M 1 : How the Insurance Market Operates

Role of financial services and insurance
• The financial service sector has a major role to play in the overall economic growth of the country.
• The insurance sector can provide investment to companies and projects thanks to the money
invested in the insurer by individuals buying protection and investment products.
Benefits of a professional insurance market
• Need based Selling
o ensures that customer gets what he is looking for rather than what the company wants to
• Disclosure
o All the relevant information about the product needs to be disclosed to the customer.
• Benefits to customer of a professional insurance market:
o Higher confidence among policy holder
o Increase in Insurance penetration
o Social Benefits
o Employment generation
o Increase in profit for insurance company
History of Insurance
• The history of insurance in India can be divided into three phases
o The first phase (pre-liberalisation) was dominated by private and foreign insurance
companies before the Government nationalised the sector in 1956.
o In the second phase (liberalisatioin) reforms were initiated and IRDA was set up as the
retulator of the insurance sector. Private participation was invited and also FDI.
o In the third phase (post-liberalisation) many private companies started insurance
operations with a foreign partner in joint ventures. Currently there are 23 life insurance
companies operating in India.
Insurance organizations and roles
• Types of insurance organisations
• Risk Covered
o Life Insurance Company : cover the risk related to human lives, the risk of early death
and living too long.
o Non Life Insurance Company : cover risks other than human life, the exception to above
are personal accident and health insurance on human lives.
o Re-Insurance Company : is an insurer for the insurance company.
Life Insurance Re-Insurance Non-Life Insurance
M 1 : How the Insurance Market Operates
Roles in Insurance Industry
Agents Agent’s primary responsibility is to meet the prospective client,
understand their needs, and recommend suitable products.
Corporate agents Include banks and brokers.
Intermediaries Can be individuals or organisations.
Example - firms, banks and composite brokers.
Underwriters Decide to accept or reject the insurance proposal.
If the proposal is to be accepted, then the underwriter decides at
what price it should be accepted.
Actuaries Calculates standard price of products.
Takes into account statistical data and past claims experience.
Does overall financial assessment of the insurance company from
time to time.
Ensures the company has sufficient reserves to pay for future
Third Party Administrators Build hospital networks, help in
(TPAs) - approvals for cashless admission to a hospital
- settling the bill with the insurer on discharge
Loss Adjusters/Surveyors Assess and certify a loss when a claim is made on the insurance
Play a major role in non-life insurance business.
The Regulator Smooth running of the insurance sector.
(The Insurance Regulatory Grants licenses.
and Development Ensures compliance with the regulations at all times.
Authority-IRDA) Responsibility to protect the interests of the small policyholders
against the mighty insurance companies.
Training Institutes Supply trained manpower.
Premier training institutes.
- The Insurance Institute of India (III)
- Insurance Institute of Risk Management (IIRM)
- National Insurance Academy (NIA)
Non-Governmental Protect customers’ rights.
Organisations (NGOs) Spread awareness about insurance products.
Work with Self Help Groups (SHGs) and insurance companies in
rural areas for penetration of micro-insurance products.
M 1 : How the Insurance Market Operates
Insurance Distribution
Insurance Product
Role and function s of an Agent
• To become an agent a person has to submit the necessary form and fees, have the required
qualification, undergo practical training pass the required examination.
• An agent should recommend to clients the best products that address their needs and make sure
there is no adverse selection for the insurer.
• An agent should continuously strive to improve their knowledge of their own insurer’s products,
competing insurers’ products and other competing investment products on the market.
• All licensed agents have to comply with the code of conduct at all times.
• Agents should assist their clients in completing the paper work involved and policy is serviced
properly till a claim arises.
Recent developments in the insurance industry
• Growing importance of IT : Today customers can pay their premium and check their policy status
• Bancassurance : Bancassurance is when banks partner with insurance companies to sell
insujrance products to bank’s customers.
• Micro insurance : Micro insurance products provide insurance as low as Rs. 15 to low income
• Grievance redressal : Insurance companies have set up internal customer grievance cells. Also,
an insurance ombudsman has been established.
Indirect Marketing
Term Insurance
Insurance Plans
Whole Life
Insurance Plans
Pension and
Savings Plans
Unit linked
Insurance Plans
Main Life Insurance Products
M 2 : Risk and Insurance
Concept of Risk
• In insurance, risk is applied to certain assets that can be insured, such as a human life, a house, a
car etc.
• Here are some of the definitions of risk:
o Risk is the chance of dam age or loss.
o Risk is doubt concerning the outcome of a situation.
o Risk is something or someone considered to be a potential hazard.
• Risk to human life.
• Life Insurance mainly deals with 2 risks - Premium Death and Living Too Long.
• Life Insurance companies offer additional benefits or Riders along with Life Insurance Plans to cover
the risk of death or disability due to accident and illness.
Components of risk
• As a general principle, Insurance is only available for risks
that are uncertain.
• It is the uncertainty about the timing of death that makes
death insurable.
• Level of Risk is determined by 2 criteria :
o The probability of certain event happening
o The extent of the event (severity), if it happens
• The probability of certain event happening : The probability
that a certain person will die within one year is calculated by
actuary from the past data collected and is made available as
Mortality Table.
• The mortality rate is a chance of dying at a specified age base on the proportion of deaths among a
specific number of a sample population.
• The Probability of Risk to life for individuals will differ on the basis their age, medical will being, family
medical history, life style, job profile etc.
• Life insurance companies determine the level of risk based on past data (claims experience).
• If the past data indicates that the individual with certain age group are more prone to risk, then the
level of risk will be considered to be higher for that age group.
Living too long
Risks to
M 2 : Risk and Insurance
• Perils : Peril refers to specific events which might cause a loss.
o Perils are risk being insured against.
o Loss arising out of peril can be Loss of Life or Loss of Property.
• Hazard : Hazard is a condition that either increases the chance that a peril will happen or may
cause its effects to be worse, if it does.
• Hazards can be categorized as Physical Hazard and Moral Hazard.
o Physical Hazard refers to dimensions and physical characteristics of the risk.
o Moral Hazard refers to habits and activities of the individual that increases the risk.
