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What is an Insurance Self-Network Platform?

Narendra Kumar

| Updated: May 26, 2018 | Category: IRDA License

Insurance Self-Network Platform

Insurance Self-Network Platform (ISNP) Introduction

In today’s age of digitalization, e-commerce is the gaining the fancy of customers as well as sellers. Even in the insurance industry, the registered player is exploring the online platforms to sell their products. In light of that, Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India (IRDA) had issued guidelines relating to insurance e-commerce on 9th March 2017. The main objective of these guidelines is to set standardize rules for conducting insurance e-commerce activities. As per these regulations, anyone willing to sell insurance online is required to set-up a digital platform known as Insurance Self-Network Platform (ISNP) and follows all the regulations specified for it.

Objective:

As we discussed electronic commerce is emerging as a very effective and cost-efficient way to access new consumer base. Like any other market, e-commerce can be very helpful in penetrating the insurance market. Realizing the same, with a view to mandate development and promote insurance Authority has issued Guidelines on Insurance e-commerce.

Following are the main objectives for the introduction of these guidelines:

  • To increase insurance market penetration
  • To reduce the cost of the transaction
  • To promote better reach
  • Bring efficiency in the market.

What is an ISP?

Insurance Self-Network Platform refers to an electronic platform set up with a view to conducting insurance e-commerce activity. Such platforms can only operate after getting permission from IRDA.

ISNP can be set up in any of the following forms:

  • Website (desktop or mobile version) or
  • Mobile application or
  • Both

Who can set up an ISP?

Many very under the misconception that these insurance e-commerce guidelines will pave the way for e-commerce companies like Amazon and Flipkart. But, that is not the case, as per the definition provided in these insurance e-commerce guidelines clearly state that only a person registered or recognized by the Insurance Regulatory And Development Authority of India can apply for ISNP registration.

As per this explanation, any of the following people either selling or servicing insurance products can file for permission for setting up an ISP:

  • Insurers
  • Insurance intermediaries or
  • Any other entities recognized by IRDAI

The most important pre-requisite is that the applicant must have an established online portal for conducting insurance e-commerce activities. This is the reason insurance agents are not permitted to set up ISNP but they can use insurer’s ISNP by taking their permission.  In such a situation the insurer will be liable to make sure all compliances required under the guidelines are done.

Registration Procedure

For setting up an Insurance Self-Network Platform to carry on insurance e-commerce activities prior permission from the authorities is required.  For ISNP registration following procedure is to be followed:

  • For obtaining this prior permission the applicant is required to make an application to the Authority in Form ISNP-1 and submit the applicable fees and taxes.
  • After analyzing the application if the Authority requires it can demand the applicant for additional information, clarification or personal representation for need be for relevant matters.
  • If the Authority is of the opinion that the application is not complete and abiding by the registration guidelines, then it can reject the application after giving an opportunity of being heard to the applicant.
  • After receiving the notice the applicant will be required to complete the application within 15 days time period.
  • After due analysis, if the Authority is satisfied, registration will be granted. Such registration will be subject to the condition that the applicant will comply with all the provisions of Insurance Act, 1938, the IRDA Act, 1999 and all the rules and regulations made thereunder.

NOTE: Once the Authority receives the application, it is required to decide the application within 60 days from the date of submission.

Applicable Fees

Anyone planning to submit an application with the Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India for registration as an IS NO is required to deposit a non-refundable registration fee of Rs. 10,000 along with taxes applicable on the same.

Validity of Registration

The ISNP platform approval will be valid for the period the registration of applicant is valid under IRDA. For further clarification

  • In case of Insurers, their registration has lifetime validity. Thus, the ISNP Registration will be valid unless it is revoked.
  • In case of insurance intermediaries, the registration does not have lifetime validity. Thus, the ISNP Registration will be valid until the certificate of registration of such intermediaries is valid.
Narendra Kumar

Experienced Finance and Legal Professional with 12+ Years of Experience in Legal, Finance, Fintech, Blockchain, and Revenue Management.

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