Amazon may start selling insurance after IRDA approval

Amazon India will soon offer life, health, and general insurance products as a corporate agent, according to a Registrar of Companies (RoC) filing, reports BloombergQuint. According to both, BloombergQunit and Economic Times, the company is yet to seek an approval from the Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority (IRDA).

A company spokesperson told MediaNama that “Amazon Pay is looking to serve the needs of customers around Insurance. Stay tuned in.”

Amazon is not the only company to expand its offerings in the financial services sector as its arch rival, Flipkart has already applied for a license to start selling insurance products. According to industry sources that MediaNama spoke to, many payments companies are keen on tapping into the insurance sector, given that insurance penetration in India is extremely low.

Competition in the online insurance space

In the online insurance ecosystem, Amazon will be competing with a host of other players including Paytm, EasyPolicy, Bankbazaar and PolicyBazaar. In terms of payment wallets, MobiKwik also plans to venture into newer domains of personal and consumer finance with a focus on lending and insurance. We reported last year that Flipkart would start selling insurance products on its platform. While these companies are aggregators, Narayan Murthy’s Catamaran Ventures-backed digital insurance company Acko General Insurance is the first insurance company with an online-only policy, which also received the final license from IRDAI in September last year.

Amazon Pay launches EMI facility

This week, Amazon Pay also launched a service which will enable users, who neither have access to credit services nor credit cards, to make purchases via EMIs for up to Rs 60,000. The service, currently an invite only program, will require users to complete a two-step registration process to get an assigned credit limit, according to a press release. Amazon has tied up with Capital Float to offer the instalment service. Amazon claims to offer zero cost EMIs for customers taking loans for a duration of 3 and 6 months, while an interest rate of 18% will be levied on customers opting for a duration of 9 and 12 months.

Amazon India’s payment journey so far

  • In December 2016, Amazon launched ‘Pay’ in India
  • In April 2017, it received a wallet license from the RBI
  • In February this year, the company added a UPI based payments option to its website
  • Last month, Amazon Pay acquired ‘all-in-one app’ Tapzo to strengthen its payments offerings
  • In August, Amazon India launched a bill payment service across 100 utility providers
  • In the same month we also reported that its plan to launch a Unified Payments Interface (UPI)-based payments service had been hampered owing to RBI’s concerns regarding the storage of user data in India.

Source: Medianama

IMGlobal: Insurance Coverage for the 2018 Hurricane Season

As seen during the fall of 2017, hurricane season can bring tremendous loss to all citizens and residents of affected areas as well as to tourists and travelers.

On September 13, 2018, Hurricane Florence reached land as a Category 2 hurricane; however, the size of the storm was one of the largest in history. The storm brought damaging winds of up to 85 mph and several feet of storm surge.

As the Carolinas continue to deal with the after-effects of Hurricane Florence, several other tropical storms have already been named and are being monitored closely by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). A complete list can be found at https://www.weather.gov/.

Earlier this year, the NOAA released the following estimates for the following 2018 hurricane season:

  • 10-16 tropical systems
  • 5-9 systems becoming hurricanes
  • 1-4 hurricanes being category 3 or higher

For assistance in determining if you should purchase travel insurance during hurricane system, you can get more information here: 2018 Hurricane Season.

* Other benefits may also be available depending on the type of coverage purchased and the specific circumstances of the loss. Please refer to the plan for complete terms and conditions of coverage. This is a brief description of coverage provided under form series TP-210 and TP-401 and is subject to the terms, conditions, limitations and exclusions of the plan.  Please see the plan for complete details. Coverage may vary or may not be available in all states.

 

SOURCE International Medical Group (IMG)

To help autonomous vehicles solve inclement conditions, WaveSense will sell a sensor that can see below the ground

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Chubb Appoints Tim Barziza to Lead North American Property Claims

Bill Turnbull to Retire at the End of the Year

WHITEHOUSE STATION, N.J.Sept. 24, 2018 /CNW/ — Chubb has appointed Tim Barziza as Head of its North American Property Claims, effective immediately. In this role, Mr. Barziza will be responsible for leading the technical and administrative execution of the Property Claim Service, including the Recovery and the Special Investigations Units across North America for both personal and commercial claims. He will be based in Dallas and report to Megan Watt, Head of North America Claims.

Mr. Barziza has more than 25 years of insurance industry experience, with a little more than 15 being spent at Chubb. He joined Chubb as an outside claims representative in 2003, and since then has held various technical and operational claims management positions. Prior to this positon, Mr. Barziza served as a senior claims officer where he led the General Adjuster and Executive General Adjuster teams across North America, spanning personal and commercial claims across all business units. During that time, he spearheaded efforts around several on-the-ground command center operations that were instrumental in client outreach and response efforts during hurricanes and wildfires that took place in 2017.

“Tim brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to this role; his understanding of the claims organization, structure, and commitment to the brand makes him an ideal fit for this position,” said Ms. Watt.  “I look forward to working with Tim to ensure we continue providing the exceptional level of service and technical excellence that is synonymous with our reputation.”

Bill Turnbull to Retire

After a three decade career with Chubb, Bill Turnbull will retire at the end of 2018. Mr. Turnbull joined Chubb in 1985 as a Professional Associate and thereafter held various positions of increasing responsibility including as a Field Adjuster for various business lines, as Claims Manager for the Richmond and Boston branches, and served in several other claims management roles across first and third party claims. Bill was also instrumental in the opening of Chubb’s first Claims Service Center in Chesapeake, VA, serving as its Branch Manager. Mr. Turnbull will  continue to serve in an active advisory capacity and will work closely with Tim through the end of the year to ensure a smooth transition.