• Some hazards that would cause an individual to be categorized as high risk are
o Risky job profile
o Existing medical condition
o Life style of individual
o Age group of individual
• If an individual is categorized as high risk, insurer can either accept or reject the proposal, high risk
proposal can be accepted only by
o Charging high premium.
o Imposing restrictions on the sum assured.
o Term or a lien etc.
Insurable Risk
• Risks that can be insured are Financial Risk, Pure Risk & Particular Risk
o Financial Risk: The Outcome of risk that can be measured in monetary terms are known
as Financial Risk. Some of the Financial risks include loss of life, disease or disability.
o Pure Risk: Risks where there is no possibility of making a profit are called Pure Risk. In
Pure Risk, there is no possibility of benefit as a result of the insured event happening, the
only possibility is loss or break even. Pure Risk is associated with events which are totally
out of control of individuals.
o Particular Risk: Particular Risk are personal or local in their effect and the consequences
effect specific individual or local community.
Risk Transfer
• In case of transfer of Risk from an individual to insurance company, the company is called insurer
and individual is called insured.
o The insured pays a certain amount (Consideration) to Insurer, called as Premium.
o Insurance Company provides cover for only a specified number of risks as listed in policy
o Insurer will not provide for claims arising out of risks other than the specified risks.
Pooling of Risk
• Pooling of Risk is one of the fundamental principles of insurance here the company pools the
premium collected from several individuals to insure them against similar risk.
• Separate pools are maintained by insurance company for different risks.
• The pool account for one risk can't be used to settle the claim of another type of risk.
• The premium collected from the individuals is deposited in the pool accounts and claims are paid out
of this pool.
• Premium charged should be sufficient to meet the claim payments & administrative and other
expenses for maintaining the pool.
M 2 : Risk and Insurance
Law of Large Numbers
• Insurance companies apply the law of large numbers to determine te cost of total annual claim.
• Determine the probability that a certain amount of claim will have to be paid by insurer if a large
number of people are insured for a similar risk.
• Set the rates of premiums according to the number of claims expected over the term of the policy.
M 3a : Insurance Principles
Essentials of a Valid Contract
• The following are the essential features of a valid contract:
o Offer and Acceptance- One party makes an offer accepted unconditionally by the other.
o Consideration- A contract must be supported by a consideration in order to be valid.
Premium is the insured's consideration.
o Capacity to contract- Individuals are said to be competent to enter into a contract if they
are :
nof the age
nof sound mind; and
nnot disqualified, by law, from entering into contracts
o Any contracts entered into by people not competent to contract will be null and void.
o Consensus Ad Item- In simple terms: both parties to the contract must understand and
agree upon the same thing, in the same sense.
o Legality of Object or Purpose- The objective of both the parties to the contract should
be to create a legal relationship.
o Capability of Performance- The contract must be capable of being performed by both
the parties.
The Policy Document
• The policy contains all the details of cover, period of cover, exceptions, conditions, the premium
and other relevant information.
• The policy is evidence of the contract. The absence or loss of the does not invalidate the
The role of Insurance Agents in Insurance Contracts
• In the eyes of the law, anyone who acts on behalf of another person is an 'agent', who is deemed to
be acting on behalf of the 'principal' (in this case, the insurance company).
• The agent is allowed to bring the principal into a contractual relationship with a third party (in this
case the proposer).
• Brokers are deemed to be both the agent of the insured and insurer.
Insurable interest
• Insurable interest is said to exist when an individual stands to gain or benefit from the continued
existence or well-being of another individual(s) or property, and at the same time the individual
would suffer a financial loss or inconvenience if there is damage to the other individual(s) or
• Relevance of insurable interest : Insurable interest is a very important principle of insurance. In
order to take out any kind of insurance, an individual has to have insurable interest in the subject
matter they wish to insure.
Offer and
Consensus ad item
Capacity to
Legality of object
or purpose
Capability of
M 3a : Insurance Principles
• Circumstances in which insurable interest exists :
o Parents can take insurance for their children when the
children are dependants.
o Children can also take out insurance for their parents when
the parents are dependent upon them.
o Assets
o Creditors: a creditor has insurable interest in
the life of the debtor to the extent they have
lent money to the debtor.
o Surety: On the life of the principal debtor and also in
the life of the co-surety to the extent of the debt.
o Employee - Employer: an employee has insurable
interest in the file of their employer to the extent of
their monthly salary.
o Employer - Employee: insurable interest in the well-being of all their employees to the
extent of the value of their services of Keyman and Partner.
• In Life Insurance, insurable interest needs to exist at the inception of the policy.
• In case of General Insurance, it must exist at time of inception of the policy and also at the time of
making a claim.
• In case of Marine Insurance insurable interest needs to exist at the time of the claim.
Utmost Good Faith
• A positive duty voluntarily to disclose, accurately and fully, all facts material to the risk being
proposed whether requested or not the principle applies equally to both the proposer and the insurer
throughout the contract.
• Breaches of the duty of utmost good faith can be categorised as
o Non-disclosure.
o Concealment of a material fact.
o Fraudulent misrepresentation or statements made with the intention of deceiving the
o Innocent misrepresentation or inaccurate statements which are believed to be true.
Material facts
• Defined as those which would influence the judgement of a prudent insurer in fixing the premium or
determining whether it will take the risk
• Material facts help company underwriters to decide
o Whether to accept the risk proposal or to reject it.
o If the proposal is to be accepted, then at what price (premium) it should be accepted.
• If the insured is in material breach of the duty of disclosure, the insurer may avoid the contract
entirely, ab initio (from the beginning)
• In other words, no claims are payable.
• If the non-disclosure is fraudulent (often termed 'concealment') the insurer may keep the premium.
o The legal rule is that non-disclosure arises and gives grounds for avoidance where a fact
is: Within the knowledge of the insured. b. Not known to the insurer.
Assets Parents
Children Spouse
M 3a : Insurance Principles
o Calculated, if disclosed, to induce the insurer to enter the contract as better terms or not to
enter at all. Indisputability clause (section 45).
o As specified in section 45 of the Insurance Act, in the first two years of the policy, if the
insurance company comes to know that some material fact has not been disclosed by the
proposer, it can declare the policy to be null and void.
• The insurance company can also keep all the premiums paid.
