IRDA Insurance Marketing Firm Registration - Requirements, Process and Fees
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IRDA Insurance Marketing Firm

GST Registration

The IRDA has allowed for the registration of insurance marketing firms so that entrepreneurs and insurance agents can start their own insurance distribution company. As per the Registration of Insurance Marketing Firm Regulations, 2015, an “Insurance Marketing Firm” is defined as an entity registered by the IRDA to solicit or procure insurance products, to undertake insurance service activities and to distribute other financial products.

How to Start an Insurance Marketing Firm

The Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India (IRDA) through the IRDA Registration of Insurance Marketing Firm Act 2015 has introduced the concept of “Insurance Marketing Firm” in India. Insurance Marketing Firms are an entity registered in India that are allowed to solicit or procure insurance products, to undertake insurance services and to distribute other financial products. With the Government of India raising the FDI in insurance, the insurance industry is set to witness robust growth in the coming years and there exists tremendous potential for those starting an insurance marketing firm. In this article, we look at the procedure for starting an insurance marketing firm in India.

Activities of an IRDA Insurance Marketing Firm


An Insurance Marketing Firm will be allowed to perform the following functions as per the Act:

  Solicit and procure Insurance Products:

  Provide Insurance Servicing Activities:

  • Undertake back-office activities of insurers as allowed in the Guidelines on Outsourcing Activities by Insurance Companies issued by the IRDA;
  • Become an approved person of Insurance Repositories;
  • Undertake survey and loss assessment work by employing on their rolls licensed surveyor & loss assessors;
  • Perform any other insurance-related activity permitted by the IRDA from time to time.

  Marketing of other financial products, namely:

  • Mutual funds of mutual fund companies regulated by SEBI;
  • Pension products regulated by PFRDA;
  • Other financial products distributed by SEBI licensed Investment Advisors;
  • Banking/ financial products of banks/ NBFC regulated by RBI;
  • Non-insurance products offered by Department of Posts, Government of India;
  • Any other financial product or activity permitted by the IRDA from time to time.


Requirement for Obtaining Insurance Marketing Firm Registration

To obtain IRDA registration for an Insurance Marketing Firm, the following eligibility criteria must be fulfilled:

  The following types of entity can apply for the IRDA Insurance Marketing Firm registration:

  Have a net worth (as per Companies Act, 2013) of not less than Rs.10 lakhs.

  • Companies Act, 2013 defines net worth as “the aggregate value of the paid-up share capital and all reserves created out of the profits and securities premium account, after deducting the aggregate value of the accumulated losses, deferred expenditure and miscellaneous expenditure not written off, as per the audited balance sheet, but does not include reserves created out of revaluation of assets, write-back of depreciation and amalgamation”.

  The entity Private Limited Company or LLP must have in its name the words “Insurance Marketing Firm”.

  • Due care must be taken to ensure the word “Insurance Marketing Firm” is a part of the name of the entity.

  Take out and maintain at all times a professional indemnity insurance cover throughout the validity of the period of the Insurance Marketing Firm registration granted by the IRDA.

  • Newly registered insurance marketing firm must produce a policy within twelve months from the date of issue of original registration and with a minimum sum insured of Rs 10 lakhs.

  The principal officer of the Insurance Marketing Firm must satisfy one of the following eligibility criteria:

  • Be an Associate/Fellow of the Insurance Institute of India, Mumbai; or
  • Be an Associate/Fellow of the Institute of Actuaries of India; or
  • Bean Associate/Fellow of Chartered Insurance Institute, London; or
  • Be a Postgraduate qualification of the Institute of Insurance and Risk Management, Hyderabad; or
  • Be a Graduate with Insurance experience of five years preceding the year in which the application is made; or
  • Be a Graduate with 10 years of experience in the financial services sector preceding the year in which the application is made.

  The principal officer of the Insurance Marketing Firm must satisfy the following training, examination and certification criteria:

  • The Principal Officer shall undergo Fifty Hours of Insurance Marketing Firm training from an institution recognised by the Authority, and should pass an examination, at the end of the period of training, conducted by the Examination Body recognised by the Authority.

  Principal Officer of the Insurance Marketing Firm must be considered as a ‘fit and proper person’. To be considered a “fit and proper person”, the following criteria would be considered:

  • Financial integrity;
  • Absence of convictions or civil liabilities;
  • Competence;
  • Good reputation and character;
  • Efficiency and honesty; and
  • Absence of any disqualification to act as an intermediary as stipulated in the Act, as amended from time to time.

