For the first time in its history, Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India (IRDAI) is turning to radio stations to promote insurance as a product among masses.

Beginning February 20, IRDAI has launched an insurance awareness campaign, in the form of radio jingles, for a period of six months. Here, not only the All India Radio (AIR) channels are being targeted but even the private radio channels. Fever 104, Suryan FM, RED FM, Radio City and Radio Mirchi will be playing ads in smaller towns as well as cities. In the initial phase, Hindi, Tamil, Telugu, Malayalam and Kannada will be used.

Currently, the regulator runs TV campaigns alerting customers to scams claiming to offer bonuses from IRDAI.  Even after 15 years of privatisation of the insurance industry, penetration which is a measure of insurance premium to gross domestic product (GDP) stands at 3.4 percent according to Swiss Re’s sigma report.

In FY15, insurance penetration had hit a 10-year low in India dropping to 3.3 percent of gross domestic product (GDP). Once surging consistently, insurance penetration has been on a decline since 2009. In 2016, owing to the strong growth in the government sponsored term insurance and personal accident scheme, which has almost seen 120 million enrollments led to greater insurance reach.

The radio jingles cover topics of life insurance, motor insurance, home insurance, health insurance, policy renewals as well as misselling of products. These warn customers about policy documents before they participate in any insurance campaigns claiming to spread awareness about insurance.

The radio jingles are being broadcast on All India Radio through Prasar Bharati and on Private FM Radio Channels through National Film Development Corporation of India (NFDC). Interestingly, the regulatory body has chosen a schedule which involves early mornings or late evenings where people are free from work or are travelling to office/home and are most likely to listen to the radio channels.

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