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India: All general insurance products can now be launched without IRDAI’s prior approval

The IRDAI said yesterday that it is granting more flexibility to general insurance companies in designing and pricing products under miscellaneous lines of business and allowing them to launch these in the market without prior regulatory approval.

With this move, which took immediate effect, all general insurance products, are permitted to be filed under ‘Use and File’ procedure and can be launched without any prior approval. 

The IRDAI said in a statement, “This will provide the vital fillip to general insurance companies for a broad-based approach in designing and timely launch of the products commensurate to market requirements and serve policyholders effectively, furthering the insurance penetration in India.”

The regulator says that miscellaneous insurance branch in general insurance is a unique segment that requires creative conceptualisation in order to cater to the ever-evolving needs of the policyholders. 

The IRDAI said, “Earlier, though the products with a sum assured above 5 crore ($608,000) could be launched without prior approval of IRDAI, the products with sum assured up to 5 crore still required the regulatory clearance before getting launched in the market.”

The IRDAI added that on reviewing the extant product filing procedure in vogue, in order to facilitate the industry to respond faster to emerging market needs, in terms of designing and pricing general insurance products, and to promote efficiency in the conduct of general insurance business. Hence, the Authority permits general insurers to file all products under Miscellaneous lines of business (including modifications of current products) under the “Use and File” procedure for both retail and commercial categories.

In the past several months, the Authority has been easing operational requirements for insurers. The latest loosening of rules follows the IRDAI’s move on 1 June 2022 to allow all categories of products and add-ons or riders, introduced or modified/revised under health insurance business and offered by general and health insurance companies, to be launched through “Use and File”. Furthermore, on 14 July, the regulator announced that general insurers are permitted to file retail products for agriculture and allied activities under the “Use and File” procedure.

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