• After 2 years fraud must be established b y the insurance company if it wants to declare the policy
• Life Insurane: duty of disclosure:
o The duty of disclosure arises at the time of proposal.
o Until the time the risk is accepted by the insurance company and the policy cover has
o In the event a lapsed policy is revived, the insurance company may ask the insured to
disclose all material facts along with proof of continued good health.
• Indemnity can be defined as, a financial compensation to place the insured in the same financial
position after a loss as they enjoyed immediately before the loss occurred.
• Insurance cannot be used to make a profit.
• The principle of indemnity makes sure that the insured is compensated only to the extent to which
they have suffered a loss.
• General Insurance Policies and health insurance policies are contracts of indemnity, but the same
does not apply to life insurance. Principle of indemnity does not apply to Life Insurance.
M 3b : Insurance Practices
How insurance policies are bought and written
• Insurance should be bought by a person based on individual's needs.
• An individual may be approached by a life insurance agent or may approach life insurance company
directly for buying an insurance policy.
• Most policies are written on what is known as a single life basis, with only one life insured.
• When the person taking out the policy and the life insured are one and the same person.
• This is known as an own life policy.
• Policies can also be taken out jointly by two insured - for example a husband and wife. This is known
as a joint life policy.
• The person seeking insurance is called the proposer. An insurance contract commences from the
date on which the insurance company issues the first premium receipt.
• In case of death before issue of policy document, but after issue of FPR, insurer is liable to pay the
death claim.
• Renewals - Life insurance contracts are long term covers lasting many years.
• Health insurance policies are offered by non - life insurance companies for one year only.
• At the end of the year, in both cases, the insured is advised to renew the plan.
• Some important terms
o Proposal Form- A document containing personal details of the proposer to be completed
and submitted.
o Underwriter- Person who evaluates the form for acceptance/rejection or acceptance on
modified terms.
o Quotation- Outlines the cost & terms of the policy. Usually open for a set period. If
accepted, insurance company is bound to the terms & price offered in it. The company is
not bound in case of change of material fact during this period.
Key Documents
• There are many important documents associated with insurance. These documents provide
information on the insured and on the insurance itself.
• A life insurance policy is also a contract. The terms and conditions of the policy provide grounds to
settle the disputes over claims.
• Key documents
o Proposal Form
o Age Proof
o Premium Receipts
o Policy Document
o Endorsements, notices & prospectus
o Documents required at the time of a claim
• Proposal Form
o The proposal form or application form is the first document that the proposer needs to fill
in and submit to the insurance company and becomes basis of principle of utmost good
o The proposer should fill in the proposal form themselves in their own handwriting.
o The insurer will collect the following information through the proposal form
nInformation on the life assured- Name, Age, address, marital status, weight
and height, medical history, etc.
nInformation about the proposer- All details taken from the life assured along
with relationship with the life assured.
M 3b : Insurance Practices
• Age Proof
• Age is one of the factors that insurer use to determine the risk profile of the proposer and thus the
premium amount to be charged.
• Age proofs can be classified as standard age proof documents and nonstandard age proof
• Standard age proofs are-
o a certificate from school or college records
o a certificate extract from registrar of births an deaths or from municipal
o records made at the time of birth
o a passport
o a Permanent Account Number (PAN) Card
o the service register of the employer
o a certified extract from a family Bible, if it contains the date of birth
o the identity card of defence personnel, issued by the defence department
o a marriage certificate issued by a Roman Catholic Church
• Non-standard age proofs are
o a hosorscope prepared at the time of birth
o a ration card
o an affidavit by way of self-declaration, elder's declaration; and
o a certificate by village panchayat
• The IRDA has tightened Anti-Money Laundering (AML)/Combating Financing of Terrorism (CFT)
guidelines for insurance companies
• For Know Your Customer, customers need to submit
o an age proof
o an identity proof
o an address proof; and
o income proof documents (if required by the insurance company, depending on the
insurance amount asked for)
• Premium Receipt: There are two kinds of premium receipts:
o First Premium Receipt (FPR)
o Renewal Premium Receipt (RPR)
• The first premium receipt contains the following information
o Name and address of the life insured
o Policy number
o Premium amount paid
o Method and frequency of premium payment
o Next date that premium payment is due
o Date of commencement of the risk (i.e. when the cover begins)
o Date the policy matures
o Date the last premium will be paid; and
o Sum insured
• The Renewal Premium Receipt
o Subsequent premium receipts when further premiums are received from the proposer.
o The RPRs act as proof of payment in the event of any disputes related to premium
• IRDA regulations allow the proposer to withdraw from the contract within a period of 15 days from
date of receipt of policy document. This is called te "Free look" or "Cooling off" period
M 3b : Insurance Practices
• Policy Document is the evidence of the contract between the insured and the insurance company.
• It is not the contract itself.
• If the policy document is lost, it does not affect the insurance contract. The insurance company will
simply issue a duplicate policy without making any changes to the contract.
• The policy document has to be signed by a competent authority and should be stamped according to
the Indian Stamp Act.
• Parts of the Policy Document
o Heading Preamble
o Operative clause Provido
o Schedule Attestation
o Terms and conditions/Privileges and conditions Endorsements
• The heading of the policy document contains the name and address of the company and its logo.
• The preamble of the policy states that the proposal and declaration signed by the proposer form
the basis of the contract.
• The operative clause lays down the mutual obligations of the parties regarding:
o the payment of premiums by the insured; and
o the payment of the sum insured by the insurance company on the happening of the
insured event, subject to the production of age proof and title by the claimant
• The proviso of the policy states the general provisions relating to guaranteed surrender value,
nomination, assignment and loans on security of the policy etc.
• The schedule gives all the essential particulars of the policy, such as:
o the date of commencement of policy
o the date the policy matures
o the sum insured (when and how much the policy will pay)
o the premiums to be paid and their due dates
o the nominee (if stated in the proposal form0
o any special clauses
o details of riders
o exclusions; and
o Liens
• The attention confirms that the insurers have authenticated the policy document by signature.
• The terms and conditions will refer to the:
o days of grace for payment of premium
o consequences of failing to pay the premium; and
o Availability of loans
• An exclusion is a statement that a certain risk is not covered by the policy e.g. Life insured
committing suicide in the first year.
