IRDAI Gives Nod To Changes In Insurance Industry Norms; Raises Tie-Up Limits For CAs, IMFs—Know More – Outlook India

The easing of norms and clarity around promoters/ investors are expected to help foster the entry of new players and accelerate growth in the industry.
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Updated: 26 Nov 2022 4:57 pm
To give policyholders access to a broader range of choices for insurance products, the Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India (IRDAI) has increased the maximum number of tie-ups for corporate agents (CA) to nine and insurance marketing firms (IMF) to six.
Earlier, CAs’ alliances were limited to only three insurers, and for IMFs, it was restricted to two.
Approving the new norms at a meeting in Hyderabad on Friday, IRDAI said it would provide policyholders wider access to insurance plans through various distribution channels.
The regulator said, “A CA can tie up with 9 insurers, and IMF with 6 insurers in each line of business of life, general, and health for distribution of their insurance products. The area of operation of IMF has also been expanded to cover the entire state in which they are registered."
Commenting on the new rules, Sumit Rai, MD and CEO of Edelweiss Tokio Life Insurance , said the measures would have a long-lasting impact on the industry “designed to encourage growth and increase insurance penetration in the country”.
Rai added the easing of norms and clarity around promoters would help foster the entry of new players in the industry and accelerate sectoral growth.
For instance, he said, the relaxation in sandbox norms would prompt insurers to leverage technology to develop new-age products and help them respond to market conditions faster.
Important proposals cleared by IRDAI include:
· Private Equity (PE) Funds can now invest directly in insurance companies as investments through Special Purpose Vehicles (SPVs) have been made optional.
· Subsidiary companies can also promote insurance firms, subject to certain conditions.
· Investments up to 25 per cent of the paid-up capital by a single investor will now be treated as an ‘investor," and above that will be treated as a promoter. Earlier, the threshold was 10 per cent for the individual investor and 25 per cent for investors collectively.
· Promoters can dilute their stake up to 26 per cent, provided they are listed entities and have a satisfactory solvency record for the preceding five years.
· IRDAI has stipulated a lock-in period of investments for investors based on the insurer’s age.
· The changes also pertain to the regulatory sandbox, which enables companies to test products in a controlled setting that helps promote innovation. The amendments include an increase in the experimentation period from six months by up to 36 months. A provision for a review of rejected applications has also been introduced.
· The qualification requirements of actuary professionals have been made flexible to ensure their adequate supply in the industry.
· The period for considering state and central government premium dues to calculate solvency position has been increased from 180 days to 365 days to facilitate the efficient use of insurers’ capital and increase insurance penetration in crop insurance.

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