German insurance group Ergo looking for partners to start life insurance business

Chennai, Aug 26 (Calcutta Tube) German insurance group Ergo is scouting for partners to enter the Indian life insurance business.

‘We are in talks with several parties. We are not interested in buying out the stakes of an existing promoter or buying into an existing company as they will be laden with legacy issues. We would like to start with a clean slate,’ Ergo Insurance (Life) Indian Representative Nick Taket told IANS.

Asked about the Indian market turning unattractive for new players with the Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority’s (IRDA) fresh ULIP (unit linked insurance plan) norms, Taket said: ‘What is good for a policyholder is good for the players in the long run. The Indian market is attractive for new players.’

The insurance regulator had come out with policy holder-friendly regulations sometime back, capping various charges levied by the life insurers. On the pension products, IRDA has mandated life insurers to guarantee a minimum of 4.5 percent return to the policy holders.

The IRDA has said that life insurers have to design and file new products confirming to the new ULIP regulations so as to sell them from Sept 1 onwards.

Taket, who was earlier with HDFC Standard Life Insurance and MetLife India Insurance, does agree that the new ULIP regulations will change the dynamics of the sector.

The German group is present in the Indian non-life insurance space partnering with HDFC. The group bought out US-based Chubb’s stakes.

Ergo, part of global reinsurer Munich Re, had earlier tied up with automobile group Hero for the life insurance venture. They broke as Hero wanted to focus on its core activity that is automobiles.

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