in India.

Schemes such as Pradhan Mantri Jeevan Jyothi and Suraksha Bima Yojana, Fasal Bima Yojana were also supervised by the regulator over the last three years. According to Vijayan, these schemes will add to insurance penetration. Earlier, he was given a standing ovation by the over 300-strong audience at the conference venue for his contribution to the industry as a regulator.

An audio-visual presentation, highlighting the key announcements made by Vijayan during his stints as chief of the LIC and the IRDAI, was made by the organisers.

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Published on January 24, 2018
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