Irdai gives final licence to 5 Western insurance MNCs

The insurance regulator Irdai has approved the R3 application and granted certificate of registration to five global reinsurers to opens shops here, a senior Irdai official said on Friday.

The R3 is the final approval from the regulator to begin branch operations.

The five global reinsurers that were granted final approval by the regulator are the US-based reinsurer Reinsurance Group of America (RGA), Munich Re and Hannover from Germany, Swiss Re from Switzerland and French reinsurance major Scor, the official said.

Another Swiss reinsurer XL Catlin and London-based specialised reinsurer Lloyd's are expected to get R2 soon, whereas Gen Re (part of Berkshire Hathaway of Warren Buffet) is set to receive R1 approval shortly, he said.

ITI Reinsurance, promoted by a domestic firm controlled by Sudhir Valia, has already received R2 licence and is waiting the final approval to kick off its operations.

Currently, state-owned GIC Re is the sole reinsurer in the country. The reinsurance market is estimated to be at around $2.5 billion.

Confirming the development, RGA said the insurance regulator has approved the R3 application and granted certificate of registration to it to setup a branch here.

RGA India branch Chief Executive and Managing Director Thomas Mathew said his parent organisation has already brought in the initial capital of Rs 100 crore and the India branch already has 45 people on its roll.

RGA is a US-based Fortune 500 company specialising in life and health reinsurance and has clients in over 60 countries. It is the global market leader in life reinsurance with total revenue of $10.4 billion and assets of $50.4 billion in 2015. It is strong in actuarial, underwriting and product development talents.

Since 2001, RGA has been operating in the country as a foreign reinsurer through its Irish subsidiary. RGA is working actively with its clients in developing innovative products in 'online protection' and 'critical Illness' space providing tailor made reinsurance solutions.

RGA has 23 life insurance companies, including the insurance behemoth LIC, as its clients in the country and 5 life insurance companies as clients in Sri Lanka.


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