Upon satisfying the above eligibility criteria, the applicant can make an application to the IRDA in the given format for registration as an Insurance Marketing Firm. The applicant would provide registration as “Insurance Marketing Firm” if the IRDA satisfies with the application. The registration for Insurance Marketing Firm issued by the IRDA would be valid for a period of three years from the date of its issue.

FAQ


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A Private Limited Company is the most popular type of corporate entity in India. It is registered as per the compliance and regulatory guidelines of the Ministry of Corporate Affairs. In this article, we will be going over the entire process of registering a Pvt. Ltd. Company in India, step-by-step and explaining the compliance measures one at a time.


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  1. We help you register your directors with the Ministry of Corporate Affairs (MCA)
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Do I need to be physically present during the process

No, new company registration is a fully online process. As all documents are filed electronically, you would not need to be physically present at all. You would need to send us scanned copies of all the required documents & forms.


What is the remuneration payable to an IMF?

The payment of remuneration and/ or reward to an Insurance Marketing Firm by an insurer is as per Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India (Payment of commission or remuneration or reward to insurance agents and insurance intermediaries) Regulations, 2016 (as amended from time to time).

In addition, the Insurance Marketing Firm may receive reimbursement of expenses from Life insurers towards recruitment, training and mentoring of their ISPs. This reimbursement shall not exceed 50% of first year commission and 10% of renewal commission received by the IMF in case of Life insurers.


How can an IMF change its engagement with insurers?

Any change in the engagement with the insurers shall be governed by the terms of the agreement entered into between the Insurance Marketing Firm and the insurer, with suitable arrangements for servicing existing policyholders by the concerned insurer, in case of cancellation/termination/discontinuity of agreement.

  What is a No Objection Certificate (NOC)?

No Objection Certificate (NOC) is a certificate issued to an IMF applicant by the Authority on request. The NOC is issued for the sole purpose of enabling the IMF applicant to apply for incorporation of the proposed IMF Firm Name (which must necessarily include the words “Insurance Marketing / IMF”) with Registrar of Companies (ROC). The NOC is valid up to six months from the date of issue.

 How to apply for NOC?

  • Go to "New User? Register Now!" on the home page of the IMF portal and click on "Do You Need NOC? Click Here".
  • Fill in the relevant details, i.e.,
    • Name of the Proposed Company * o Address of the Proposed Registered Office
    • Address of Correspondence
    • Email
    • Details and Jurisdiction of ROC
    • PAN
  • Upload the relevant documents, i.e., o Scanned copy of PAN card of proposed directors/partners o Scanned copy of Aadhaar of proposed directors/partners o Scanned copy of Address Proof of the given Address of Correspondence ? Click on ‘Submit’.

 Name of the Proposed Company

  • must include the word(s) “IMF / Insurance Marketing” o must specify if it is Pvt. Ltd., OPC, LLP, etc.
  • must not be similar to that of any Insurer Broker
  • must not be an undesirable name as defined in Companies(Incorporation) Rules.

 How to enquire the status of an NOC application?

  • Go to "New User? Register Now!" on the home page of the IMF portal and click on "Check NOC Status? Click Here”.
  • Key in the NOC application reference number and the PAN number given in the application and click on “Submit”.

 How to apply for IMF Registration?

The applicant shall register on the IMF portal and submit application for IMF registration within one year of incorporation of the company with ROC by following the procedure below:

  • Go to "New User? Register Now!" on the home page of the IMF portal
  • Fill in the relevant details in the ‘New User Registration’ page, i.e, Firm Name, Firm

Registration Number (CIN, LLPIN, etc), PAN (Firm’s or Director’s), Email, Mobile Number

  • Select the ‘Area of Operation’ and Click on ‘Register’.
  • Go to “Registered User? Click Here!” on the home page and login using the User ID and password received on the registered email ID.
  • Complete the Form A by filling in all the relevant fields and uploading the relevant documents
  • The applicant has to o Remit the non-refundable application fees of five thousand rupees. The payment must come from the bank account of the IMF.
  • Submit a declaration from the principal officer/directors/managing partners satisfying the “Fit & Proper” criteria in the format prescribed in the IMF

