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Corporate & Other Laws IRDA

  • Irdai norms allow insurers to begin offshore biz from GIFTIFSC
    Dec 28, 2017
    Sectoral regulator Irdai has issued regulations for insurance firms to carry out offshore business from Gujarat-based GIFT International Financial Services Centre (IFSC). Insurance operations will get a major boost with Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India (Irdai) issuing enabling regulations for undertaking offshore insurance business from IFSC, Gujarat International Finance Tec-City (GIFT) IFSC said in a statement today. "Under the regulations, for the first time in the country, foreign insurers are permitted to open IFSC Insurance Office (IIO) at GIFT IFSC," it said.
  • Irda issues guidelines for PE investments in insurance companies
    Dec 06, 2017
    The insurance regulator has allowed private equity (PE) funds to invest in insurance companies through special purpose vehicles (SPVs) with a lockin period of five years, if they want to come in as promoters.The Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority (IRDA) on Tuesday issued guidelines for PE funds’ investment in insurance companies stipulating norms including investment period and percentage of holding.The guidelines set a ceiling of 10% in insurance companies for investor As an investor, a fund can invest up to 10% of the paid up equity of an insurance company.
  • With IRDAI’s PE norms, insurers can have professional promoters
    Dec 05, 2017
    Two former CEOs of insurance companies — Rajesh Relan (ex-CEO of PNB MetLife) and P Nandgopal (ex-CEO of both India-First and Reliance Life) — are turning health insurance entrepreneurs. The Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority’s (IRDAI’s) decision to permit private equity (PE) funding, as against strategic investors, in insurance has paved the way for professional promoters. The insurance regulator is expected to notify the final guidelines on PE in insurance soon. PE investors will be allowed to set up companies through a special purpose vehicle. However, there will be a five-year lock-in before they can sell their shares.
  • PE firms can now promote insurance companies, but with a lock-in of 5 years
    Nov 30, 2017
    Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India (IRDAI) on Wednesday approved a proposal to allow private equity (PE) firms to promote insurance companies. However, there will be a lock-in of five years."We will allow PE/VC to become promoters of insurance companies with a five year lock-in period. However, they can only do so through a special purpose vehicle (SPV) and abide by the Indian-owned and controlled guidelines," a senior IRDAI official said adding that, "Further, they should commit that whatever additional capital needs are there, will be fulfilled."
  • IRDAI makes it mandatory for individuals to link existing policies with Aadhaar
    Nov 09, 2017
    After Reserve Bank of India, Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India (IRDAI) has made it mandatory for individuals to link existing policies with Aadhaar as well as quoting it for buying a new policy. The central government on June 1, 2017 notified the Prevention of Money-laundering (Maintenance of Records) Second Amendment Rules, 2017 making Aaadhar and PAN/Form 60 mandatory for availing financial services including insurance and also for linking the existing policies with the same.
  • Irdai panel to help move to risk-based capital norms in 3 yrs
    Sep 25, 2017
    Insurance regulator Irdai has formed a ten-member steering committee to help implement by March 2021 the new risk-based capital (RBC) regime that will also enhance protection to policyholders.The decision to move to the RBC norms from the current solvency principle regime has been taken after recommendations of a panel which gave its report in July this year, Irdai said in a notification.A shift in regime is felt because the current solvency based rules do not help in assessing whether the capital held is adequate enough for the risks inherent in the insurance business, it added.
  • IRDAI looking at allowing PE firms to buy stakes in insurance companies
    Sep 23, 2017
    The Insurance Regulatory Development Authority of India (IRDAI) is examining the possibility of allowing private equity (PE) firms to buy stake in insurance companies, according TS Vijayan, chairman. A decision on this is likely in a month’s time.“In insurance companies, we look at it in two different ways — investors and promoters, anybody can invest in the company. For promoter, we are studying (as to) what is the feasibility, if at all somebody is coming what are the conditions that need to be in place,” said Vijayan at the Assocham Global Insurance Summit.
  • Follow uniform method in publishing death claims paid, IRDAI tells life insurers
    Sep 20, 2017
    Life insures will now have to be transparent in projecting death claim settlements in advertisements.In a circular, the Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority said: “It has been observed that insurers are following different methods to arrive at death claims paid data (death claims paid ratios), while publishing them in insurance advertisements.“In order to have uniformity across the industry, the life insurers should use or publish only annual figures of death claims paid ratios, based on the number of policies alone.
