The Insurance Marketing Firm (IMF) is a distribution channel established by the Authority in 2015, aimed at providing a comprehensive range of financial products needed at different stages of an individual's life. These firms are registered by the Authority under the Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India (Registration of Insurance Marketing Firm) Regulations, 2015 (IMF Regulations). The registration is on a district-wise basis, allowing IMFs to operate in a maximum of three districts within a state.
IMFs operate on an open architecture model, which means they can solicit and procure insurance products from a maximum of two Life insurance companies, two General insurance companies, and two Health insurance companies simultaneously. Additionally, IMFs can establish tie-ups with the Agriculture Insurance Company of India Ltd. (AIC) and the Export Credit Guarantee Corporation Ltd. (ECGC). Life insurance products of all types can be procured through IMFs, while only retail lines of general insurance products are permitted.
In addition to insurance products, IMFs have the authority to distribute other financial products, subject to approvals from relevant authorities such as the RBI, SEBI, PFRDA, Department of Posts, etc. This allows IMFs to offer a diversified portfolio of financial services to their customers, making them a one-stop-shop for various financial needs.
ACTS, RULES, AND REGULATIONS THAT ARE RELEVANT AND CONTROL THE INSURANCE MARKETING FIRM LICENSE
The following laws, rules, and regulations apply to an insurance marketing firm's operations:
The Insurance regulating and Development Authority of India (IRDAI) is the principal regulating body for the Insurance Marketing Firm License. The Reserve Bank of India, the Securities Exchange Board of India, the Pension Fund Regulatory and Development Authority, and the Department of Posts all have authority over the licensing of insurance marketing firms.
An application for an insurance marketing firm license may be any of the following, in accordance with Regulation 2.2 of the IRDAI (Registration of Insurance Marketing Firm) Regulations, 2015:
To apply for a license as an insurance marketing firm, a candidate must satisfy the capital requirements listed in Regulation 6 of the IRDAI (Registration of Insurance Marketing Firm) Regulations, 2015.
At no point should the total amount of equity shares or contributions made to the company by foreign investors (including portfolio investors) exceed 49% of the paid-up equity capital of the Insurance marketing firm.
The words "Insurance Marketing Firm" must appear in the name of the insurance marketing company.
The applicant must be sure that selling insurance is the primary goal of the company. Both the Articles of Association (AOA) and the Memorandum of Association (MOA) must state these in the objective clause.
To apply for IMF registration, the applicant must follow these steps and submit the necessary requirements:
The following documents must be submitted by the applicant for registering an insurance marketing firm, under Annexure 2 of the IRDAI (Registration of Insurance Marketing Firm) Regulations, 2015:
Insurance Marketing Firms are allowed to promote and solicit for insurance-related products, according to IRDAI.
Marketing companies are permitted to perform insurance servicing tasks on behalf of insurance companies under the rules of the Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India (IRDAI), including managing insurers' back-end operations as stated in the IRDAI's Guidelines on Outsourcing Activities by Insurance Companies.
Insurance marketing companies also market other financial products such as Mutual Funds of MF companies regulated by the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI), Pension products regulated by PFRDA, products distributed by SEBI licensed Investment Advisors, Banking/financial products of banks/NBFCs regulated by SEBI, Non-insurance products offered by Department of Posts, Government of India, and any other financial product or activity permitted by the Securities and Exchange Board of India
Purpose Of Licensed Insurance Marketing Firm
To acquire and promote insurance-based products, the insurance marketing company works with a private ISP. ISP is contracted by insurance marketing businesses to find and acquire two Life, two General, and two Health Insurance companies. However, the authority will control this.
Validity And Renewal
An insurance marketing company's license is good for three years. A company that markets insurance cannot operate with a certificate that has expired.
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