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A web Aggregator is an online intermediary that maintains a website for rendering the details of insurance products and policies. The website maintained by the web aggregator is useful for comparison of different products and services given by various insurers. These websites provide an interface for the following services:
- Price comparison
- Comparison of policies provided by different insurers
- Detailed information on products provided by different insurers.
- Eligibility criteria
- Rate of premium
- Amount assured, etc
The Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India (IRDAI) has framed regulations for governing the functions and activities of web aggregators to keep a check on the information of insurers which are provided to the customers.
Web Aggregators are registered and regulated by the Companies Act as well as the Insurance Regulatory Act.
Insurance Web Aggregators play a vital role in boosting the online market for insurance products. Web Aggregators are referred to as online insurance intermediaries as they allow the customer to purchase and compare the insurance products and services online.
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Role of Insurance Web Aggregators
Insurance Web Aggregators improve and enhance the purchase experience of the customers who want to purchase insurance products as they redirect customers to the website of the insurer. Moreover, they assist customers throughout the sale process.
Regulations governing Insurance Web Aggregator
Earlier, Insurance Web Aggregator and its activities were under the governance of Insurance Regulatory & Development Authority (Web Aggregators) Regulation, 2013 that was superseded by new guidelines issued by an IRDAI with the launch of Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority (Insurance Web Aggregators) Regulation, 2017.
New guidelines of IRDAI has made the following this mandatory:
- No insurance aggregators are allowed to promote the products or services of any particular insurer. The products are allowed to be sold based on the analysis report.
- The Insurance Web Aggregators have to display product pricing inclusive of all taxes.
- The Insurance Web Aggregators forbade from displaying ratings, raking endorsement, using best selling products, etc.
Boost in Insurance Web Aggregator
The IRDAI amendment made to regulate the web aggregators with effect from 2017, has considerably reduced the ambiguity in the maintenance of websites by Insurance Web Aggregators, which has boosted the number of insurance websites.
IRDAI, in its official gazette, notifies the amendment in rules governing insurance web aggregator and has set new rules with the introduction of IRDAI (Insurance Web Aggregators) Regulations 2017.
With the introduction of the new rules following are the few changes that can boost the insurance market in India:
- All the insurance products that were not allowed earlier, such as ULIPS- Unit Linked Insurance Plans have been opened for sale on the web aggregator’s online portal.
- The ticket size of the insurance policy which can be put up for sale has increased from INR 50,000 to INR 1.5 Lakhs. This change will help in boosting the sale of bundles insurance products.
- Remunerations have been allowed via rewards even on zero-commission policies.
Key-Points for Insurance Web Aggregator
Following are key points to be kept in mind by the aggregator:
- Net Worth: Every Insurance Web Aggregator shall maintain at least 100% of its paid-up capital as its net worth and the same shall be reviewed half-yearly.
- Non-Compliance: Aggregator shall immediately stop the business of web aggregator in case of any non-compliance with any regulations such as minimal maintenance of net worth, disclosure, and reporting, etc
- Certificate by CA: The web aggregators are required to submit to the IRDAI a certificate stating its net worth certificate issued by a Chartered Accountant.
- Minimum Capital: Insurance web aggregators can be registered as a company with a minimum paid-up capital of INR 25 Lakhs or as an LLP with a minimum contribution of INR 25 Lakhs.
- Training & Qualification: Principal officer of the Insurance Web Aggregator must be a person who has undergone the necessary training and has the prescribed qualification as mentioned in Form C of Schedule I of IRDAI (Insurance Web Aggregators) Regulations, 2017.
- Criteria to be met: The criteria as mentioned in Form D of Schedule I of IRDAI (Insurance Web Aggregators) Regulations, 2017.
- Must be met by the Principal officer, Directors, Promoters, Partners, and KMP.
Insurance Web Aggregator’s License
Following is the procedure for the application to the authority for seeking the grant of certificate of registration:
- Apply in Form-A of Schedule I of IRDAI (Insurance Web Aggregators) Regulations, 2017.
- A non-refundable fee of INR 10,000/- shall be deposited at the time of application either online or via Demand Draft.
- Application to be made along with the necessary documents
After an application is submitted with the authority, the same is scrutinized and verified. If the submitted application is correct and complete as per the guidelines of the IRDAI (Insurance Web Aggregators) Regulations, 2017.
The relevant authority may order for further clarification in case it finds an application to be incomplete. If further information or clarification is not given within 30 days of demand, the application may get rejected. The license issued shall be valid for three years from the date of issuance unless it is rejected or suspended by the authority.
Documentation for an application
Following is the list of documents required to be annexed with an application:
- Copy of Certificate of Incorporation
- Copy of Memorandum of Association & Articles of Association
- Copy of PAN of the company
- Details of directors and their qualification
- The CV of Principal Officer along with his qualification
- Bank draft of INR 10,000 drawn in the favor of IRDAI
- An affidavit certifying that no director or principal officer has indulged in any fraudulent activity
- Details of the proposed online website along with the list of the persons who are maintaining and operating the same
- Certificate of Shareholding and Net Worth of the company duly certified CA
- Infrastructure details of the aggregator
- Hierarchy chart with complete details of the functions and responsibilities of every department
- Audited reports and financial statements for the preceding three years
Renewal of License
The aggregator can apply for the renewal of the license on its expiry after 3 years in the following way:
- Apply in Form F of Schedule II of IRDAI (Insurance Web Aggregators) Regulations, 2017
- With the same documents as attached with the original application
- Such an application shall be made 30 days before the date of the expiry of the license
- The renewal fee of INR 25,000/- plus applicable taxes, has to be made
Who is authorized to obtain a license of web insurance aggregator as per the IRDAI (Web Insurance Aggregator) Regulations, 2017?
The following can obtain a certificate of registration of Web Aggregator:
- The company incorporated under the Companies Act,2013/1956
- LLP registered under the LLP Act, 2008.
- No applicant who is registered as an Insurance agent, corporate agent, or any other Insurance intermediary is allowed to obtain a license.
What are the documents required to be annexed in Form F for the renewal of the license?
Following documents are annexed with a renewal application:
- Copy of COI with changes, if any
- Copy of MOA & AOA with changes, if any
- Director’s details, CV of the principal officer and their qualification.
- An affidavit certifying no director has indulged in any fraudulent activities.
- Details of any changes made on online websites.
- Complete details & the list of the person responsible for the maintenance & operation of the website.
- Certification of shareholding & net worth of the company by CA
- Business plans for the next three years.
- Infrastructure details along with any changes.
- Duties & responsibilities of organizational
- Financial statements for the previous three years
Explain in brief the functions & activities of web aggregators?
IRDAI has defined and given the structure to some of the important activities of Web Aggregator as follows:
- Display of insurance products
- Facilities for comparison in terms of price
- Manner & process of the sale of insurance products