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IRDAI Chairman bats for more players in segment to cater India's population

Mumbai, Sep 6, 2023 

Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority (Irdai) on Wednesday said it is working with health insurance providers to ensure 100 per cent cashless settlement of medical expense claims soon.

Currently, insurers deduct 10 per cent or more from the total billing in the name of consumables and other heads.

Addressing the Global Fintech Festival, Irdai chairman Debasish Panda said the regulator is working with health insurers, the national health authority and the insurance council to roll out 100 per cent cashless claim settlements as soon as possible.

He, however, didn't give any time frame.

Panda also stressed the need for having additional players in the insurance segment that can cater to the entire nation.

“We are home to one-fifth of the world's population. We have an unlimited market to cater to, and exponential opportunities to grab. We are sure that the pie will expand and it is waiting for the entire financial industry to take on the share,” he explained.

“We need more players, more insurance companies, more products, more distribution partners, and most importantly, we need more technology and integration,” he added.

As an effort to set up a conducive environment for new participants and boost innovation in the segment, Irdai has taken several steps, including the launch of products before getting the regulator's approval.

“Today, an insurance company can launch almost all types of products without waiting for regulatory approval. It can tie up with multiple distribution partners for taking business and operational decisions independently with various redundant prior approvals that have been dispensed off,” Panda added.

Recognising the importance of technology in the industry, and its role in aiding expansion beyond the metro cities, Panda emphasised on the need for having a collaborative effort from all the participants -- insurance company, the regulator, insurtech and fintechs.

In addition, the regulator has recommended amendments to the Insurance Act to create a more robust, facilitative and supportive insurance landscape.

The National Health Claims Exchange (NHCX) sandbox is a testing ground for contributors and developers from the open community to test and contribute to the ecosystem.

[The Business Standard]

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