Report on International seminar on General Insurance: Emerging Issues organised by Insurance Institute of India & Calcutta University

Jointly organized on 2nd March 2013 at Kolkata By Indian Insurance Society, Insurance Institute of India and University of Calcutta

Documentation Partner: The Insurance Times

The seminar was held at Chandramukhi – Kadambini Sabha Griha, University of Calcutta campus. The dignitaries in the seminar included Prof. Dhrubajyoti Chattopadhyay, Pro-Vice Chancellor for academic affairs, University of Calcutta, Mr. Sharad Shrivastava, Secretary General, Insurance Institute of India, Dr. Kanika Chatterjee, Head of the Department of Commerce, University of Calcutta, Mr. P. K. Rath, Director, College of Insurance, Mumbai, Mr Sujit Das, President, Indian Insurance Society.

Dr Kanika Chatterjee, Head of Department, University of Calcutta welcomed the guests and briefly spoke on the theme of the seminar objectives.

Mr Sharad Shrivastva in his inaugural address outlined the current activities of Insurance Institute of India and proposed developments.

According to him it was a memorable occasion as Insurance Institute and Calcutta University has for the first time come together on a platform to increase awareness about the insurance sector.  He encouraged faculty members of Calcutta University to actively participate in Insurance Research.

Prof. Dhrubajyoti Chattopadhyay, Pro-Vice Chancellor for academic affairs, Calcutta University echoed the need of more education and awareness about the insurance sector and shared some of his personal experience in Insurance sector.

The seminar was well attended by participants from the insurance industry as well as faculty members and students of Calcutta University.

The Insurance Times Journal sponsored the documentation kit in the seminar.

The seminar was spread over 3 technical sessions on Health Insurance, Motor Insurance and Liability Insurance.

The first technical session was chaired by Dr. Jita Bhattacharya, Professor, Dept. of Commerce, University of Calcutta, Mr. Jagbir Sodhi, Director, Swiss Re (UK office) gave overview of health insurance market from a re-insurers perspective. He suggested some models for product development and claims management to make the sector more reachable and profitable.

Mr. Abhijit K Chattoraj, Faculty & Research Associate, National Insurance Academy, outlined the current scenario on Universal Health Insurance in India. According to him in today’s fast changing political and socio economic scenario, ensuring universal health has a wide and long standing ramification.

The need to have universal health was long recognized. In fact the first concerted effort was made way back in September 1978 when the world leaders pronounced the importance of universal health what is famously today  known as Alma-Ata the Declaration.

Quoting the statistics from leading countries where social security schemes are in existence, he outlined measures which can be implemented in our country to make the Universal Health Insurance a success story in India.

Dr. Rakesh Agarwal, Associate Editor, The Insurance Times highlighted the recent developments in the health Insurance industry in India. According to him the burning issues in health insurance included :


  • Huge untapped market still waiting to be covered.
  • Rising cost of healthcare services – Concern for both  insurers and consumers
  • Standardisation of health care costs
  • No regulatory body for Hospitals they are charging at their will.
  • Lack of awareness drive from Govt, IRDA, and  Insurance Companies.
  • PSU companies going to form own TPA to reduce claims ratio and improve services.
  • Portability of Health Insurance products not taken off
  • Senior Citizens being denied insurance cover in many cases and this is a big lacunae in health coverage of the aged as they have less options for funding their healthcare expenses.
  • Increasing litigation and piling of cases related to health insurance in Insurance Ombudsman
  • Many claims being rejected for pre existing diseases which needs standardisation
  • Need to stop fraudulent cases to stem loss from this portfolio.
  • Identify fraudulent cases and maintain directory of fraudsters which is available to all insurance companies.
  • Need for expansion of social security schemes among masses
  • Educate customers about underinsurance as having less  amount of insurance than required is equal to not having insurance.

He suggested certain measures which can be implemented by the Govt. IRDA and the insurance industry as a whole to bring about a sea change in the health insurance industry and generate a sustainable fund to provide medical benefits to all classes of society. His suggestions included:


  1. Increasing Awareness
  2. Creating a Health Insurance Pool so that cover may not be denied to senior citizens
  3. Imposing a Health Insurance Cess like education cess
  4. Establishing a Health Insurance Regulator
  5. Grading of Hospitals
  6. Categorisation of policies
  7. Sponsoring of hospitals by Insurance Companies

Mr. Soumyabrata Das, New Alipore College, Kolkata presented his paper on “A Critical look at Health Insurance in India”.

The session was concluded with the paper presentation on Health Insurance for informal sector by Dr. R.P.Chaudhury, Asst, Professor, Dept. of Commerce, University of Calcutta. According to Mr. Chaudhury the growth in the sector during 2011-12 was 13.5 per cent in comparison to global growth rate of 1.8%.

His presentation assessed different healthy schemes providing assistance for a health life of poor working class people in order to improve the quality of life and also achieve the target of inclusive growth to make our country healthy.

The second technical session was on Motor Insurance. The session was chaired by Mr. Devroy, EX AGM, TAC, Kolkata.

The key note speaker of the session Mr. Milind Joshi, Promoter, Rhombus Consulting India presented a whole new concept of underwriting of motor policy, technological advancement that can be used by insurer to maximize its underwriting capability.

He also focused on the new amendments in the Motor Vehicles Act 2012 which is pending in Lok Sabha. He stressed the need and importance of Business Data Intelligence which if implemented by Insurance companies would lead to claims reduction, reduction of fraud cases, fixation of premium, designing of new products according to the need of the consumer.

Mr. George E. Thomas, Associate Professor, College of Insurance, Mumbai, gave a vivid snapshot of Motor Insurance business in India from different perspective and measures that can be adopted for making the motor insurance portfolio more profitable.

Shyam Agarwal, Assistant Editor, The Insurance Times, outlined the recent developments in the Motor Insurance portfolio in India. He gave a overview of current business figures, the formation of Motor Insurance Declined Pool, its operational procedures and suggestions, as to how this portfolio can be made profitable.

The third session on Liability Insurance was chaired by Dr. Sudipti Banerjea, Professor, Department of Commerce, University of Calcutta.

Dr.Abhijit Kar, Dy General Manager National Insurance Co. who was the key note speaker covered the entire gamut of public liability policy available in India. He explained in detail the various provisions of liability policy offered in India.

Dr. Kanika Chatterjee, Head of the Department of Commerce, University of Calcutta trended on a relatively new topic in India relating to Managing climatic change Liability.

In her excellent extempore presentation she kept the audience spell bound by her interpretation on managing climate change. She cited the studies from Swiss Re and Geneva Association and suggested that more efforts can be made in India to face losses due to climatic changes.

Ms Nandita Banerjee, Deputy Manager, National Insurance Co. CRO-I, Kolkata spoke on Product Liability Insurance and explained with help of several case studies.

The other speakers Dr. K. Bandopadhyay, Associate Professor, Vidyasagar University, Dr. Tanupa Chakraborty, Asst. Professor, Dept. of Commerce, Dr. Subhasis Chakravorty, covered the different areas of Liability Insurance.

Mr. Anabil Bhattacharyya, Chief Manager, CPIO, RTI Dept, HO, National Insurance outlined the liability risks and impact on insurance market. He successfully covered the possible impacts of liability claims and facets of liability risk in India.

The vote of thanks was proposed by Mr. P. K. Rath, Director, College of Insurance.

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