Insurance Self Network Platform (ISNP Certification)
Various businesses today have adopted internet to get a viable advantage. However, insurance sector has been slightly slow to do so. The insurance sector finally decided to promote e-commerce in the insurance space when IRDAI through ISNP provided the way for insurer or insurance intermediary to undertake insurance e-commerce activities in India. ISNP is an e-commerce portal for dealing with insurance services in India. It assists brokers or firms to sell policies in a cost efficient manner. The Insurance Self Network Platform is set up by the permission of the insurance regulatory authority. Considering the fact that e-commerce has been prevalent in all forms of goods and services hence IRDA has come up with this platform. Setting up of ISNP is possible for any insurer or insurance intermediary such as Insurance Brokers, Corporate agents or web aggregators.
Significance of ISNP Certification
With a view to expand the insurance business in India and to reduce the cost of transacting insurance policies, the Insurance Regulatory authority has sought to promote e-commerce in the insurance ecosystem. As per a report by Google India, there may be a rise in the number of people desiring to purchase their policies and renewals online hence in line with that insurance brokers, firms, and corporate agents can sell and provide policies via E-commerce, with the permission of IRDAI. E-commerce is considered to be an effective medium to increase the penetration of insurance and bring financial inclusion in a cost-efficient manner.
Services Offered on ISNP
The following services can be offered on ISNP to the policyholders:
- Issuance and crediting the Policy Document/Certificates of insurance/Proposal Form/ Medical reports, etc.
- Organizing medical check-ups and submitting medical reports
- Endorsement Issuance;
- Change in Policy Terms & Conditions /Details Change
- Collection of renewal premiums & remittance to insurers
- Change in Name/Address
- Assignment Registration
- Nomination/Change of Nomination
- Surrender, Withdrawals, Freelook Cancellations, Maturity, Return Benefit
- Loan Against Policy
- Fund Switching/Premium Redirection
- Update Declarations
- Extension of Cover
- Revival/Policy Cancellation
- Transfer of Policy
- Duplicate Policy
- Death/Maturity Claims
- Other Service operations as it may be specific for the products.
Eligibility criteria and essential requirements to set up ISNP
- The applicant is required to be either an incorporated company or a Limited Liability Partnership;
- The applicant’s business entity should have a principal officer;
- The applicant should conform to all the guidelines specified in the form ISNP-1.
- The applicant should be able to prove that the e commerce portal is able to automate the process and maintain the data privacy at all times.
- The applicant should be having a Web/Mobile platform to sell and service insurance policies across life insurance companies and non-life insurance companies.
- In case where an applicant is an insurer, he shall only enrol insurance intermediaries on its ISNP. In case where an applicant is an insurance intermediary, he may enrol insurers only and no other insurance intermediary or an agent. In case where an applicant enrols any unregistered insurer or insurance intermediary, the authority may cancel the permission given to the applicant.
What is EIA?
Under ISNP, policyholders can access the e-insurance account or eIA, which contains policy documents in electronic format. IRDAI had authorised 4 entities to open EIAs for policyholders. These include- NSDL Database Management Limited, Central Insurance Repository Limited, Karvy Insurance Repository Limited and CAMS Repository Services Limited.
Before transacting on ISNP, it is necessary for customers to have an eIA. IRDAI has mandated that an insurer or insurance intermediary such as brokers, corporate agents, and web aggregators, registered with ISNP must facilitate the opening of eIA of the customer within 15 days of issuing the policy.
Documents required to obtain ISNP Certification
In order to start an e-commerce platform which is dedicated to selling insurance policies, the following documents should be attached:
- Certificate of Incorporation;
- MOA and AOA;
- Details of the directors and shareholder;
- Document containing the description of business;
- Details of the management personnel;
- Details of the manner in which unauthorized access can be prevented;
- Details of procedure implemented for disaster recovery;
- Details of the encryption implemented to protect customer information;
- Details of the Management Information System supporting Internet insurance business operations;
- Source code of the e commerce portal;
- CERT-in certification of the E commerce portal.
Process of obtaining ISNP Certification
The procedure to set up ISNP is as follows:
- The applicant needs to obtain prior permission for undertaking insurance e-commerce activities in India hence an application should be made in Form ISNP-1;
- The applicant shall also submit the necessary documents and pay non-refundable fee;
- The authority shall analyse the form;
- The authority may reject an application if such application is not complete or it doesn't comply with the registration guidelines;
- If the authority is satisfied with the submissions made by the applicant, it may grant approval subject to the ISNP complying with the relevant provisions.
Validity of the ISNP certification
The Insurance Self Network Platform certification/License usually is valid till the time the certificate of registration is valid, in case of insurance intermediaries however, in case of insurers, the permission shall be valid unless it is revoked/cancelled.
ISNP IRDA Compliance
Insurers/insurance intermediaries setting up an ISNP should ensure compliance with the following:
- Controls, procedures, systems, and safeguards put in place by the ISNP shall be reviewed at least once a year. This must be done by an external certified information system auditor (CISA) or Chartered Accountants (CA) with a diploma in information system audit (DISA), the Institute of Chartered Accountants of India (ICAI) qualification or a CERT-IN expert.
- During audit, adverse findings, if any, which are critical to the operations of the ISNP of the applicant or which may cause financial loss to the policyholders, has to be reported to the Authority with an action plan to tackle them.
- Insurers who have set up an ISNP are required to ensure that the code of conduct and performance of the persons managing their ISNP is satisfactory. Further, the information on the website, the processes, procedures and any other mechanism by whatever name called, displayed and implemented on the platform should be available all times for verification and scrutiny.
- An Insurance Self Network Platform that undertakes insurance e-commerce activities in India is required to ensure that it enrols only those market participants that have been granted a certificate of registration by the Authority. Further, it needs to ensure that the participants disclose only those product features that are approved by the Authority and such information, which is not detrimental to the interests of the policyholder.
- It needs to maintain a strict code of conduct with respect to providing information to policyholders according to IRDAI directions, submit returns periodically and cooperate in inquiry conducted by the Authority, if any.
- Put in place a board approved proactive fraud detection policy and process;
- Maintain record, SOPs, supervision by an insurer over its INSP in accordance with the IRDAI guidelines;
- Proper reporting to insurance regulatory authority if there has been any action taken by the government or regulatory body;
- Filing of an annual compliance certificate by the applicant’s CEO and compliance officer to show compliance with these guidelines.
At the time of filing for ISNP certification, the applicant may have various queries considering the filing process, documentation requirements, compliances etc. Here experts in Insurance sector can assist you. If you are looking to start your own insurance e-commerce portal, then reach out to Enterslice.