  • Insurance brokers can offer up to Rs 10 crore without prior Irdai nod
    Sep 07, 2017
    The Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India (Irdai) will soon come out with regulations that would allow insurance brokers to offer claim consultancy up to Rs 10 crore without the prior approval of the regulator.For claims above Rs 10 crore, the brokers would need to take approval from Irdai.Sanjay Kedia, president of the Insurance Brokers Association of India (IBAI), said: “This point was discussed in the last board meeting of Irdai and our demand has been largely been agreed by the regulator and we welcome the move.” He was speaking at the launch of new volume of its “General Insurance Claim Insights for Policyholders: A Handbook” on September 06, 2017.
  • Customers' consent must for use of Aadhar-based e-KYC: IRDAI
    Sep 06, 2017
    The use of Aadhar and accessing of personal information of Unique Identity Authority of India (UIDAI) for e-Know Your Customer (e-KYC) purposes can only be done only on the voluntary consent of customer, the insurance regulator has said.In a clarification on the existing circulars issued on the matter, the Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India (IRDAI) said that insurers can use the e-authentication facility being provided by UIDAI either through the fingerprint or iris scanning) or through one time password (OTP) received on client’s mobile number or on e-mail address registered with UIDAI."The information downloaded from UIDAI shall be considered as sufficient information for the purpose of KYC verification,’’ the authority said.In case material difference is observed either in the name or the photograph in Aadhaar is not clear, the insurer should carry out additional due diligence and maintain a record of the additional documents sought.
  • IRDAI may introduce risk-based capital norms for insurers
    Aug 10, 2017
    The Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India (IRDAI) may soon introduce risk-based capital (RBC) method for fixing the solvency ratios of insurers.An expert panel appointed by the authority has recommended moving to the RBC method as the present system “is not sufficiently transparent or risk-focussed to adequately reflect the true financial conditions of the insurance companies.”Currently, the solvency capital is fixed based on the reserves and the sum at risk for the life insurer.“The drawback of the current solvency method is that the level of confidence provided by the capital held by the companies is not known. So the capital held may be too high or too low given the risk profile of the companies,” said the panel in its report.The RBC method, on the other hand, is risk-focussed and follows the standards adopted in developed countries.With greater transparency on risks, it will facilitate comparisons across insurance companies, providing information such as the financial strength of the insurers. This will help in early and effective intervention by the regulator, if necessary.
  • Transfer unclaimed money to SCWF by March 1: Irdai to insurers
    Jul 26, 2017
    Insurance accruals lying unclaimed for a period of over 10 years as on September 30 will have to be deposited into a fund meant for senior citizens by March 1 next year, an Irdai order said today. “All insurers having unclaimed amounts of policyholders for a period of more than 10 years as on September 30, 2017 need to transfer the same to the Senior Citizens’ Welfare Fund (SCWF) on or before March 1, 2018,” it said. Sectoral watchdog Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India (Irdai) has asked insurance companies to get details of such accounts and the prescribed format in which the unclaimed deposits have to be submitted from Department of Financial Services.
  • New IRDAI rules: Here is how policyholders are set to gain from new norms
    Jul 17, 2017
    In order to ensure that the interests of policyholders are protected, Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India (Irdai) has come out with Protection of Policyholders’ Interests Regulations, 2017. Every insurer will now have to put terms and conditions of every product that is offered for sale on its website, mention the unique identification number of the product, settle health insurance claims within 30 days from the receipt of the document and put in place proper procedures and mechanism to resolve complaints and grievances of policyholders.A prospectus of any insurance product will state the scope of benefits, the extent of insurance cover, warranties, exclusions and conditions of the cover along with explanations. For life insurance, the prospectus will have to mention whether the product is participating (with profits) or non-participating (without profits).
  • Irdai defers IndAS execution by 2 yrs
    Jun 29, 2017
    The Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India (Irdai) has deferred the implementation of Indian Accounting Standards (IndAS) by a period of two years and it will now be implemented by 2020-21.The board of authority, after its meeting on May 31, noted the peculiarities of the insurance sector, particularly the fact that India does not have a standard equivalent to IAS39 on Financial Instruments: Recognition and Measurement.They came to the conclusion that the implementation of the IndAS in the present form will lead to the valuation of assets at fair value or market value, however, liabilities will continue to be valued as per the existing formula based approach. Hence, a mismatch would occur in the asset and liability valuation causing volatility in the financial statements of the insurance companies.