Regulations o Submit a copy of the Insurance Marketing Firm Exam pass Certificate of the Principal Officer and the ISPs proposed to be engaged by the Insurance

Marketing Firm o Submit a copy of the Qualification Certificates and Experience Certificates of the PO

  • Submit a copy of the Qualification Certificates of the ISP and his/her Address Proof within the state in which the IMF is proposed to be registered.
  • Submit an undertaking by the Principal Officer in the format prescribed by the

Authority that the IMF shall ensure compliance with the Regulations o Submit a Net Worth Certificate from a Chartered Accountant that the Net

Worth of the proposed IMF is not less than the limit prescribed by the IRDAI (Registration of Insurance Marketing Firm) Regulations, 2015 and amendments thereof.

  • Submit the Bank Account statement of the IMF in support of the Net Worth

Certificate o Submit a copy of MoA and AoA in case of a company or the LLP Agreement in case of an LLP

  • Submit a Three Year business plan document with projected volume of activities and income o Submit an Organization Chart showing functional responsibilities
  • Submit details of Infrastructure like Office Space (Rent Agreement/Sale Deed),

Equipment and Manpower (Photographs) o Submit consent letter from Insurance Companies with which the applicant proposes to work (at least one consent letter is necessary) ? Click on “Submit” after completing the application.

  Is it mandatory for the applicant to make a Personal Presentation at IRDAI?

No. The Authority may opt to conduct a Telephonic Interview instead of a Personal Presentation.

 What is the validity period of Registration of the Insurance Marketing Firm?

An IMF Registration issued by the Authority is valid for a period of three years from the date of its issue, unless it is suspended or cancelled by the Authority.

 What is the Capital requirement for an Insurance Marketing Firm?

The applicant shall have net worth of:

  • Not less than five lakh rupees, if the applicant is opting for only one district, which is an aspirational district.
  • Not less than ten lakh rupees for all other cases.

The applicant shall ensure that the net worth is maintained at all times and the IMF shall submit a certificate duly certified by a chartered accountant to this effect annually within three months from the close of the financial year.

  What is meant by ‘Area of Operation’?

The "Area" is defined as the district for which the registration of the Insurance Marketing Firm is valid. Maximum of three districts within a State are allowed for registration/renewal. If an applicant is opting for more than one district, then at least one of the districts shall be an aspirational district as per the list published by NITI Aayog, Government of India.

 Can an IMF operate in more than one district?

An IMF may opt for a maximum of three districts within a State. The IMF shall specify the details of offices to be set up in the districts opted including manpower deployment, etc. If the Insurance Marketing Firm has more than one office, it will ensure that each office shall have at least one ISP.

 Can an IMF procure insurance business from outside it’s district/area of operation?

Yes. An IMF is free to solicit or procure Insurance business from all over the country but the business so procured must be logged in at the Office of the corresponding Insurance Company within the area of it’s operation.

  What is the Eligibility Criteria of Principal Officer?

The Principal officer of the Insurance Marketing Firm, shall fulfill any of the eligibility conditions as given below;

  1. Associate/Fellow of the Insurance Institute of India, Mumbai
  2. Associate/Fellow of the Institute of Actuaries of India; or
  3. Associate/Fellow of Chartered Insurance Institute, London; or
  4. Post graduate qualification of the Institute of Insurance and Risk Management,

Hyderabad;or

  1. Graduate with Insurance experience of two years preceding the year in which the application is made; or
  2. Graduate with five years of experience in financial services sector preceding the year in which the application is made.
  3. Master’s in Business Administration or its equivalent from any institution / university recognized by UGC / AICTE / any State Government or the Govt. of India; or
  4. Associate / Fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of India, New Delhi; or
  5. Associate / Fellow of the Institute of Cost Accountants of India, Kolkata; or
  6. Executive/Professional of the Institute of Company Secretaries of India, New Delhi; or

 Do we have to deposit Share Capital in a Bank at the time of Incorporation?

No. After company is registered, it need to open a company bank account and then anytime within two months of incorporation, capital can be deposited into Company bank account.

 What are the Training, Examination and Certification requirements for a Principal Officer?

