IRDA cancels 4261 insurance agents' licences for non-renewal

The Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority (IRDA) yesterday cancelled the licences of 4,261 corporate agents of leading life and general agents from selling any insurance products as they did not apply for renewal of their licenses (pending since 31 March), either because of new tie-ups with insurance companies or changing the model to referrals that don't require licence.

''All these corporate agency licences have been withdrawn from our database,'' the IRDA circular stated. ''Insurers and general public are hereby cautioned not to transact any insurance business through them.''

''The agencies did not come for renewal and their licences have been withdrawn,'' J Hari Narayan, chairman of the insurance watchdog, said.

Insurers and the general public are hereby cautioned not to transact any insurance business through them," the statement adds. This seems to be a major lapse as more than half of the 7,000 corporate agents listed with these life and general insurance companies have failed to meet the deadline for renewing the licence.

According to IRDA regulations, the licensing agreement of a corporate agent with an insurance company is for three years. After this, the agency may look for a new partner or even sell a product under the referral model (for which no licence is required).

IRDA has put up the list of the banned agents on its website. The list of banned agents includes HDFC Bank (general insurance), Oswal Consultancy, Indiabulls Insurance Advisors Pvt Ltd in Mumbai; Prosoft Technologies and Tangent in Bangalore; Rishab Investments and Cosmos Financial Services in Chennai; Pact Brokerage and Atluri Travels in Hyderabad.