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Approval for 19 General insurance cos applications in IRDAI's pipeline

Mumbai, Dec 20, 2023 

Applications of 19 companies are pending with the insurance regulator – Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India (IRDAI). Narayana Health Insurance, Paytm General Insurance (GI), and Prudential Health Insurance, among others, are in various stages of approval from the regulator, said a person familiar with the matter.

Out of the 19 applicants, only Narayana Health Insurance Private Limited has reached the R2 stage of the application. Twelve of them are in their R1 stage. The remaining six are in the 'No Objection Certificate' (NOC) stage of the process.

A No Objection Certificate (NOC) is issued for the sole purpose of enabling the applicant to apply for incorporation of the proposed company with the word “Insurance” in its name with the Registrar of Companies (RoC).

According to the regulator, for a certificate of Registration as an Indian insurance company, an applicant has to undergo three linear stages. R1 is the first stage where the application is examined by the nodal departments. In the second stage – R2, the shareholding pattern of the company, the products sold, and the professional experience of the management, among others, are scrutinized. During these stages, IRDAI can ask queries/seek clarification for the documents submitted and advise them to make compliance accordingly. In R3, a request is made for a Certificate of Registration (CoR).

In April 2023, the IRDAI approved the registration of Kshema General Insurance, taking the total count of general insurers to 25.

Recently, at an event organized by the National Insurance Academy (NIA), IRDAI Chairman Debasish Panda said, “The last year had seen the entry of a few new players. More than four new insurance companies entered into the market and that is marking a significant development after a hiatus of almost 12 years in the life sector and 5 years in the general insurance sector, and there are a few also in the pipeline.”

The Chairman considered the resurgence in registration as a reflection of the inherent potential in the sector, which is leading to a renewed and increased interest among investors. Also, the existence of significant scope for insurance proliferation in traditional sectors, the gap to fill in the Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSME) sector, and the existence of a missing middle in the health segment require urgent attention.

The regulator is committed to 'Insurance for All by 2047', and accordingly, more players will be required to increase penetration. Currently, the penetration of the general insurance industry stands at 1 per cent.

[The Business Standard]

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