• In order to make certain changes in the terms and conditions of the original life insurance policy,
endorsements can be made on a blank sheet of paper
• Policy information statement should include the following
o the facility available for method and frequency of premium
o payment
o the person or office to be contacted for any enquiry or service
o relating to the policy
o the importance of telling the insurance company of any change of address of the policy
holder and nominee
M 3b : Insurance Practices
o what to do in the case of a grievance or complaint; and
o information on the location of the Insurance Ombudsman
• During the policy term the insurance company issues notices to the policy holder. These are :
o Notices to remind the policy holder about the due date of premium payment
o bonus notices
o notices about premium defaults and policy lapsation
o notices to revive the policy
o notices about a benefit falling due - survival benefit/maturity benefit etc and
o an annual statement with respect to unit-linked policies
• Prospectus issued by the insurance company should explicitly state under each insurance plan:
o the scope of benefits offered
o the conditions
o any warranties
o the terms and conditions
o the entitlements
o the exceptions and
o any right to participate in bonuses
Key Insurance Terms
• Terms associated with the continued existence of the policy are lapse, paid up value and surrender
value. Also revival & renewal
• Terms associated with who receives the policy monies: nomination and assignment
• Terms associated with borrowing against a policy: loan and foreclosure
• Insurers allow a 'Grace Period' for payment of premium post it's actual due date
• A premium paid within the grace period
o Is a payment made on the due date
o There is no penalty
• Grace period exists in all types of policies except SSS
• For annual, semi-annual and quarterly mode of payment, the number of days of grace may be 30 or
31 days
• For monthly mode of payment, the number of days of grace is usually 15 days
• If the policyholder cannot continue payments, there are 3 choices:
o Stop making payments & allow the policy to lapse
o Turn the policy into a paid up policy
o Surrender the policy
• Every policy acquires a reserve because
o The insurance company charges level premiums
o Premiums in early years are more than justified to provide level premiums
o Most insurance plans have a savings element
• Insurance companies insist on a minimum amount that must be acquired as a paid up value.
o If the paid up value works out to be lower than this minimum amount, this nonforfeiture
benefit would not apply and the policy would lapse.
o Insurers will offer the right to convert a normal policy into a paid up policy if a minimum of
three years premium has been paid.
o After this period, if the policy holder is unable to pay the remaining premiums then the sum
insured is reduced in proportion to the number of premiums paid.
o If other benefits related to the sum insured are payable, the benefits will now be related to
the reduced sum insured, which is the paid up value.
M 3b : Insurance Practices
• The 'surrender value' or 'cash value' is the amount that insurance company is liable to pay once a
policy is surrendered
o The surrender value is usually a percentage of the premiums paid or a percentage of the
paid up value.
o The surrender value will be low if the duration of the policy has been low.
o The surrender value will be lower for a longer-term policy compared to a shorter-term
policy if both are surrendered after the sam number of years.
o The duration of the policy is the difference between the date of surrender of the policy and
date of commencement of the policy.
• Insurance companies make it possible for lapsed policies to be brought back into full force, called
o Different schemes are offered by insurers to help revive lapsed policies on easy terms,
such as installment revival & loan-cum-revival schemes etc.
o Some insurers do not allow a policy revival if it has remained in a lapsed condition for
more than five years.
o For a policy to be revived the requirement of proof of good health varies according to the
duration of the lapse ad also according to the sum insured.
o Requirement necessary to revive a policy
npayment of outstanding premium with interest
nFee for reinstatement
nproof of continued good health
• On policy maturity, the insurance company will send a notice to their policyholder inviting them to
renew their policy
o While issuing the renewal notice, it may take a fresh look at the risk brought to the pool by
that policyholder.
o It may choose to offer renewal on different terms or for a higher premium.
o It will also remind the policyholder to inform tem of any material facts that have changed.
o The notice will then explain to the policyholder what they need to do to renew the policy.
o It is up to the policyholder to then accept or reject this offer.
o If they accept the offer, a new policy will start. If they reject the offer then the cover will
• There are two ways in which an insurance policy can be surrendered:
o surrender by the policyholder;
o surrender by the insurer (foreclosure)
• There can be two major reasons for foreclosure:
o The borrower has chosen to repay the loan during the policy term and is unable to do sol
o The debt (loan) has accumulated over the policy term until the claim arises, and the
accumulated debt (loan) has exceeded the surrender value of the policy.
• The foreclosed policy can be reinstated before the discharge voucher is submitted by the
policyholder for collecting the balance surrender value.
• To reinstate the policy, the policy holder will have to pay the arrears of interest and submit a
'Declaration of good health'.
• On foreclosure, the nomination ceases to be operative.
M 4 : Underwriting
Insurance Underwriting
• The process of Insurance Underwriting
• Underwriting is the name given to the procedure of:
o Assessing the risk;
o Deciding whether to accept risk or not, or how much to accept;
o Determining the terms, conditions and scope of the cover to be offered;
o Calculating a suitable premium.
• In life insurance underwriters are responsible for selecting the individuals the insurance company
can insure among those submitting proposals.
• Underwriters have to be extra careful in choosing the individuals to be insured from the group of
proposers and in setting a fair price in line with the risk that each individual presents to the pool. An
underwriter who fails to do this can affect the stability of an insurance company's business.
• The word 'Risk' in life insurance is mainly used with
reference to the life insured or the Insured person.
• The insurance underwriting process includes the
following steps:
• Insurance underwriters have to be careful to
determine the intentions of the proposers;
• The intention of the proposer has to be analyzed
carefully before deciding on whether to accept the
proposal or not.
• During analysis, the underwriter determines
Maximum possible loss (MPL) which refers to the
maximum amount of low that can occur, if a certain
event occurs.
• Adverse selection - where an insurance company
accepts too many proposers who bring a higher than
average risk to the pool.
• The underwriter may choose to reject a proposal;
however, rejection is not the only solution available to
the underwriter.
• An underwriter can choose to:
o Accept the proposal at ordinary rates
o Accept the proposal with extra premium;
o Accept the proposal with a lien;
o Accept the proposal with modified terms;
o Accept the proposal with a specific/modified clause;
o Postpone the decision for a certain period;
o Reject the proposal.
• Each company develops its own criteria and guidelines for the selection of risk.
