IT in Insurance

August 9, 2007

My latest infatuation with Information Technology (IT) compels me to write on this subject area.

We have seen that the last seven years have been very vibrant for insurance industry. There has been an immense change in the way business is conducted. From monopolistic regime to cut-throat competition, the entire paradigm of business has not only shifted but actually been hurtled into a completely fresh orbit. Customer’s ecstasy has replaced customer’s delight.

Since life insurance is a marathon and not a hundred-meter race, with long term commitments, management of data is a Herculean task that every company struggles with, and tries to overcome. Hats off to LIC for their manual management system of the past; it is almost impossible to imagine today that countless people laboriously pored over manual books to maintain some sense of order and design, and pretty well managed design and order at that!

However, converting to IT systems is not merely about feeding data into a lifeless computer so that it can churn out the receipts and policies and sundry other things at the click of a button though the importance of that also cannot be ever ignored. With customer’s expectation risen manifolds (from proposal sourcing to underwriting to issuance to renewal collections to any alterations to maturity proceeds or death claims), it is imperative that these things are well taken care of. But at the end of the day, in today’s fierce scenario, it is merely a hygiene factor, and not something to really gloat over.

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Convenience Cards

August 6, 2007

Over the years, Indians have been averse to credit cards. This is primarily because they believed that spending through credit is a sure shot way of getting into the debt trap. Of course, movies highlighting the sad state of a borrower did not exactly help matters. And even the local kirana shops have the famous lines Áaj Nagad, Kal Udhar (cash today, credit tomorrow).

But in the last decade, things have changed. Families are more comfortable now with home loans, personal loans and credit cards. The ‘new Indian’ is willing to splurge, even if it is on credit. No wonder, the bank credit growth in the last two years have been to the tune of over 25 per cent.

However, in case of home loans/personal loans, one is normally clear about the rates of interest being charged. But spending through credit card is an all together different ball game. With interest rates as high as over 3 per cent month, one actually starts feeling the pinch when one overspends.

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Section 108 of Indian Evidence Act, 1872 – what the courts said

August 4, 2007

Let me share a Supreme Court judgment with respect to a death claim which I found very interesting and informative.

You would agree that death is one of the stark realities of life. It is the ultimate truth. Everything in life is uncertain after birth; death is an exception and is certain to happen in one’s life.

But there may be situations where the exact time and manner of death of a person cannot be ascertained or known. Say for example, a person suddenly disappears and his whereabouts are not known thereafter, despite reasonable efforts of his near and dear relatives or people who ought to have known about his existence in the normal course had he been alive.

In such a situation, the question arises as to when the nominees of the missing insured can lay a claim to the benefits of the policies and what their obligations are. Are they bound to continue to pay premium? If so how long are they bound to make payment, and when does the law presume the death of such an insured?

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Hello world!

July 18, 2007

Penning down thoughts have never been easy (for me at least!). The interest to write came from a friend who have been into blogging for a few years and carved a niche for himself in the blogger’s world.

The most important part and moreover the bigger challenge that lies ahead is the subject to write on. Stories is a big no for me. Ever since my childhood I had no passion and patience to read novels. Each time I promised myself to complete the book but gave up reading the first few pages. My school librarian tried her best without success to inculcate this habit in me. Tintin’s comics was always a preferred choice over voluminous literature.

With over five years at work place and an interest for insurance in particular, I have my own views which I’ll try to express through this site. May be down the line I’ll have even more ideas and areas to discover and display.

I promise some interesting and informative stuff. Please do not forget to drop your comments.

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