Religare Health Insurance (RHICL) has received the R2 license from the Insurance Regulatory Development Authority (IRDA), which allows the firm to launch a health insurance company.

Commenting on the IRDA approval, the healthcare and financial services firm said that R2 clearance was one step away from process of obtaining final regulatory approval to launch insurance operations.

Religare Enterprises, Union Bank of India and Corporation Bank has set up Religare Health Insurance as a joint venture enterprise, in which Religare Enterprises holds 90%, Union Bank of India owns 5% while remaining 5% belongs to Corporation Bank.

The insurer will be looking to capitalise on its group distribution channel that includes health care centres, hospitals as well as financial service branches across the country.

Upon the launch of its operation Religare Health Insurance will be the fourth standalone health insurance provider in the Indian market after Star Health and Allied Insurance, Apollo Munich Health Insurance and Max Bupa health Insurance.

Religare Enterprises has already been operating in the life insurance segment as Aegon Religare in collaboration with Dutch insurer Aegon.

According to an estimate, health insurance segment in India is presently the fastest growing non-life insurance product category witnessing 30% growth annually.