  • Insurance regulator asks LIC to trim holdings in cos to 15% or below
    May 01, 2017
    Insurance regulator IRDAI has asked the life insurance behemoth LIC to prepare a roadmap to pare its stake to 15 per cent in firms where it breaches this ceiling, but has stopped short of setting a timeframe for the same.As of end March, LIC owned more than 15 per cent in index majors like ITC (16.32 per cent) and L&T (16 per cent), both part of the Suuti (specified undertaking of the Unit Trust of India) stakes that government owns through LIC, and state— owned Corporation Bank in which it owns 18.91 per cent.
  • IRDAI cuts third party premium for some categories of vehicles
    Apr 18, 2017
    The Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India (IRDAI) on Monday reduced premium rates of motor third party insurance for some categories of vehicles for 2017-18. According to the regulator, the new notification will override an earlier order issued by it on March 28, 2017, which notified rates with effect from April 1, 2017.“The new premium schedule shall apply retrospectively with effect from April 1, 2017,” Yegnapriya Bharath, Chief General Manager—Non-Life, IRDAI, said in an order.In the revised rates, there is significant reduction for goods-carrying vehicles — public carriers (other than three-wheelers). According to IRDAI’s March 28 order, the premium for goods-carrying vehicles was to go up by over 40 per cent with rates varying depending on the load.For instance, the premium that was earlier in the Rs.15,365-24,708 range was raised to Rs.23,047-37,062.However, the the latest order brings down the premium for different categories of vehicles from Rs.21,511-36,120 (March 28) to Rs.19,667-33,024 now.It may be recalled that truckers in the South went on a strike for about 10 days from April 1, protesting against the steep hike in the mandatory motor third party rates and also held discussions with the regulator seeking reduction in rates. Similarly, premium has also been reduced for private cars exceeding 1,000 cc and 1,500 cc, agricultural tractors, special types of vehicles and two-wheelers.The insurers will now have to return the additional amount collected for policies bought from April 1-17 on the basis of the previous notification to align them with the revised rates, said an IRDAI official.
  • Irda issues cyber security norms of insurers
    Apr 11, 2017
    The Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India has asked insurance companies to have board approved information/cyber security policy by 31 July 2017. The regulator has asked companies to have a cyber security assurance program to be approved by the Board by 30 September 2017. It has asked insurers to appoint chief information security officer who would be responsible for enforcing policies to protect information assets. CISO would be head of risk management and will have working relationship with CIO.
  • Third party premium to rise from April 1
    Mar 30, 2017
    The Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India (IRDAI) has revised motor third party insurance premium of vehicles with effect from April 1, 2017.For passenger cars above 1,500 cc, the new rate will be Rs 8,630 as against the current rate of Rs 6,164. For cars with engine capacity between 100—1,500 cc, the new insurance rate will be Rs 3,132 as against Rs 2,237. There is no change in the rate for cars below 1,000 cc.For bikes above 350 cc, the insurance rate will be Rs 1,194 as against Rs 796 and between 150-350 cc, the rate has gone up from Rs 693 to Rs 978.IRDAI had earlier this month come out with the exposure draft which proposed a 16-50 per cent hike in premiums in various motor segments like two-wheelers and private cars from April 1.
  • Regulator allows insurers to invest in infrastructure funds
    Mar 17, 2017
    The Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India (Irda) has cleared investment by insurance companies in Real Estate Investment Trusts (Reits) and Infrastructure Investment Trusts (InvITs), thus making an important breakthrough for the sponsors. Insurance companies are allowed to buy into commercial real estate, and letting them invest in Reits is expected to deepen the commercial property market, according to experts. In a circular dated March 14, Irda said an insurer could invest not more than 3 per cent of its fund size or in not more than 5 per cent of the units issued by a single reit/InvIT, whichever is lower.
  • IRDAI says no mandatory listing of insurance companies
    Mar 11, 2017
    Unlike the banking sector, the Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India (IRDAI) is not planning to make compulsory listing of insurance companies on the stock exchanges for the time being. “We had come out with the exposure draft on listing of insurance companies, but it’s still a draft. People are not happy with mandatory listing. So, for time being, it will not be compulsory for insurers to list,” IRDAI Chairman T S Vijayan said.
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