Mumbai: The opening up of the insurance sector in India has resulted in the creation of several new opportunities for professionals from the industry. Insurance broking is one such area, which has seen several intermediaries set up shop.
There are about 200 insurance brokers, dealing mainly with non-life insurance business. This figure is expected to jump, as the industry regulator, the Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority (IRDA), plans to reduce the minimum paid-up capital
requirements for brokers (from Rs50 lakh to Rs25 lakh), and also introduce concepts like sub-broking, co-broking and composite broking.
According to C S Rao, chairman, IRDA, the importance of insurance broking has been increasing. With the introduction of the 'detariffied' regime from next year, opportunities for brokers will grow phenomenally. The IRDA is reviewing the current guidelines relating to insurance broking, at a meeting with leading insurance companies and brokers, preparing the industry for the 'detariffied' era, when the market will decide the premium, and brokers' role will grow.
The IRDA introduced broking regulations about three years ago, but the high capital requirements has kept away many professionals, who were reluctant to invest such huge amounts to start operations. With the likely halving of the capital, and the move to allow sub-brokers to set up their business, there will be a boost to the broking profession.
One company that is preparing itself to meet the growing demand from brokers is 3i Infotech, a global provider of IT solutions, which has announced the launch of its Premia Insurance Broking eXchange (IBX), a first of its kind subscription-based internet
solution for the Indian insurance industry.
Premia IBX will provide a common pay-per-use platform where insurance brokers can interact with insurance companies and customers in order to provide the best possible insurance cover to consumers across India. They will have access to information on available products, customer requirements as well as exhaustive comparative tools, to assess various policies and match them to customer requirements.
This will ensure that brokers are able to provide the end-customer with insurance solutions uniquely suited to them. The Premia IBX service will be offered with a nominal monthly fee, so as to help brokers to avoid large IT investments in software and related hardware. It is based on a pay-per-use policy, and billing to brokers will be dependent on the quantum of usage.
also see : 3i
Infotech launches India's first insurance broking exchange