Irda looks at fresh norms for new products

Written by fe Bureau | Hyderabad | Updated: Dec 8 2012, 05:46am hrs
Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority (Irda) is looking at fresh regulations for new product designs besides re-designing some of the existing products. The regulator is planning to issue guidelines for this new template by December end.

We are working with the industry to figure out a design template. In the process, we would be looking at issuing fresh guidelines, which are in advanced stage of evaluation, and hopefully, they will become regulation, shortly, J Hari Narayan, chairman, Irda, said at the sidelines of a meeting organised by ICICI Prudential Life and Institute of Insurance and Risk Management (IIRM). The proposed new guidelines would help simplify things better and the new products will cater to the expectations of all kinds of customers, he said.

The current insurance products are complex structures, he said. Both products and policies have to be re-modelled for newer markets as the insurance industry is in the cusp of this change. Hence, the design template for newer guidelines, catering to both life and non-life sector, would make things simpler for both consumers and the regulator. More direct savings oriented products with smaller tenure have become popular in developed countries and the trend in India is also moving in that direction, he said.

Recently, after a meeting with the finance ministry, Irda had said a mechanism for faster regulatory approval of new insurance products is on the cards. Irda will also encourage firms to launch low-premium products for increasing insurance penetration.

Further, Irda is also in the process of finalising new guidelines and regulations for micro-insurance, health insurance and bancassurance segments. A sub-committee for micro-insurance has already prepared a draft which is expected to be released by early January, he said. Besides, a regulatory framework for the health insurance sector is expected by by this month-end and the new bancassurance guidelines by January end, Narayan said.