• If an existing disease is not considered suitable for cover by a certain company, another company
might cover it to some extent with the payment of extra premium.
• As per the regulations issued by IRDA, the decision on the proposal must be conveyed to the
proposer within 15 days of receiving the proposal; The risk group is very important as this is used to
decide what premium the proposer will have to pay.
Collect information about the applicant
Analyse the risk associated
Estimate the potential exposure
Determine the probability of loss
Accept (or reject) the proposal
Classify and rate into a risk group to calculate the premium
Issue the insurance policy
M 4 : Underwriting
Obtaining the required information
• The underwriter can collect the information about the
proposer from several sources.
• The proposal form filled in and signed by the proposer
is the most important source of preliminary
information to the insurance underwriter.
• The proposal form contains the following
o Personal information
o Medical information
• Personal information in proposal form contains information such as the name, address, annual
income, monthly expenditure, occupation, marital status etc. of the proposer.
• In cases where the proposer and the life assured are different individuals, then the proposer's name
and address also needs to be entered in the form.
• Medical information in the proposal form contains the information on the proposer's past medical
history and present medical condition.
• A complete medical check-up on the proposer can be carried out by the insurance company or by a
certified doctor.
• The number of medical examinations requested for those in the lowest age bracket will be low,
steadily increasing until those in the highest age bracket are required to have a comprehensive
medical check-up.
• 'Agents Confidential Report' needs to be prepared by the insurance agent.
• If the amount of insurance cover required is standard, then the agent prepares a report based on the
proposer's financial position, number of dependents, lifestyle, habits and hobbies.
• Sometimes, these reports are required to be prepared by senior employees of the insurance
company (such as Unit Manager or the Sales Manager) and can be referred to as a 'Moral Hazard
• Underwriter can refer to information from the income tax authorities and tax consultants regarding a
proposer's income tax records, tax deduction report etc.
Moral and physical hazards
• Physical hazards: Hazards that relates to the life insurance are as follows:
o Age
o Occupation
o Gender
o Residence
o Habits
o Hobbies
o Physical characteristics
o Medical conditions
o Physical handicap
o Medical history of the family
o Personal history
• The hazards of different occupations can be considered on the following criteria
o Environmental
Tax consultants/
IT authorities
on the
M 4 : Underwriting
o Physical conditions
o Risk from accident
• The age of an individual is an important hazard when determining the risk associated with the life
• The higher the age of the proposer, the higher will be the probability of their natural death.
• Certain jobs carry more risk to health, of death or of injury, than others and would be considered less
attractive by the insurance company than less risky occupations.
• Moral hazard : Moral hazard is more difficult to define than physical hazard because it relates to the
conduct, attitude and/or intentions of the proposer.
• The following examples illustrate the nature of moral hazard in relation to life insurance
o Reckless or careless attitude to health and personal safety;
o Previous history of dishonesty (perhaps criminal activity that is revealed by checking
court records); and
o Previous claims history if it reveals a history of fraudulent/frequent claims, bankruptcy or
other financial difficulty.
• Underwriters will be alert to proposals for life insurance which display certain characteristics that are
possible indicators of fraudulent intentions.
Financial, Medical and Non-Medical underwriting
• Financial underwriting: Financial underwriting usually caps the amount of life insurance an
individual can get.
• Financial underwriting is used to make sure that the person insured qualifies for an amount of
insurance that does not exceed their insurable interest.
• Insurance companies offer two kinds of insurance policies:
o One which requires medical underwriting and
o One where no medical underwriting is required
• Medical Underwriting: For medical underwriting the underwriter needs to check
o The medical records of the proposer for the past few years and
o requires a medical check-up.
• Non Medical Underwriting: For non-medical insurance, the proposal form is more detailed.
• In non-medical insurance underwriting, the insurance agent or a high ranking official may be called
upon to submit special reports.
• The insurance is based on the physical characteristics of the individual, such as age, height, weight
etc. as revealed by the proposal form.
• The underwriting carries more risk to the insurer;
• Due to the chances of Adverse Selection, the Insurance Companies practice the following
o A restriction on selection (female lives);
o Putting limits on the sum insured;
o A restriction on maximum entry age;
o A restriction on the maximum term for which the policy can be issued;
o A restriction on th maximum age at maturity;
o A restriction on te types of insurance plans allowed;
o Restrictions on high risk plans;
o Limiting cover to certain categories of lives
o Restricting the class of lives eligible
o Requiring a moral hazard report from an officer of the insurer
M 4 : Underwriting
Human Life Value (HLV)
• In life insurance HLV is used as a yardstick to determine how much lie insurance cover a person
should have.
• The income replacement method of calculating HLV equates human life value to the present value
of future earnings.
• Human life value is not a one-time calculation.
• It is an ongoing process which needs to be revisited from time to time.
• As age increases human life value diminishes.
• Where the underwriter eels that the risk associated with a person might decrease over time they
may accept such proposals with a lien.
• If the insured dies within the lien period, then the insurance company will not have to pay the full sum
• A lien is generally used as a substitute to charging a high premium for a high risk.
• The guidelines for liens which are normally followed by insurance companies are:
o The lien should diminish by an equal amount over a specific period of time; and
o If the term of the policy is a multiple of three, then the lien operable is one third of the term
of the policy.
Pricing and calculating the premiums
• Pricing refers to te process of calculating the rate of the premium that will be charged on insurance
• The policyholder can pay the premium in a number of ways:
o Single Premium Plan
o Level Premium Plan
o Flexile Premium Plan
The process of calculating the premium is as follows
Calculate the risk premium
Based on the risk premium, calculate the level premium
Deduct the expected interest on investments to calculate the next premium
Add the loadings
Arrive at the gross premium to be charged
The process of calculating the premium is as follows
Calculating the Net Premium
M 4 : Underwriting
Calculating bonuses
• Policyholders who purchase participating insurance policies (with-profit policies) are entitled to
participate in the profits of the insurance company. These profits are distributed to the policyholders
in the form of bonuses.
• There are four types of bonus given by insurance companies:
o Simple revisionary bonus;
o Compound revisionary bonus;
o Terminal bonus; and
o Interim bonus.
• Terminal bonus is given by the insurance company as an incentive to the insured to continue with
the company long-term until the end of the policy.
