Credit Insurance Plans have been put into a complete ban by IRDA as it was being practiced rampantly by some non-life insurers. Credit Insurance is a kind of cover or guarantee to the lender against payment default by borrowers. IRDA has ordered all general insurers to stop selling credit insurance plans until any further detailed notice is issued by them in this regard.
Since only a smallish number of loans carry credit risk protection, the decision is unlikely to increase the total credit risk of banks. The Authority has also asked for details of total exposure of the insurer under the credit insurance plans issued by them to the banks offering credit facility to the debtors. The credit insurance that is being marketed by the several insurers is better termed as credit default insurance. Its basically a security cover which provides protection to the borrower of a loan against the inability to repay the loan.
A recent case of credit insurance cover which resulted in a claim is that of the state-owned insurer Oriental Insurance Company selling such a cover to Paramount Airlines. The insurer provided cover to the airlines lenders from different branches to the tune of INR 200 crores. Several state-owned lenders have an exposure to the company, which along with other troubled airlines are trying to restructure its debt.
Recently, some scam also came into limelight wherein unscrupulous brokers were conniving with borrowers. The broker armed with a letter from a international reinsurer saying it is willing to provide reinsurance underwriting support, along with the borrower would approach an insurance company for credit insurance cover. Reinsurance support is similar to loan syndication where deep-pocketed underwriters share the credit risk. When there used to be a claim, the insurance company discovered there were problems with the technicalities in the contract which allowed the international reinsurer to escape liability and the local insurer was left with the claim.
When compared, credit insurance is quite similar to credit default swaps which earlier brought down the international insurer AIG. Get more info and also compare insurance quotes.