The Insurance Regulatory And Development Authority (IRDA)

Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority (IRDA) is regulatory and development authority under Government of India in order to protect the interests of the policyholders and to regulate, promote and ensure orderly growth of the insurance industry. It is basically a ten members’ team comprising of a Chairman, five full time members and four part-time members, all appointed by Government of India. This organization came into being in 1999 after the bill of IRDA was passed in the Indian parliament.

The Insurance Regulatory And Development Authority (IRDA)

The creation of IRDA has brought revolutionary changes in the Insurance sector. In the last 10 years of its establishment the insurance sector has seen tremendous growth. When IRDA came into being; the only players in the insurance industry were Life Insurance Corporation of India (LIC) and General Insurance Corporation of India (GIC), however in last decade 23 new players have emerged in the field of insurance. The IRDA also successfully deals with any discrepancy in the insurance sector.

As per the section 4 of IRDA Act 1999, Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority (IRDA), which was constituted by an act of parliament) specify the composition of Authority as under:

The Authority is a ten member team consisting of

(a) a Chairman;

(b) five whole-time members;

(c) four part-time members, (all appointed by the Government of India)

Duties, Powers and Functions of Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority (IRDA)

Section 14 of IRDA Act, 1999 lays down the duties, powers and functions of Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority (IRDA) as under:

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. Without prejudice to the generality of the provisions contained in subsection, the powers and functions of the Authority shall include:

  1. issue to the applicant a certificate of registration, renew, modify, withdraw, suspend or cancel such registration;
  2. 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;
  3. specifying requisite qualifications, code of conduct and practical training for intermediary or insurance intermediaries and agents;
  4. specifying the code of conduct for surveyors and loss assessors; promoting efficiency in the conduct of insurance business;
  5. promoting and regulating professional organizations connected with the insurance and re-insurance business;
  6. levying fees and other charges for carrying out the purposes of this Act;
  7. 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;
  8. 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);
  9. 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;
  10. regulating investment of funds by insurance companies;
  11. regulating maintenance of margin of solvency;
  12. adjudication of disputes between insurers and intermediaries or insurance intermediaries;
  13. supervising the functioning of the Tariff Advisory Committee;
  14. specifying the percentage of premium income of the insurer to finance schemes for promoting and regulating professional organizations referred to in clause(f);
  15. specifying the percentage of life insurance business and general insurance business to be undertaken by the insurer in the rural or social sector; and
  16. exercising such other powers as may be prescribed.