Time’s up for Sahara Life

Regulator will not give struggling firm any more time before its insurance business is absorbed by a competitor

Time’s up for Sahara Life

Insurance News

By Gabriel Olano

India’s insurance regulator will not give any additional time to Sahara Life Insurance, as its insurance assets are set to be transferred to ICICI Prudential Life, according to a senior official at the agency.

ICICI Prudential is currently scrutinising Sahara Life’s assets and liabilities and determining its actual value.

“The insurer has reported a certain number of policies in their books. It needs to be ascertained whether there are physical records of all of them,” the official told Moneycontrol.

Last month, the Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India (IRDAI) appointed an administrator to take over the daily operations of Sahara Life, and it also banned the company from selling any new policies. The regulator also nominated six insurers which could absorb Sahara’s life insurance business, and ICICI Prudential stepped forward.

Sahara Life can approach the Securities Appellate Tribunal (SAT) to challenge the ruling, or it can also seek a resolution with the High Court in Lucknow, where its headquarters are located. However, IRDAI believes that its plans are going to push through.

“We are proceeding ahead. The process has begun now and assessments are on,” the official said.

Sahara Life has been struggling since 2014, when its chairman Subrata Roy was arrested for not refunding billions of rupees to investors. The regulator found the insurer guilty of several violations and “acting against the interest of policyholders,” leading to its seizure and redistribution.

Related stories:
Regulator announces inheritor of shuttered insurer’s business
Six firms nominated to take over business from struggling insurer
IRDAI takes over mismanaged insurer

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