What are the Fundamental Functions of Web Aggregators?
Nowadays, security is the biggest concern of every individual. Therefore, people often depend upon insurance policies and services. Several insurance companies assure to provide a supreme level of protection but fail to do the same. Hence, it becomes a challenge for customers to find a reliable insurance service provider.
The web aggregator addresses all the problems which incur during the quest of befitting insurance company. It renders an online platform that comprises of an array of renowned insurance companies. To run such a platform, an aggregator first needs to obtain an insurance web aggregator license. This write-up unveils all the functions of web aggregators and the prerequisites to attain a certificate of web aggregator.
Who is an Insurance Web Aggregator?
A web aggregator is an intermediary who gathers, compiles and maintains the data of various insurance companies. Therefore, the aggregator offers all the collected information on an online portal to the customers seeking insurance services. The website also allows the insurance prospects to compare different insurers based on multiple factors such as price, insurance products and services, etc.
The functions of web aggregators are under stringent regulations of (IRDA) Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India. Thus, an insurance web aggregator has to comply with all the provisions to sustain his position in the market.
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Key Functions of Web Aggregators
IRDA has clearly defined the roles and responsibilities of a web aggregator which are as follows:
- First, the web aggregator has to provide an extensive comparison amidst different insurance companies and their terms of conditions.
- An insurance web aggregator will transfer the leads to the concerned insurer as per IRDA guidelines.
- After attaining an insurance web aggregator license, an individual/company must undertake the online sale of insurance services and products.
- Also, a web aggregator needs to ensure a customer-friendly experience by streamlining the sale and purchase process.
- A web aggregator platform must engulf all the information regarding the scope of coverage, premium terms, and policies of the insurance services to prospective customers.
- Further, one of the functions of web aggregators can also be to utilize the telemarketing mode to sell insurance products.
The web aggregators collaborate with numerous insurance companies to enable the best insurance service providers.
Who is eligible to be an Insurance Web Aggregator?
The Regulatory and Development Authority of India has laid down an exclusive list of applicants who are entitled as web aggregators. Take a look at those candidates who can seamlessly perform the functions of web aggregators without any legal intrusion:
- Registered Companies under the Companies Act, 2013 provisions are eligible to be an insurance web aggregator;
- An approved company or an individual recognized by the IRDA;
- A registered LLP (Limited Liability Partnership) under the LLP Act, 2008;
- The applicant of web aggregator license should not be a proposed or registered insurance intermediary, insurance agent, or corporate agent;
- A company that has the authority in the Memorandum of Association to run the functions of web aggregators.
Web Aggregator License and its Issuance
The regulatory body of IRDA has set some provisions which a web aggregator applicant needs to adhere before applying for the license. Here are the prerequisites to be an insurance web aggregator:
- A company or individual who possesses a minimum paid-up capital of INR 25 Lakhs can only apply for the web aggregator license.
- If a company strives to operate as a web aggregator, then its capital must be issued in the form of equity shares.
- A web aggregator needs to stop his business immediately in case he breaches any IRDA compliance.
- When LLP jointly functions as web aggregators, all the partners have to contribute cash.
- After an insurance web aggregator certificate is issued, it is indispensable to ensure that the net worth capital does not fall below 100% the minimum paid-up capital.
Limitations of the Web Aggregators
As a blessing accompanies with a disguised curse, likewise, there are some restraints on the functions of web aggregators as well such as:
- An insurance web aggregator must not advertise or promote an insurance policy on his website.
- Further, such insurance intermediaries cannot deploy any of the social media platforms to conduct product comparison.
- It is prohibited for a web aggregator to channelize financial, commercial, or marketing websites.
- The insurance aggregators must work in a prescribed framework to transfer leads from his website to the insurance provider.
- A web aggregator is under obligation to manage only one website at a particular time. Therefore, no aggregator can drive multiple portals.
- Also, the aggregator cannot associate with several unlicensed, approved/unapproved entities to generate more leads.
A complete checklist of documents required
These are the documents that a web aggregator applicant must affix with his license application:
- MOA and AOA;
- The Certificate of Incorporation;
- Information of shareholders or directors;
- Detailed data of the associated and interested insurance providers;
- Details of KYC and statutory auditors;
- An audited annual report and financial statements of the last three years;
- Net Worth Certificate issued by a Chartered Accountant;
- Business Plan of 3 years
- Comprehensive information of the personnel responsible for the maintenance of website;
- Training and examination of Principal Officers;
- A proof that the company’s net worth has never fallen under INR 10 Lakhs;
- Domain name registration proof;
- GST and PAN of the company;
- Infrastructural details;
- Login credentials (User ID and Password) for the verification of your website during the closure;
- Organizational chart comprising all the inflows and outflows;
- Mention the aspects of pending or settled disputes, if any.
Step by Step procedure to obtain Web Aggregator License
Follow this simplistic approach to get a certificate of web aggregator:
- Apply to the authority– The applicant first needs to apply for a Form A of Schedule I of IRDA Regulation, 2017.
- Submit application fee– Now the applicant has to pay a non-refundable fee of INR 10,000/-. Moreover, the applicant gets the leverage to pay an online fee or draw a demand draft payable to the Insurance Development and Regulatory Authority.
- File an application for approval– It’s essential to take permission for Outsource & Telemarketing services. Therefore, draft an application along with the necessary documents and submit them to IRDA.
- Verification of the application– The regulatory officer will scrutinize and validate the correctness of the application. He will also verify the authenticity of documents, and if there is a case of incompleteness, the authority shall order for more documents.
- Application rejection by the authority– In case, the authority is not satisfied with the provided information or finds it incomplete, then there is a possibility of application rejection. It can be rejected within 30 days for unfurnished information. Thus, an applicant has to file a new form along with the prescribed fees.
- Appeal to Securities Appellant Tribunal– The aggrieved applicant, can also showcase his resentment by filing a request to the Securities Appellant Tribunal within 45 days of application rejection.
- Issuance of Web Aggregator License– After completion of all the legal compliance, if the authority considers an application to be complete in every aspect, then the authority shall issue the Registration Certificate in Form E of Schedule I.