Insurance agents may get to sell policies of several cos; also MFs

  • Mahua Venkatesh, Hindustan Times, New Delhi
  • Updated: Mar 25, 2015 02:45 IST

Soon, your insurance agent will be able to offer you a variety of life covers from different companies, along with other financial products such as mutual funds. At present, an agent registered with a particular company can sell policies only of that firm.

The Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India (IRDAI) is considering a proposal to allow agents to sell products of different companies by registering themselves as insurance marketing firms.

The regulator is likely to announce guidelines on the issue soon.

“There is a proposal to allow life insurance agents to sell multiple products by registering as marketing firms… The move will allow customers to choose from several products,” a source familiar with the development told HT.

An insurance marketing firm will be allowed to market insurance policies along with other financial products approved by regulators, IRDAI had said earlier.

The regulator is also looking to provide relief to millions of claimants by making it mandatory for companies to settle life insurance claims within 60 days against the current six months.

The Insurance Laws Amendment Bill, 2015, which was passed recently, provides more teeth and flexibility to IRDAI, and is set to benefit customers, an industry analyst said.

As many as 360 million people are covered by various life insurance policies in India, making it one of the largest in the world. In fact, by 2020, India’s insurable population is set to touch 750 million, with an average life expectancy of 74 years. Besides, according to estimates, life insurance is set to constitute 35% of total savings by 2020, from 26% at the end of 2010.

The increase in insurance FDI limit to 49% from 26% is also likely to generate investments of up to R25,000 crore, consultancy KPMG has said.

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