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What is an Insurance Self Network Platform (ISNP)?

Narendra Kumar

| Updated: Oct 29, 2018 | Category: IRDA License

Insurance Self Network Platform

As per one estimate by Google India, by 2020 more than 200 million Indians are likely to make their purchases and sales online. This will make the paperless transactions very high in volume as compared to the cash transactions in our economy. In this article, we will discuss Insurance Self Network Platform?

It is also accepted that e-commerce has been widely recognized as a game-changer in more than many ways.

Objective and aim of ISNP:

In today’s fast-moving age, e-commerce is widely recognized as an effective medium to increase insurance penetration and promote financial inclusion in a cost-efficient manner. The IRDA Authority to encourage the development, issued the guidelines of ISNP to promote e-commerce in insurance business expecting to lower the cost of transacting insurance business, to make it efficient and further make it reach to a larger number of people. Digitalization is becoming very popular and people have developed a habit to complete such business online to save the time and energy.

What are the guidelines of IRDA for this?

These guidelines are issued by IRDA under Section 34 of the Insurance Act, 1938 and Section 14 of the IRDA Act, 1999 called as Guidelines on insurance e-commerce.

insurance Self-Network Platform can be best described as electronic platform set-up by any applicant with the approval of IRDA.

As per the object of these guidelines an insurance agent is not allowed to set up a separate insurance self-network platform but can use the respective insurer’s self-network platform, if available. However, the insurer will be responsible for compliance of these guidelines on behalf of such insurance agents using the platform.

Insurance SNP has included the following entities as “market participants”:

  1. I) Insurers registered by the Authority

ii)Insurance Intermediaries registered by the Authority

iii) Insurance Agents appointed by insurers recognized by the Authority

  1. iv) Any other person so approved by the Authority

How to apply for permission as an Insurance Self Network Platform (ISNP)?

Prior permission is mandatory to set-up an ISNP for undertaking Insurance e-commerce activities in India.

  • The applicant intending to set-up an ISNP for undertaking Insurance e-commerce activities shall make an application in prescribed Form ISNP – 1.
  • The applicant shall pay a non-refundable fee of rupees ten thousand plus applicable taxes as fees.
  • The Authority on being satisfied with the credentials of the applicant may grant approval subject to the ISNP complying with the relevant provisions specified under the Regulations.

Online offering by ISNP:

The applicant’s ISP may be available as a

Regular internet website (desktop or mobile version) or

  1. mobile app or

iii.both

The applicant’s ISNP shall register and include only those market participants who have been issued a certificate of registration by the Authority.

This means that an insurer can register only insurance intermediaries on its Insurance Self-Network Platform (ISNP) and no other insurer.

An insurance intermediary can register only insurers to the extent allowed under the respective regulations on its ISNP and no other insurance intermediary or an insurance agent.

If any unregistered market participant is registered by the applicant’s Insurance Self-Network Platform, this will amount to and it will be viewed as a very serious violation which may even result in cancellation of permission given to the applicant.

The applicant’s ISNP website shall clearly display on its website the following information:

Legal name of the applicant

  1. Complete address of the applicant

iii. The telephone number and electronic contact information of the applicant

  1. Certificate of Registration Number and its validity period

V.Category of a certificate of registration held by the applicant

  1. Contact information details assisting the policyholders to file a complaint, including a link to the Authority’s website also.

vii. Any other relevant information of the applicant for the policyholder.

Pricing of the Products sold through ISNP:

The price of each product shall be determined by the insurer. Further, it shall be the duty of the insurer that product pricing is in compliance to product accepted by the Authority.

Insurers may offer discounted pricing on the product when being sold through its ISNP as mentioned by the Authority.

The differential price for products provided on ISNP of any of the applicants shall be the same.

The customer will have to select the policy as per to his requirement and affordability etc. from ISNP.  He will have to complete the formalities, mostly online, except for certain cases like health check-up (in case of life insurance) and inspection of the property of high value. In such case, the policyholders should be confident about the benefits of maintaining their record in an electronic form otherwise he may keep away from the insurance e-commerce facilities. The policyholders may buy policies through ISNP if they are willing in maintaining policies in electronic form with the approved repositories for this.

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Narendra Kumar

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

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