• Some companies may declare the terminal bonus every year, but it accrues and is payable only on
the maturity of the policy. Terminal bonus is also known as a 'persistency bonus'.
The agent's role in underwriting
• Agents play an important role in the underwriting process as they are in direct contact with the
• The agent's role in the risk selection process is particularly important.
• Agents are in direct contact with the proposer and so have an important part to play in the
underwriting process and are considered as 'primary underwriters'.
• The agent has to ensure that the proposal form submitted is completely filled out by the proposer.
• If the agent is helping to complete the form, they should fill it out honestly and accurately.
• The answers provided should not be prejudiced in any case.
• If they feel that the proposer's intentions are not genuine, they should mention that in their report.
• The agent can speed up the underwriting process by submitting the required documents and the
proposal form in a timely manner.
M 5 : Basic Life Insurance Products
Protection Needs
General Protection Needs of an individual
Home Insurance/
additional Term Insurance
Home Insurance/
additional Term Insurance
Child Insurance
Medical Insurance
Term Insurance
Personal factors affecting Protection Needs
Assets /
Age Income
M 5 : Basic Life Insurance Products
Life Insurance Products
Taxation and Inflation
• Taxation : The premium paid for life insurance plans qualifies for deduction from taxable income
under section 80C of the Income Tax Act. The Act specifies certain conditions for tax benefits to be
granted. The following condition should be fulfilled:
o as per current tax laws, the premium paid should be 20% or less than 20%, of the sum
insured; or
o the sum insured should be five times, or more than five times, the premium paid.
• Inflation : Over a period of time, inflation can have a big impact on the insurance cover that has been
taken out.
• In simple words, inflation is the rise in the price of goods and services in the economy and means an
increase in the cost of living.
Prioritizing protection needs
Why is it necessary to prioritise needs?
ËReturn of Premium Plan ËPure Endowment Plan ËEndowment Insurance Plan
ËWhole Life Insurance Plans ËConvertible Insurance Plans ËJoint Life Insurance Plans
ËAnnuitie ËGroup Insurance Plans ËMicro-insurance Plans
ËUnit-Linked Insurance Plans ËChild Plans ËMoney-back Policies ËSalary Saving Schemes
of his
for self &
family from
against home
& car loan
M 6 : Savings Products
• The need for savings/investment advice
• Insurance agent can offer assistance by:
o Having a good knowledge of the various products
o Matching the products with the individual's financial needs
o Evaluating the tax efficient returns of the products
• Professional advisers help individuals with financial planning process to identify their future financial
needs. Financial planners can help individuals:
o Construct an investment portfolio to maximize returns with minimum risks.
o Match the products based on te individual's financial needs.
• Factors that determine the savings needs of an individual
• Individuals without Capital have the following common saving needs/financial goals:
o Building a contingency/emergency fund - to meet unexpected financial difficulties due to
a medical contingency, temporary job loss etc.
o Planning and investing for children's higher education.
o Planing and investing for children's marriages.
o Buying a home or a second home and repaying the home loan as early as possible.
o Planning and investing for other goals like
nBuying a car,
nAnnual vacations with the family,
nPlanning and investing for children's primary education
• Individuals with Capital have the following savings needs:
• Need to increase their existing wealth for future needs like
o Initial capital for starting new business,
o Taking a world tour,
o Making donations to charitable causes etc.
o Inheritance for their children.
o Maintenance of certain lifestyle once they retire.
• Duration of Investment
o An important factor that determines savings needs.
o Agent must help individuals determine amount they need to save for their future.
o Where individuals need to achieve a savings target at the end of specific number of years,
the length of the savings period determines how much must be invested as a lump sum or
as a series of regular contributions.
o The more the time the individual has to invest, the lower the monthly investment amount
required to reach the target will be.
o It is always good to start saving for retirement as early as possible.
o Compounding works wonders in long term.
o The returns earned are re-invested along with the existing investments to earn higher
o The saving target depends upon the individuals
nNumber of dependants
nTheir asset and liabilities
nDisposble income
nExpected returns on investments
nLength of time they wish to keep the money invested
nAmount of Disposable Income
M 6 : Savings Products
• The amount of the regular investment also depends upon the surplus amount or the disposable
income that the individual has. Disposable income depends on
o individual's income
o number of dependants
o current liabilities
o The surplus amount is the spare amount of money left over after an individual has paid all
their monthly liabilities.
o Nobody should be encouraged to commit more to savings and investment than they can
genuinely afford.
o Professional advisors must take account of client's liabilities as part of their saving and
investment advise (Eg Home loan, Car loan, Education loan, Personal loan and Credit
Card debts.
o Existing Assets & Liabilities: Professional advisers must also consider the individual's
current assets and liabilities as these affect both the client's needs and their ability to
finance them. Future accumulation of liabilities taking new loans impacts the need for
Features and benefits of savings products
• Guaranteed and Variable Returns : Some products offer guaranteed returns and some variable
• Regular Income and Capital Growth : Some savings products provide regular income (interest
paid by a bank fixed deposit), some provide capital growth (gold).
• Penalties : Penalties are associated with the premature withdrawal of funds from fixed term
contracts. Ex. Exit load on mutual funds.
• Lock-in : Some products have a stipulated 'lock-in' period during which the funds cannot be
• Risk : All savings products carry a level of risk - low risk, medium risk and high risk.
• Buying & Selling Mechanisms : are important - convenience to the individual investor & speed of
• Flexibility :
o Facility to switch between different forms of investment
o Payment of variable contributions, and even to
o Facility to temporarily stop making contributions altogether
o Partial withdrawal of funds without affecting the product in force
o Premium Holiday, switching, partial withdrawals in a ULIP plan are examples of flexibility
• Products can be purchased through -
o Individual agents
o Internet
o Call Centres
o ATMs
o Corporate Agents like banks & brokers
o Websites
M 6 : Savings Products
Types of Savings Products
• Life Insurance
o Many life insurance products apart from an insurance cover have a savings component.
o Ex : Participating Endowment
o Participating Whole Life, where investment risk is borne by Insurance Company.
o The savings component of the premium is invested by the insurance company on behalf
of the policyholders and the returns earned are shared with the policyholders in the form
of bonuses.
