The commission has solicited the views of the government as well, and these would be incorporated in the consultation paper, he added. However, he regretted that neither individual consumers nor consumer organisations had so far come forth with suggestions. "After all, the law is being reviewed primarily to safeguard the interests of consumers," he remarked.
On a reference made by the Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority (Irda), the law body in August decided to undertake a comprehensive review of the major laws in operation pertaining to the industry -- The Insurance Act, 1938, the Irda Act, 1999, the Life Insurance Corporation Act, 1956, and the General Insurance (Business Nationalisation) Act, 1972. The commission is currently looking into the Insurance Act, Mr Vishwanathan added.
The 1938 Act has been the mainstay of Indian insurance, being periodically updated to bring its provisions in line with international practice. Part of the liberalisation effort entailed changes in this legislation as well. Even lately, the government effected changes to incorporate enabling clauses for bringing into the insurance fold players like cooperatives and banks. It also recognises now a number of intermediaries, apart from the traditional insurance agents, as also electronic payment of premium, etc. The commission is expected to go into any conflicting clauses occurring in the different laws and suggest fine-tuning. It may also explore the possibility of granting more teeth to the regulator by strengthening the Irda Act.