  1. The principal officer shall undergo Fifty Hours of Insurance Marketing Firm training and should pass an examination, at the end of the period of training, conducted by the Insurance Institute of India (III).
  2. If the proposed Principal Officer has undergone training and passed examination as required for the Principal Officer of an insurance broking company / Corporate Agent / Web Aggregator, then he / she shall be exempted from training and examination requirement to become the Principal Officer of the Insurance Marketing Firm, provided that the training and examination was undertaken within a period of five years preceding the date of application as Principal Officer of the IMF.
  3. In case the Principal Officer of the Insurance Marketing Firm possesses any one of the following qualifications then he/she shall undergo Twenty-Five Hours of training and pass the examination
    1. Associate/Fellow of the Insurance Institute of India, Mumbai
    2. Associate/Fellow of the Institute of Actuaries of India; or
    3. Associate/Fellow of Chartered Insurance Institute, London;

  Who is an FSE?

Financial Services Executive (FSE) is an individual employed by Insurance Marketing Firm (IMF) and holding a valid license issued by the respective financial sector Regulator, other than the Authority, to market the products specified as follows.

  1. Mutual funds of mutual fund companies regulated by SEBI;
  2. Pension funds regulated by PFRDA;
  3. Other financial products distributed by SEBI licensed Investment Advisors;
  4. Banking/Financial products offered by Department of Posts, Government of India;
  5. Any other financial product or activity permitted by the Authority from time to time

 Who is an ISP?

An "Insurance Sales Person" is an individual employed by Insurance Marketing Firm to solicit or procure insurance products.

 What are the qualification and eligibility criteria for ISP/FSE?

  1. Pass in 12th Class or equivalent examination from a recognized Board/Institution
  2. Should have undergone the Insurance Marketing Firm Training prescribed by the Authority and qualified in the Insurance Marketing Firm Examination conducted by the Insurance Institute of India (III).
  3. Should be a resident of the state in which the IMF is registered.

 Can the same person be ISP as well as FSE?

Yes. The Insurance Marketing firm may engage the same person for sale of both Insurance and other financial products, if he/she meets the qualification criteria and certification requirements as laid out in the IMF Regulations.

  Does an IMF need Professional Indemnity Insurance cover?

Yes. Every IMF shall take out and maintain at all times a professional indemnity insurance cover throughout the validity period of its Registration. The limit of indemnity shall be two times the total remuneration of the IMF for the preceding financial years subject to a minimum of amount equal to the applicable net worth requirement. The total remuneration includes remuneration from their insurance solicitation/procuring activities, insurance servicing activities and marketing of other financial products activities as specified in the IMF Regulations.

A newly registered IMF shall produce the PI policy within 12 months from the date of issue of registration.

 Can an IMF add/delete any services?

IMF registered by the Authority for a specified category of activity/activities may also apply for addition/deletion of activity/activities, which are allowed under IMF Regulations, by fulfilling the requirements specified therein.

  What activities are covered under "Insurance Servicing Activities"?

  1. Undertaking such activities of insurers as allowed in the Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India (Outsourcing of Activities by Indian Insurers) Regulations, 2017, as amended from time to time.
  2. Becoming approved person of Insurance Repositories.
  3. Any other insurance related activity permitted by the Authority from time to time.

 What are the records to be maintained by IMF?

An Insurance Marketing Firm shall maintain the following records in physical form or electronic form or both

  1. Mandate received from the client;
  2. Know Your Client (KYC) records of the client, as required under the relevant

Authority's guidelines and provisions of The Prevention of Money laundering Act,2002;

  1. Copy of the proposal form duly signed by the client and submitted to the insurer duly signed by IMF;
  2. A register containing list of the client, details of policy such as type of policy, premium amount, date of issue of the policy, charges or fees received;
  3. A register containing details of complaints received, name of the complainant, nature of complaints and action taken thereon;
  4. Any other record as may be specified by the Authority from time to time.

 When shall a registered IMF apply for renewal of its Registration?

Registered IMF shall submit the application for renewal of registration to the Authority at least thirty days before the expiry of the registration. However, the Insurance Marketing firm is permitted to apply for renewal ninety days before the expiry of the registration.

 What is the process for duplicate Certificate of Registration issue?

In the event of a certificate of registration being lost or destroyed or mutilated, an IMF shall submit to the authority along with a fee of rupees one thousand a declaration giving full details regarding the issues of registration and its loss or destruction or mutilation, request for issue of a duplicate certificate of registration.