State-owned reinsurer not threatened by entry of foreign players

Firm keen to keep its dominant market position and expects competition to make products more affordable

Insurance News

By Gabriel Olano

GIC Re, the sole domestic reinsurer in India, is not feeling threatened by the impending entry of several foreign reinsurers in the market, and expects to maintain its dominant position.
“We don’t see any competition at all,” GIC Re chairperson and managing director Alice Vaidyan told PTI. “We will continue to have our dominant market position as we have been present here for the past 45 years now.”
Six reinsurers have recently received R2 licenses from the Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India (IRDAI). Five of these are foreign owned, namely: Swiss Re, Munich Re, Hannover Re, SCOR, and Reinsurance Group of America. The sole domestic entity was ITI, a privately-owned firm.
Swedish firm XL Catlin has been given an R1 license. However, reinsurers can only commence operations once IRDAI awards them an R3 license.
In fact, the state-owned reinsurer believes that the arrival of competition will help make reinsurance more affordable for customers.
“I do believe that an affordable product will come to the market once the new players start their operations within the country,” Vaidyan added.
The company is also confident about its overseas expansion efforts, with branches in the UK, the UAE, and Malaysia. There are also plans to transform its representative office in Moscow into a subsidiary.

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