Remove bottlenecks to ensure insurance sector growth: IRDA

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New Delhi, Nov 29 (UNI) Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority (IRDA) Chairman C S Rao today said the country's non-life insurance sector has grown from Rs 10,000 crore to Rs 25,000 crore in the last seven years and there is a need to remove several bottlenecks to attract a larger number of customers.

''Insurance is the fastest growing sector in India which has grown from Rs 675 crores in 2001-02 to Rs 3,200 crores in 2003-04,'' Mr Rao said at a health conference here.

The IRDA Chairman said the country had announced plans for subsidised health insurance for the poor. Plans are on to allocate 30 billion dollars on the health insurance by 2015.

In India, private spends account for 80 per cent of health expenditure and over 85 per cent of the population does not have any kind of health cover, Chairperson, FICCI's Insurance and Pensions Committee and Managing Director and CEO, ICICI Prudential Life Insurance Company Ltd, Shikha Sharma said.

Given its size and stage of development, the country faces both opportunity and challenge to develop its own approach to provide health insurance coverage to a significantly larger number of people, added Ms Sharma.

According to McKinsey report, only about 30 million Indians and an estimated two to three per cent of total healthcare expenditures are covered by some form of private health insurance. To dramatically improve health insurance coverage, the country needs to find financially sustainable ways to increase access for the majority segments of the population and develop insurance plans that cover preventive care interventions and drugs.

UNI

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