Personal Finance

Insurance from Berkshire

BL RESEARCH BUREAU | Updated on November 05, 2011 Published on November 05, 2011


Making its India debut as the corporate agent of Bajaj Allianz Life Insurance, Warren Buffett's Berkshire Insurance is planning to launch its first product in India- an online term policy.

The popularity of online term plans is rising in India, as they are generally cheaper than policies sold by agents. Many private life insurance companies have already launched their online term insurance plans.

Skeleton services

Think ahead and note whether you'd need to go to the bank next week. SBI has warned its customers that a planned strike by its officers' federation could impact banking services on November 8 and 9.

With November 7 and 11 also being holidays in some States, the bank has asked customers to complete any important banking transactions ahead of these dates and said that it may operate ‘skeleton' services if the strike isn't called off before then.

Savings accounts earn more

Following the central bank's move to deregulate savings bank interest rates, a few banks have been prompt to hike their own rates on such accounts to attract new customers.

If you have accounts with any of these banks, it is an easy matter to transfer funds into them. Yes Bank, one of the first to act, hiked its savings account interest rate to 6 per cent.

Kotak Mahindra Bank now offers 5.5 per cent for savings deposits less than Rs1 lakh and 6 per cent for deposits above that sum. IndusInd Bank too has followed suit announcing interest rates of 6 per cent on deposits of over Rs1 lakh and 5.5 per cent on lower sums. SBI, sitting pretty on the largest savings deposit base, has said that it has no immediate plans to hike the interest rates it offers on its savings accounts.

Stamp duty relief

Here's a bit of good news. Property owners in Tamil Nadu who have their ownership documents locked up with the district authorities due to disputes about stamp duty have earned a reprieve.

The government has announced a special “Samadhan” scheme which allows property owners to settle such disputes and retrieve their documents. Disputes on stamp duty arise if the property is found to be ‘undervalued' relative to its market price.

The Samadhan scheme allows property owners to pay up two thirds of the difference between the duty paid and that demanded by the government, to settle the dispute.

Nominations please

The insurance watchdog, Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority (IRDA), has asked general insurance companies to honour claims on the compulsory personal accident cover given with their motor insurance policies.

Apparently, some claims were being refused on the grounds that nominee details were not filled up by the policyholder. Now, IRDA has directed the insurance companies to make sure that nominee details are incorporated in the proposal form.

Extending home loan tenure

Here's a sliver of light amidst all the gloom for home loan borrowers. State Bank of India has decided to extend tenure of home loans up to 30 years or till the borrower reaches the age of 70, depending on customer profile. Other public sector banks may follow suit.

Jewellery ‘vendor'

Its not just coffee or tea that you can get from a vending machine any more. Gitanjali Gems has launched a vending machine which dispenses gold coins and medallions. The machine can stock up to 36 different sizes. You can also choose between price points ranging from Rs 1,000 to Rs 30,000 and a variety of designs. Payments can be made through cash or even debt and credit cards.

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