HDFC Life Insurance Company Chairman Deepak S. Parekh has suggested that the Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India (IRDAI) should allow India's life insurers to evolve further and widen their role.
In his statement to the shareholders in HDFC Life's Annual Report, Parekh cited examples in Asia and more developed markets where life insurers have created subsidiaries and orchestrated ecosystems to make insurance a more holistic offering for the customer.
"While we continue to invest to enhance our technological capabilities, I feel that the time is right for the regulator to allow life insurers in India to evolve further and be the 'disruptor' rather than the 'disrupted'," he said.
"For example, in Asia, one of the leading insurers has created a healthcare ecosystem that includes services like online medical consultation. Elsewhere, in Europe, a leading insurer has created a separate digital investment unit to evaluate and invest in fintech start-ups."
On the performance of the company in the last financial year, Parekh noted that during the year, its shares were included in the Nifty50 index, and with this, HDFC Life became the third company after HDFC Bank and HDFC Ltd from the HDFC Group to be featured in one of India's benchmark indices.
HDFC Life also raised Rs 600 crore funds through the issuance of non-convertible debentures on private placement basis. The issue was rated "AAA" with a stable outlook by both Crisil and ICRA, he added.
Despite operational challenges, the company insured close to 4 crore lives in FY 2020-21, and settled over 2.9 lakh death claims that resulted in the beneficiaries cumulatively being paid over Rs 3,000 crore.
"We see this as the most meaningful impact of our business on society and it drives us to keep growing and protecting the financial future of Indians," the Chairman said.
"I would also like to thank IRDAI for providing a very supporting regulatory environment, in the absence of which our industry might have struggled. We are continually rethinking and realigning the future of our work environment, and learning to adapt and excel in a volatile business environment."
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