What is IRDA License?
Until the year 1999, the insurance sector in India was controlled by the Controller of Insurance under the Insurance Act, 1938. However, the formation of IRDA made felt the need of renaissance in the sector of insurance as most of the earlier provisions were outdated and irrelevant in the present context.
Scope of IRDA
The new IRDA regulations covered the following points of importance in the field of insurance:
- The procedure of obtaining license of insurance from IRDA;
- The procedure of obtaining approval of insurance products from IRDA; and
- The procedure for appointment of insurance intermediary.
Procedure of granting license to companies to start insurance business
It is mandatory for every entity to obtain a Certificate from Authority before carrying on any insurance business. The license for various classes of insurance can be obtained from IRDA, such as Life Insurance, Fire Insurance, Marine Insurance etc. But it is to be kept in mind that the life insurance business shall not be combined with any other type of insurance business.
The license from IRDA is mandatory. Even the old players in the field of insurance, such as National Insurance, General Insurance, Oriental Insurance etc., had to obtain a fresh certificate within 3months from the date of commencement of this Act. The insurers exempted from obtaining license under the previous Act, were covered under this Act.
Application for Registration Certificate before IRDA
An application for the Certificate of Registration shall be made to the IRDA in prescribed Form IRDA/R1. The application shall be supported by the following documents:
- The certified copy of the Memorandum of Association and Articles of Association;
- The full profile including the name, address and occupation of all the directors and shareholders of the company;
- The statement regarding the class of insurance business proposed to be carried on.
- The statement regarding the sources of capital funds.
The initial application will be screened by IRDA and additional information may be asked for. Even a Principal Officer may be appointed by the Authority for seeking any information or clarification on their behalf.
Second Stage for IRDA License
Once being satisfied about the information and documents provided along with the Form IRDA/R1, the Authority may ask for an additional application in the prescriber Form IRDA/R2 which shall be accompanied with the following documents:
- Every entity shall deposit either in cash or in securities , partly in cash and party in securities, the following:
- 1% of the total gross premium written in India in the previous year, in case of the life insurance business, not exceeding INR 10 crore;
- 3% of the total gross premium written in India in the previous year, in case of the general insurance business, not exceeding INR 10 crore;
- A sum of INR 20 crores in case of reinsurance business;
- A sum of INR 1 lac/- only in case of marine business;
- The certificate showing the amount deposited with the Reserve Bank of India.
- The statement showing declaration from the Principal Officer about fulfillment of Minimum Capital Requirement. The capital requirement shall be 20 crores for reinsurance business and 10 crores for the life insurance and General Insurance.
- A copy of the certified public prospectus and the policy reforms of the insurer.
- Statement depicting assured rate, advantages, terms & conditions associated with Insurance policies.
- Actuary certificate regarding rate of interest.
- A deposit of INR 50,000/- for each class of business.
- If any foreign promoter is involved, then the certified copy of the MOU between the Indian and Foreign promoter.
- Any other document asked for by the authority.
Grant of Registration Certificate for Insurance business in India
After the receipt of application and on being satisfied about the following mentioned conditions, the Certificate of Registration shall be granted to the insurer by the IRDA. The conditions include the following:
- Sound financial condition and general character of the management;
- Adequate volume, capital structure and earning prospects of the applicant company;
- Fulfilment of the interest of the general public.
Refusal of Registration for insurance operations
The applicant may be refused of the registration of an insurer on the following grounds:
- Inadequate or improper information;
- Delay in providing information;
- Non-fulfilment of capital requirements;
- Improper conduct of the management;
- Any other as decided by the Authority.
If the applicant is refused of the registration as an insurer, he can appeal before the Central Govt. within 30 days from the date on which a copy of the decision from the Authority is received
In case of the insurance registration, the decision of the government shall be final and cannot be appealed against in any court of law.
Cancellation of Registration
In case any of the conditions specified for registration is not compiled with, then the Authority reserves the right to cancel the registration either wholly or in part, in case the applicant is involved in more than one insurance business.
Renewal of Registration
The registration for insurance shall be renewed every year and the application for renewal shall be made before 31st December of the preceding year following which the renewal is sought for, along with the fees as below:
- 1/4th of the 1% of the premium received during the year or INR 5 crores, whichever is less;
- The fees should not be less than 50,000/- for each class of insurance;
- 1/4th of the 1% of the premium received during the year in India, for reinsurance companies;
- The renewal fees shall be paid to the Reserve Bank of India.