Suspension of Insurance Broker Registration by IRDAI
Chapter V of the Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India (Insurance Brokers) Regulations, 2018 contains the provisions of suspension of Insurance Broker registration. This piece of writing discusses how suspension of Insurance Broker registration takes place.
How does Suspension of Insurance broker license take place WITH notice?
The provisions relating to suspension of registration of notice take place with notice are covered under regulation 49 of Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India (Insurance Brokers) Regulations, 2018 (regulations).
- The registration certificate of an insurance broker can be suspended after due notice has been given along with an opportunity of being heard if the insurance broker:
- commits violation of any provision of Insurance Act, 1938 and Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India Act, 1999 or any rule and regulation made under these provisions
- fails to furnish any information related to the insurance broker activities which is required by the authority
- doesn’t comply with the directions issued by authority
- submits false or wrong information or conceals or fails to make disclosure of material facts in the application submitted for obtaining a registration or during the time when the certificate of registration is valid
- fails to submit periodical return
- doesn’t cooperate with any inspection or enquiry conducted by the authority
- fails to resolve the complaints of policy holders or does not give satisfactory reply to the authority regarding the same
- provides rebates or inducements in cash or kind to a client or any of the directors of a client or any other person who is acting as an introducer except as permitted under the given regulations
- is found guilty of misconduct or his conduct has been against the code of conduct specified in schedule I
- fails to maintain the requirements prescribed for deposit, net worth and capital
- fails to deposit fees, penalties or reimbursement of expenses given under the regulations
- violates the conditions of registration certificate
- fails to carry out obligations which are mandated under the regulations
- involves itself in multi-level marketing for soliciting and procurement of insurance policies
- carries business with a principal officer who hasn’t acquired practical training or passed the examination within stipulated period of time
- the authority believes that the aim of establishing an insurance broker is meant for diversion of funds within a group of companies or its associates and this fact gets established after due enquiries are made by the authority
How does Suspension of Insurance broker license take place WITHOUT notice?
The provisions relating to suspension of registration of notice take place without notice are covered under regulation 50 of regulations.
- The registration certificate of an insurance broker can be suspended without giving notice if the insurance broker:
- Has Violated the requirements that are mentioned in the code of conduct
- Has been found guilty of fraud or convicted of criminal offence
- Has committed certain defaults which requires immediate action from the authority and the authority has communicated the reasons for cancellation in writing
- Fails to commence business within 6 months from the date when registration certificate is granted
- In case where a registration certificate of an insurance broker has been suspended without being given notice, then such certificate of registration shall not be cancelled unless an enquiry has been held in accordance with the procedure laid down in regulation 52.
Publication of an order of Suspension of Insurance Broker Registration
- The order of suspension shall be displayed on the website of the authority and also communicated to the insurers. This is done to prevent registration of new business by the insurers with the insurance broker.
- The insurance broker shall stop functioning as an insurance broker from the date of suspension of insurance broker registration.
- The insurance broker whose registration has been suspended shall continue to service the contracts already concluded by him for a continuous period of six months within which he shall make suitable arrangements for having the contracts attended by another registered insurance broker.
Enquiry after suspension of registration of an insurance broker
- An enquiry has to be conducted in accordance with the procedure that is specified in the regulations before the order of suspension is made.
- An enquiry officer is appointed by the authority within a period of 15 days from the date of issue of suspension order.
- A notice is issued by the enquiry officer at the registered office or the principal place of business of the insurance broker asking for necessary information for the conduct of enquiry. The insurance broker is given a time of 15 days from the date of receipt of notice for the submission of the information sought by the enquiry officer.
- The reply filed by the insurance broker must be accompanied by the documentary evidence on which the broker relies along with the documents sought by the enquiry officer. The reply to the enquiry officer will be made within a period of 15 days.
- The broker must be given a reasonable opportunity of being heard allowing it to make submissions in support of the reply filed by it.
- The insurance broker can appear in person or can be represented by any other person duly authorised by him to present its case. Prior permission needs to be taken from the enquiry officer if the insurance broker wishes to be represented by an authorised person.
- In certain circumstances the enquiry officer can ask the authority to present his case through one of the officers of the authority.
- The enquiry officer is allowed to ask for a feedback from the insurer or an entity related to the broker in the course of enquiry in certain circumstances.
- The enquiry officer is allowed to seek additional documents from the insurance broker in certain circumstances.
- The duration of enquiry cannot be extended beyond 60 days from the date of commencement of enquiry. If the enquiry cannot be completed within the period of 60 days, then enquiry officer needs to seek additional time from the authority after stating the reasons thereof.
- The report is submitted to the authority by the enquiry officer within a period of 30 days from the date of conclusion of enquiry proceedings.
Action taken after receipt of enquiry report
- On receipt of report, the authority shall consider the contents of the report and if it deems fit that the contents of the report warrant cancellation of registration, then it will issue a show cause notice to the insurance broker. If provisions of regulation 50 are followed then no need arises to issue such a notice.
- The reply to the notice from the end of insurance broker has to be sent to the authority within a period of 21 days.
- The authority will pass an order not later than 30 days from the date of receipt of reply. If the insurance broker fails to reply to the notice within the stipulated time, then the authority has the power to pass an order on the merits of the case.
- The authority shall pass ‘final order of the authority’ under sub-regulation (3) to the insurance broker.