Shanai Ghosh, MD & CEO, Zuno General Insurance, “The upcoming Budget 2024-25 is crucial for advancing insurance accessibility and inclusivity, in line with IRDAI’s ‘insurance for all by 2047’ vision. Insurance is a protection solution and critical for financial security. Indians being savings driven, need to be encouraged to invest in protection through various policy measures and tax incentives are one such tool. The deduction for health insurance premiums under Section 80D has been constant despite significant increase in healthcare cost, underscores the need for linkage to inflation and periodic revision. Extending benefits to the New Tax Regime is essential for increasing health insurance penetration. We also need to encourage property insurance for retail customers and SMEs. Employee Health insurance has emerged as an important benefit and all employers should provide it. However the GST on the same is not available as Input tax credit for the employer and is a significant cost, this should be reviewed. Finally, reduction of gst on health insurance premium will reduce the cost to the customer and make it more affordable.”

Ashwani Dhanawat, Executive Director and Chief Investment Officer , Shriram General Insurance Company

“We anticipate the upcoming union budget to address several critical areas essential for economic growth and public welfare. We welcome the prospect of higher budgetary allocations to the insurance sector, which will enhance our ability to provide comprehensive coverage and innovative solutions to a broader segment of the population in achieving the Insurance for All mission of IRDAI . In light of rising healthcare costs, we expect an increase in the deduction limit for health insurance premiums, as it will offer greater financial relief to policyholders. Also, reducing the GST on health insurance policies will make these essential products more affordable and accessible. An increased focus on sectors such as defence, railways, infrastructure, and renewable energy will strengthen national security and improve transportation paving for sustainable development. Extending the benefits under Section 80EEB for Electric Vehicles (EVs) beyond March 2023 will encourage more people to adopt eco-friendly transportation options and will further promote sustainable practices. These measures will collectively contribute to a resilient economy, improved financial security, and a healthier, more sustainable future for all.”

Recommendations for Union Budget 2024 by Rakesh Jain CEO Reliance General
Insurance

“We commend the IRDAI’s initiatives to prioritize the wellbeing of policyholders, from
implementing cashless systems to emphasizing Ombudsman schemes, ensuring
policyholders’ interests are safeguarded. However, with increasing climate change and
economic development-related risks, there is a pressing need to protect against unforeseen
disruptions. The upcoming Union Budget 2024 presents an opportunity to promote
sustainable development goals by prioritizing risk management and protection.

We recommend that the government consider the following measures:

•Increase the upper limit for tax exemption on health insurance premiums to INR
75,000.
•Introduce financial support or tax benefits for extensive insurance on electric
vehicles (EVs).
•Give tax advantages for cyber insurance, particularly for small and medium
businesses, to enhance their ability to withstand cyber risks and data breaches.
•Mandate health insurance to all employers for their employees to bring holistic
protection to the working class.

Implementing these measures will not only create a more resilient and sustainable economic
environment but also pave the way for a healthier and greener future, fostering a sense of
optimism and progress.”

Tarun Chugh, MD & CEO, Bajaj Allianz Life Insurance.

“Over the past decade, India has achieved remarkable economic growth, with GDP consistently exceeding 6% and surpassing many global economies. As we approach this budget, we anticipate measures that will sustain and simultaneously accelerate this long-term growth, benefiting individuals and businesses alike, with a strong emphasis on job creation. Addressing inflation is crucial for securing a robust financial future for individuals, as it will enable them to have more money in hand, towards savings and investments for their long-term goals and financial security.

With increased earning power and disposable income, Indian citizens will be able to invest in versatile life insurance products for their peace of mind and financial goals. Given the under penetration of life insurance in the country, there is substantial room for sectoral growth.

As an industry, some of our budget expectations from the finance ministry is to consider lower GST on life insurance products. Additionally, in the pension products category, with the objective of securing post-retirement financial needs of the individuals, we urge the government to align life insurance annuity or pension products with the National Pension Scheme (NPS) and allow the similar additional deduction of Rs. 50,000 or more for life insurance annuity or pension products under Income Tax.

We also request the ministry to introduce Long Term Capital Gain taxability for all high value traditional life insurance plans (more than Rs.5 lakhs aggregate annual premium), in line with high value ULIPs. This will bring in uniformity and tax efficiency for insurance customers at par with other similar financial products in the market.”

Mayank Gupta, COO and Co-Founders, Zopper (India’s leading InsurTech firm)

“The upcoming Budget 2.0 spearheaded by Modi 3.0 is expected to focus on bringing in policies and reducing taxes in order to promote economic growth and offer relief especially for the lower income brackets to fuel consumption. We witnessed that in the past few budgets, our government did push the agenda of health insurance. In fact, it is now building a standard network of hospitals and rate cards. In a nutshell, the prime focus will on spreading insurance awareness amongst first time insurance (New To Insurers) which will help build momentum for the “Insurance For All by 2047” vision of the regulator.
In the coming times as well, we also expect the Government to tweak all the present policies from the lens of term life inclusion in new tax regime, retirement plans for a sound security in the future and reduction of GST from 18 to 5%, all in order to ensure our economic growth is more equitable and broad based. Finally, it will be good to hear if the government acknowledges the role of InsurTechs in accelerating the growth of insurance adoption in India. It will be remarkable to witness any developments on this front as well”.