• Bank Deposit
o Bank deposits are products where an individual has to invest a lump sum amount for a
fixed tenure at a fixed rate of interest decided at the time of making the deposit.
o There are three types of Bank Deposits -
nTraditional Deposits
nCumulative Deposits
nRecurring Deposits
• Mutual Fund
o Mutual Funds provide risk diversification
o Managed by Asset Management Companies (AMCs).
o Brings people with a common objective together. Money collected from these people is
invested on their behalf and the returns are shared back amongst them.
o Provides Regular Income & Capital Appreciation.
• Shares
• Represent ownership of a company. Equity shares provide income in the form of dividend income,
bonus shares and capital appreciation.
• The buying and selling of shares is done through brokerage houses on the two stock exchange in
India -
o Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE) and the
o National Stock Exchange (NSE)
• Equity shares provide three types of income to the investor Dividend Income.
• Bonus shares & Capital Appreciation.
• An investor can also incur a capital loss on equity investments.
• Investors can incur capital against losses in equity, if shares are bought at a higher price and sold at
a lower price due to poor financial performance of the company.
Shares Bonds
Post Office
Gold and
M 6 : Savings Products
• Bonds
• Bonds are debit instruments that are issued by companies, governments and other institutions to
raise money from the public.
• Bonds are like Bank Fixed Deposits & pay regular interest to the investor.
• There are different kinds of bonds:
o corporate bonds;
o Government securities (G-secs);
o commercial paper; and
o treasury bills.
• Post Office Savings
• Post offices in India offer several savings products such as
o National savings certificate (NSC)
o Kisan vikas patra (KVP)
o Public provident fund (PPF)
o Post office savings account
o Recurring deposit account
o Time deposit account
o Post office monthly income scheme (POMIS)
o Senior citizens saving scheme (SCSS)
• Investment in Gold & Silver
• a) Gold ETFs (exchange traded funds) are like mutual finds in which gold units can be traded in
electronic format on the stock exchange, just like shares. In gold ETFs one unit represents one gram
or half a gram of gold.
• b) Reasons for investing in gold & silver include:
o good returns
o portfolio diversification
o hedge (protection) against inflation; and
o insurance against uncertainties
Tax and inflation implications for savings products
• Income Tax Act came into effect on 1 April 1962.
• Under section 80C a deduction from taxable income is allowed for investments made in the following
o Life insurance premium paid for traditional products
o Unit-linked insurance plans (ULIPs)
o Pension plans
o Repayment of the principal component of home loan
o Employee provident funds (EPFs)
o Equity linked saving schemes (ELSs)
o Tuition fees paid for children
o Five-year tax saving bank deposits
o Public provident funds (PPFs)
o National savings certificates (NSCs)
o Senior citizen savings schemes (SCSs)
o Stamp duty and registration charges
o Infrastructure bonds
o Pension funds
o Post office time deposit - five years
o The above list is for financial year 2010/2011, the list is revised from time to time.
The need to have a contingency/emergency fund
The need for insurance
The need to purchase assets such as house, a car etc.
The need to save for retirement
The need for tax planning
M 6 : Savings Products
• Section 80D allows deductions from taxable income for the premium paid towards health insurance
for the individual, their spouse and children.
• Section 80 DD allows deduction for expenditure incurred on medical treatment/training/
rehabilitation for a disabled/handicapped dependent.
• Section 80 E deduction from taxable income is allowed for the interest paid on an education loan.
• Section 24 (B) A deduction from taxable income is allowed on the interest paid (subject to specified
provisions) on a home loan.
• Inflation Implication
o The difference between the inflation rate and interest earned on an investment is called
as the return Net of Inflation.
o When producing future calculations, it's better to consider higher rate of inflation than the
actual rate in the past five to ten years.
o Inflation and Taxation together suppress the real turning out to be lower than the
anticipated return.
Implication of increase in interest rates on savings products
• Loans become expensive & people postpone purchases.
• People choose to save in bank deposits & bonds as the interest become attractive.
• Not a good scenario for the stock market - higher interest payment on borrowings can put pressure
on profitability.
• Interest rates are increased to reduce the demand for credit and increase saving among individuals.
• The decision to increase interest rates of Bank deposits is made by the Reserve Bank of India.
Implication of Decrease in interest rates on savings products
• Low interest rates increase demand and consumption increases.
• Investment in other products like equities and real estate are preferred due to low interest rates.
• Investors who have invested at a higher interest rate in bonds and bank deposits are at an
advantage when interest rates fall.
• Tax benefits of any savings or investment
product should be considered as an additional
benefit rather than the primary benefit.
Prioritizing Savings Need
• Can be prioritized as follows:
• Contingency/emergency fund-
o For medical Emergencies due to
illness or accidents, sudden travel,
child's tuition fees, temporary job
loss etc.
• Insurance
o To have sufficient funds to cover
family in case of unexpected death
of income provider - This should be
the top priority.
o After having suitable term plan an
individual can look at saving
M 6 : Savings Products
like endowment, whole life plans, money-back plans or ULIPs to address their savings
o Need to have adequate health insurance cover for the family to meet medial
o Need to provide sufficient funds for children's higher education and marriage - A child
insurance plan can address this need.
• Child insurance plans come in two varieties - Risk averse investors can choose child endowment
plans, whereas investors who are willing to take the risk can choose child ULIPs with an equity fund.
• Need to have a regular income or an annuity after retirement. Insurance companies provide
retirement plans to address this need. An individual can invest a lump sum amount, or during their
working life they can make regular contributions towards them.
• Purchase assets like a house, car etc.
• The bank offers a percentage of total value of the asset as loan and rest amount has to be paid by the
individual called down payment, Margin Money or Home owner's equity.
• Retirement -
o To have a sufficient / regular source of income once they retire. Depends on the lifestyle
that an individual needs to maintain with the cost of living during their retirement.
o It can be partly addressed by investing in a retirement/pension plan from an insurance
company at an early age.
o For working professionals retirement needs are partly addressed through the retirement
benefits that their employer provides on retirement, i.e. gratuity, employee provident fund
(EPF) and pension.
o Gratuity is an employee benefit paid by the employer to the employee for the services
rendered by the employee to company.
o To be eligible for a gratuity the employee must complete five years of continuous service.
