Irda slapped a fine of nearly Rs. 5crore during 2012-13 on 12 insurance companies, including market leaders HDFC Life and ICICI Prudential Life.
HDFC Life paid a fine of Rs. 1.47 crore, while ICICI Prudential Life had to shell out Rs. 1.18 crore for failure to comply with various provisions of the Insurance Act 1938.
The insurance regulator had imposed a fine of Rs. 76 lakh on PNB Metlife for violation of various guidelines. Tata AIA had to pay a penalty of Rs. 49 lakh during 2012-13.
In all, penalties were levied on 10 life insurance companies and two non-life insurance companies for non- compliance with various regulatory stipulation, Irda said in annual report 2012-13.
Apart from monetary penalty levied on insurers, penal actions were also initiated on various non-compliant intermediaries as well, it said.
The annual report also noted that insurance penetration in India, which surged till 2009-10, has slipped since 2010-11 on account of slowdown in life insurance premium as compared to the growth rate of India economy.
During the first decade of insurance sector liberalisation, the sector has reported consistent increase in insurance penetration from 2.71% in 2001 to 5.20% in 2009, the report said. However, since then, the level of penetration has been declining and reached 3.96% in 2012, it added.
Life insurance penetration had consistently gone up from 2.15% in 2001 to 4.60 in 2009, before slipping to 4.40% in 2010, 3.40% 2011 and further slipping to 3.17% in 2012.
The insurance penetration of the non-life insurance sector in the country has remained near constant in the range of 0.55-0.71% over the last 11 years, however the penetration rose to 0.78 in 2012.