New IRDAI Guidelines for Web Aggregators
Let’s have a walk through the latest guidelines by IRDAI for we aggregatrs.
Who is an Insurance Web Aggregator?
The web aggregator is the Insurance Intermediary who manages the website that acts as an interface to the Insurance prospects for comparing policy prices and other product information.
The entire activities of the web aggregators are governed by Insurance Regulatory (IRDA). They assist clients to compare insurance products by showing information on products of various insurers. When clients are ready to purchase, web aggregators will direct the clients to the insurer or vice versa. At the start of this year, IRDAI released the IRDAI (Insurance Brokers) Regulations 2018 (Brokers Regulations) to modify the norms governing the setting up and operations of an insurance broker in India.
As the regulatory framework and restrictions applicable to web aggregators generally do not come out to be less stringent than those applicable to insurance brokers, one basic concern to be considered by web aggregators is whether they desire to continue with this form of insurance intermediate or whether they should consider converting into insurance brokers.
Check out the latest guidelines by IRDAI for Web Aggregators based on the Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India (Insurance Web Aggregators) Regulations, 2017.
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In exercise of the powers conferred by section 114A of the Insurance Act, 1938 (4 of 1938), as amended from time to time, sections 14 and 26 of the Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority Act, 1999 (41 of 1999) and sections 42D and 42E of Insurance Act, 1938, as amended from time to time, the Authority in consultation with the Insurance Advisory Committee, hereby makes the following regulations, namely: –
Objective : The objective of the Insurance Web Aggregator Regulations is to supervise and monitor Web Aggregator as an insurance intermediary who maintains a website for providing interface to the insurance prospects for price comparison and information of products of different insurers and other related matters.
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1. Short title and commencement:
(a) These Regulations may be called the Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India (Insurance Web Aggregators) Regulations, 2017.
(b) These Regulations shall come into force on the date of their publication in the Official Gazette.
(c) These regulations supersede Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority (Web Aggregators) Regulations, 2013 with effect from date of Gazette Notification.
2. Definitions: In these regulations, unless the context requires otherwise—
(a) “Act” means the Insurance Act, 1938 (4 of 1938) as amended from time to time.
(b) “Agreement” for the purpose of these regulations means an agreement entered into between an Insurance Web Aggregator and an Insurer;
c) “Authorised Verifier” for the purpose of these Regulations is a person employed by the Insurance Web Aggregator or a Tele-marketer for insurance solicitation and procurement through Telemarketing and Distance Marketing mode and who has undergone training and passed the examination as specified by the Authority;
(d) “Authority” means the Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India (IRDAI) established under the provisions of Section 3 of the Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority Act, 1999 (41 of 1999);
(e) Distance Marketing for the purpose of these regulations refers to the process of solicitation or sale of insurance products where the consumer is physically not present at the point of solicitation or sale or the conclusion of the sale, and the process is accomplished through telephone or Short Messaging Service (SMS) or email or Internet or web services;
(f) “Key Management Personnel” for the purposes of these regulations means Chief Executive Officer, Chief Operating Officer, Chief Marketing Officer, Chief Financial Officer, Head – Technical, Head – IT.
(g) “Lead” for the purpose of these regulations means information pertaining to a person who has accessed the website of an Insurance Web Aggregator and has submitted contact information of any kind, for obtaining information on prices or features or benefits of insurance products;
(h) “Lead Generation” for the purpose of these Regulations, is the process of collecting the details of the prospects to ascertain their intention to purchase insurance policy, before proceeding with solicitation of insurance products;
(i) “Lead Management System” (LMS) for the purpose of these Regulations refers to the Software implemented by the Insurance Web Aggregator for recording, filtering, validating, grading, distribution, follow up and closure of leads from the enquiries received on the website of the Insurance Web Aggregator;
(j) Outsourcing for the purpose of these Regulations means activities which can be carried out by the Insurance Web Aggregator to the extent as specified in Form U of Schedule VII;(j) Outsourcing for the purpose of these Regulations means activities which can be carried out by the Insurance Web Aggregator to the extent as specified in Form U of Schedule VII;
(k) “Person” means—
a. A company formed under the Companies Act, 2013 (18 of 2013); or
b. A limited liability partnership formed under the Limited Liability Partnership Act, 2008 (6 of 2009) with no partner being a non-resident entity! person resident outside India as defined in clause (w) of section 2 of the Foreign Exchange Management Act, 1999 (42 of 1999) (FEMA), and not being a foreign limited liability partnership registered there under; or
c. Any other person recognised by the Authority to act as an Insurance Web Aggregator;
(l) “Principal Officer” means —
a. a director!partner, who is exclusively responsible for the activities of the Insurance Web Aggregator in the case of a body corporate; or
b. the chief executive officer appointed exclusively to carry out the functions of an Insurance Web Aggregator;
(m) “Solicitation” for the purpose of these Regulations is defined as the approach of a Prospect by an insurer or an intermediary with a view to convince the Prospect to purchase an insurance policy;
(n) “Telemarketer” for the purpose of these Regulations, is an entity registered with Telecom Regulatory Authority of India under Chapter III of The Telecom Commercial Communications Customer Preference Regulations, 2010 (as amended from time to time);
(o) “Insurance Web Aggregator” for the purpose of these regulations is a person registered by the Authority under these Regulations;
(p) “Website” is a set of related web pages served from a single web domain. A website is hosted on at least one web server, accessible via a network such as the Internet or a private local area network through an Internet address known as a Uniform resource locator. The word “website” includes a web portal and!or a mobile site for the purpose of these regulations;
(q) “Designated Website” for the purpose of these regulations is a website with domain name registered, owned by and used exclusively for the functions of the Insurance Web Aggregator;
(r) Words and expressions used and not defined in these Regulations but defined in the Act, as amended from time to time, the Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority Act, 1999 or in any of the Regulations. Guidelines made there under shall have the meanings respectively assigned to them in those Acts/ Regulations/ Guidelines.