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Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority (IRDA) in India

The Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority (IRDA) is a national agency run by the Government of India. IRDA is based in Hyderabad and was formed by an act of Indian Parliament called as IRDA Act of 1999. Considering some of the emerging requirements of the Indian insurance industry, IRDA was amended in 2002. As stated in the act mission of IRDA is "to protect the interests of the policyholders, to regulate, promote and ensure orderly growth of the insurance industry and for matters connected therewith or incidental thereto." Indian insurance industry is regulated by the terms and conditions of the IRDA.

Indian law has certain expectations from the IRDA to perform in the Indian insurance industry. IRDA should protect the interest of policyholders by ensuring fair treatment by the insurance companies. The growth of insurance companies in a speedy and orderly manner should be taken care by the IRDA. It should monitor and implement quality competence and fair dealing of the insurance companies in the industry. IRDA should make sure that the insurers are providing precise and correct information about the products offered by them for the insurance customers. IRDA should also ensure speedy settlement of genuine claims of the policyholders and prevent malpractices in the process of claims settlement.

According to the Section 14 of IRDA Act of 1999 there are certain duties, powers and functions laid down for the IRDA and they are as follows:

(1) Subject to the provisions of this Act and any other law for the time being in force, the Authority shall have the duty to regulate, promote and ensure orderly growth of the insurance business and re-insurance business.

(2) Without prejudice to the generality of the provisions contained in sub-section (1), the powers and functions of the Authority shall include,

(a) Issue to the applicant a certificate of registration, renew, modify, withdraw, suspend or cancel such registration;
(b) protection of the interests of the policy holders in matters concerning assigning of policy, nomination by policy holders, insurable interest, settlement of insurance claim, surrender value of policy and other terms and conditions of contracts of insurance;
(c) Specifying requisite qualifications, code of conduct and practical training for intermediary or insurance intermediaries and agents;
(d) Specifying the code of conduct for surveyors and loss assessors;
(e) Promoting efficiency in the conduct of insurance business;
(f) Promoting and regulating professional organizations connected with the insurance and re-insurance business;
(g) Levying fees and other charges for carrying out the purposes of this Act;
(h) calling for information from, undertaking inspection of, conducting enquiries and investigations including audit of the insurers, intermediaries, insurance intermediaries and other organizations connected with the insurance business;
(i) control and regulation of the rates, advantages, terms and conditions that may be offered by insurers in respect of general insurance business not so controlled and regulated by the Tariff Advisory Committee under section 64U of the Insurance Act, 1938 (4 of 1938);
(j) Specifying the form and manner in which books of account shall be maintained and statement of accounts shall be rendered by insurers and other insurance intermediaries;
(k) Regulating investment of funds by insurance companies;
(l) Regulating maintenance of margin of solvency;
(m) Adjudication of disputes between insurers and intermediaries or insurance intermediaries;
(n) Supervising the functioning of the Tariff Advisory Committee;
(o) Specifying the percentage of premium income of the insurer to finance schemes for promoting and regulating professional organizations referred to in clause (f);
(p) Specifying the percentage of life insurance business and general insurance business to be undertaken by the insurer in the rural or social sector; and
(q) Exercising such other powers as may be prescribed

Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority (IRDA) in India consists a Chairman and some permanent and part time members in the administration. However, the regulations are enacted under the guidance of a statutory advisory committee. IRDA regulates private insurance companies in India such as;
  • Reliance General Insurance Company Limited.
  • IFFCO Tokio General Insurance Co. Ltd
  • TATA AIG General Insurance Company Ltd.
  • Bajaj Allianz General Insurance Company Limited
  • ICICI Lombard General Insurance Company Limited.
  • Apollo Munich Insurance Company Limited
  • Star Health Insurance
  • Max Bupa Insurance
  • Religare Health Insurance
  • Future Generali India Insurance Company Limited
  • Universal Sompo General Insurance Company Ltd.
  • Cholamandalam General Insurance Company Ltd.
  • Export Credit Guarantee Corporation Ltd.
  • HDFC-Chubb General Insurance Co. Ltd.
  • Bharti Axa General Insurance Company Ltd.
  • Raheja QBE General Insurance Co. Ltd.
  • Shriram General Insurance Co. Ltd.
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