Global reinsurers like Munich Re, Swiss Re, Lloyd’s, Hannover Re and SCOR have indicated that they are waiting for the new regulations to be unveiled by the Indian insurance regulator IRDA to open branch offices in the country.
Swiss Re is planning to open branch office and has started discussion with the IRDA on the entry plan. “We are ready. We are having discussions with the Indian government and other state governments on what we can do directly with the governments themselves,’’ said Michel M Liès, Group chief executive, Swiss Re.
IRDA is expected to frame guidelines to facilitate the entry of foreign players into the reinsurance business in the wake of the new Insurance Bill passed by Parliament last week. Victor Peignet, chief executive officer, SCOR Global P&C SE said that he was encouraged to learn about the new development and, subject to the detailed regulations, hope to have a branch office in the country for conducting reinsurance business.
Jürgen Gräber, Member of the executive board, Hannover Re said, “yes, we are ready for that. We are right now in the midst of a feasibility study in what way we can set up a branch in India. We are already operating as a service company in the country which cannot underwrite any insurance business. We underwrite Indian business from overseas markets like Hannover or Malaysia. We will be happy to incorporate a branch for doing business locally.’’
John Nelson, chairman, Lloyd’s, said, “this (new Bill) is great news for Lloyd’s as the Bill allows the Lloyd’s market to operate in India. We are grateful to the Indian government and authorities for their support in reaching this point and look forward to working together …”
India’s sole official reinsurer GIC Re is also drawing new strategies to take on competition and expand its global business. “We see the ever-increasing competition as a welcome step, it keeps us on our toes and spurs us to do better and this propels us ahead. We are diversifying into newer markets, working on newer products. Our growth is now a very prudent combination of both organic and inorganic modes. We have acquired the corporate membership of Lloyd’s… we are working on acquiring a syndicate too there,” AK Roy, CMD, GIC Re said.