In his most recent role as head of North American Property Claims, Mr. Turnbull led efforts around training and branding initiatives that have helped further define Chubb’s claims service platform as the top performer in the industry, and effectively led Chubb’s response to some of the most significant catastrophic events the Chubb organization has witnessed. “Bill’s dedication and leadership within the claims organization has been influential in the prominent service levels that Chubb has become known for in the marketplace,” said Paul J. Krump, EVP, Chubb Group President, North America Commercial and Personal Insurance. “I want to thank Bill on behalf of our management team and the entire Chubb organization for his many contributions, and wish him all the very best during his retirement.”

About Chubb
Chubb is the world’s largest publicly traded property and casualty insurance company, and the largest commercial insurer in the United States. With operations in 54 countries and territories, Chubb provides commercial and personal property and casualty insurance, personal accident and supplemental health insurance, reinsurance and life insurance to a diverse group of clients. As an underwriting company, we assess, assume and manage risk with insight and discipline.

Additional information can be found at www.chubb.com.

Chubb Insurance Company of Canada has offices in TorontoCalgaryMontreal and Vancouver and provides its products and services through licensed insurance brokers across Canada. For additional information, visit www.chubb.com/ca.

SOURCE Chubb

All John Hancock life insurance policies to include fitness incentives

Thomson Reuters

John Hancock, one of the oldest and largest North American life insurers, will stop underwriting traditional life insurance and instead sell only interactive policies that include optional fitness tracking through tools including wearable devices and smartphones, the company said on Wednesday.

The move by the 156-year-old insurer, owned by Canada’s Manulife Financial Corp, marks a major shift for the company. It is now applying the model across all of its life coverage.

Interactive life insurance, pioneered by John Hancock’s partner the Vitality Group, is already well-established in South Africa and Britain and is becoming more widespread in the United States.

Policyholders score premium discounts for hitting exercise targets tracked on wearable devices such as a Fitbit or Apple Watch and get gift cards for retail stores and other perks by logging their workouts and healthy food purchases in an app.

In theory, everybody wins, as policyholders are given an incentive to adopt healthy habits, and insurance companies collect more premiums and pay less in claims if customers live longer.

Privacy concerns

Privacy and consumer advocates have raised questions about whether insurers may eventually use data to select the most profitable customers, while hiking rates for those who do not participate. The insurance industry has said that it is heavily regulated and must justify, in actuarial terms, its reasons for any rate increases or policy changes.

Customers do not have to log their activities to get coverage even though their policies are packaged with the Vitality program, but can receive discounts or other perks if they do. The insurer will begin converting existing life insurance policies to Vitality in 2019, it said.

It is too early for John Hancock to determine if it is paying fewer claims because of its Vitality program, said Brooks Tingle, head of John Hancock’s insurance unit. But data it has collected so far about customers’ activities suggest that it will, Tingle said, as Vitality policyholders worldwide live 13 to 21 years longer than the rest of the insured population.

John Hancock’s U.S. life insurance customers can choose from a basic Vitality program in which customers log their activity in an app or website and can receive gift cards for major retailers after reaching their milestones, or an expanded program that offers wearable devices and discounts of up to 15 per cent on premiums, among other benefits, the company said.

A spokesperson for Manulife said there is no update about a similar policy for Canadian insurance customers.

 

Marsh & McLennan to Acquire Broker JLT

 

(Reuters) – Marsh & McLennan Companies Inc (MMC.N) has agreed to buy Jardine Lloyd Thompson (JLT.L) for about 4.3 billion pounds ($5.7 billion) as the U.S. financial services group looks to boost its speciality risk broking and global reinsurance business.

Shares of the UK insurance and reinsurance broker rose 32.3 percent to 1,894 pence, just below MMC’s all-cash offer of 1,915 pence, which was set at a premium of about 33.7 percent to JLT stock’s closing price on Monday.

The deal consideration implies an enterprise value of about 4.9 billion pounds for JLT.

The deal comes as insurers have been looking to consolidate in a competitive market that has seen tougher regulations and softer pricing.

France’s AXA (AXAF.PA) moved to buy Bermuda-based XL Group for $15.3 billion in March, just over a month after American International Group (AIG.N) said it would buy reinsurer Validus for around $5.6 billion.

More recently, mutual insurer Covea offered to buy Scor (SCOR.PA), but was spurned by the French reinsurer. The sector has also seen interest from private equity, with Apollo Global Management (APO.N) agreeing to buy Aspen Insurance Holdings (AHL.N) last month.

“JLT has been fiercely independent in the past and so we are surprised to see a recommended bid from Marsh & McLennan (MMC) and uncertain about JLT’s motivations behind the headlines, Keefe, Bruyette and Woods analysts wrote in anote.

“But our knee-jerk response is that this is a good deal for JLT shareholders with the key governance parties already behind it and so closure is highly likely at the 19.15 pounds price.”

Investors representing 40.45 percent of JLT’s stock, including top shareholder Jardine Matheson Group, have already given irrevocable undertakings or letters of intent to support the tie-up.

JLT’s independent directors, advised by J.P. Morgan Cazenove and Simon Robertson Associates, intend to unanimously recommend that shareholders vote in favor of the deal, the companies said.

JLT has been building out its U.S. speciality business, which represented about 5 percent of the company’s revenue.

MMC, which expects annual revenue to rise to $17 billion after the deal closes, said JLT Chief Executive Dominic Burke is set to join MMC as vice chairman.

Goldman Sachs was acting as financial adviser to MMC and MMC’s unit.

Slaughter and May and Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz provided legal advisers to MMC and its unit, while Clifford Chance LLP was legal advisers to JLT.

Reporting by Arathy S Nair in Bengaluru; Editing by Amrutha Gayathri and Keith Weir

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