Amount of the Gratuity is calculated based on number of years of service.
o Gratuity eligibility, calculation, payment and tax treatment are defined by Payment of
Gratuity Act 1972.
Tax Planning
• While investing to fulfill these needs one should select investment products which make optimum
use of income tax deductions.
• Tax benefit should be considered to be an additional benefit and not the primary one
• Difference between Short Term/Medium Term & Long Term Needs
o Short-term needs - funds required within a period of 1-5 years
• Short-term needs include saving for emergencies etc.
o Medium-term needs - funds required within 5-15 years
• Medium-term needs include savings for children's education, marriage etc.
o Long-term needs - funds required after more than 15 years
• Long-term needs include retirement planning
M 7 : Other Key Financial Products
Other Financial Needs
• Other reasons for buying insurance
o Living too long
o Vulnerable to illness
• Health insurance plan pays individual and their family expenses incurred in event of
o Hospitalization
o Critical illness
o Post hospitalization care
• Health insurance plans are annually renewable policies.
• The cost increases as the person gets older.
• Insurance riders being additional benefits at nominal costs.
• Riders help in the customization of an insurance policy.
• Retirement plans help the individual maintain a similar lifestyle post-retirement
Features and Benefits of other Key Products
• Health Plans: four main types of health insurance plan:
o Individual health plans
o Family floater health plans
o Group health insurance plans
o Daily hospitalization cash benefit plans
• A family floater is different from an individual health plan.
o Individual
o Spouse
o Children
o Parents
o Insurance company can specify number of people that can be covered in policy.
o Group health insurance provides health cover to employees of a company.
o In some group health policy even the families of the employees.
o Daily hospitalization plan fixes an amount on a daily basis in event of hospitalization. The
plan fixes an amount at the time when the policy is taken.
o Amount is paid for the number of days insured is hospitalized.
o Amount is irrespective of actual amount spent in hospitalization.
o Amount is additional amount paid apart from lump sum that may be paid for surgery
and/or critical illness.
o Policy terms and condition specify total number of days in a year it covers.
Features and Benefits of Health Plans
• Premium pricing in health insurance depends on
o Age
o Fitness
o Habits
o Family medical history
• The plan requires the insured to go through medical examinations.
• Premium paid at younger ages is not very significant.
• Premium increase as the policyholder gets holder.
• Health policies cover pre-existing illnesses after specified time period called waiting period.
• Health products of insurance companies offer a no claim bonus - discounts.
• Health insurance plans often have some permanent exclusions.
M 7 : Other Key Financial Products
• Health plans offer treatment immediately.
• Some health plans offer cash less facility.
• Cashless facility plans require photo identity cards.
• It allows the insured to admit in network hospitals.
• While treatment is going on approval is given by insurer to health care service provider.
• In case of admission to a non-network hospital, insured settle hospital bill themselves and later
reimbursed by insurance company.
• Policyholder's biggest benefit is hassle-free management of medical expenses.
• Not all expense on health plans is covered by the insurance company.
• From company to company exclusion in such policies vary.
• Riders help enhance the quality and extent of cover. Common types of riders are
o Accident death benefit rider,
o Term rider,
o Critical illness rider
o Waiver of premium rider
• Accident death benefit rider provides additional amount over and above sum assured
o If death happens due to accident, additional amount is paid apart from policy sum
• Accidental death is defined as 'death as a result of external, violent, unforeseeable & visible
• Term rider is used to enhance death cover amount in a policy at a nominal cost.
o If death happens, additional amount is paid apart from policy sum assured.
• Critical illness rider provides payment of specified amount on diagnosis of a critical illness as lump
• The illness cover is a list of CI's given by insurance company in the policy.
Illness a
CI rider
may cover :
M 7 : Other Key Financial Products
• Insurers in case of critical illness riders specify terms & condition along with exclusions.
• Benefit of the rider will not be payable under such terms condition.
• Waiver of premium (WOP)
o Waives future premiums of policy holder in event of disability.
o Insurance company always specifies the product with which this rider is available.
o WOP rider comes with the exclusions & terms condition.
• Some other riders offered by some insurance companies are
o Surgical care rider
o Hospital care rider
o Guaranteed insurability rider
o Surgical care riders pay only the treatment cost of surgery
o Surgery of brain, heart, lungs etc is covered
o Surgical rider comes with the exclusions & terms condition
• Hospital care rider plan fixes an amount on a daily basis in event of
• The rider fixes an amount at the time when the policy is taken.
• An insurance company may pat the actual cost for the treatment.
• Amount may be paid for the number of days insured in hospitalized.
• Amount is irrespective of actual amount spent in hospitalization.
• Amount is additional amount paid apart from lump sum that may be paid for
surgery and/or critical illness.
• The rider is similar to the individual policy mentioned above.
• Guaranteed insurability rider gives insured right to increase cover in response to life events which
are (a) Marriage, (b) Child birth etc.
Benefits of Riders
• Additional cover
• Nominal cover
• Customization - as per preference of customer
• Flexibility
• And tax benefit
• As per the IRDA regulations issued in April 2002 and amended in October 2002:
o the premium of all riders relating to health or critical illness, in case of term or group
insurance products shall not exceed 100% of the premium of the base policy;
o the premium on all the other riders put together should not exceed 30% of the premium on
the base policy; and
o the benefits arising under each of the riders shall not exceed the sum insured under the
base policy.
• Annuities are a reverse of life insurance.
• In life insurance insurer starts paying on the death of the insured whereas in annuity insurer stops
paying upon death of annuitant.
• Annuity is a series of regular payments from an annuity provider to an annuitant.
M 7 : Other Key Financial Products
• Annuity can either be immediate or deferred.
o Immediate annuities become payable (vest) immediately after they have been purchased
with a lump sum.
o Payments commence monthly, quarterly, half-yearly or yearly as per option exercised by
o Deferred annuities are paid for in advance.
o The annuity purchase price may be a lump sum paid at commencement before the
annuity is due to vest (be paid).
o Deferred annuities may be bought by paying installments over a series of years before
vesting date.
• Life annuity the annuitant keeps receiving annuity payments from the insurance company
throughout their lifetime.
• Life annuities (immediate and deferred) are often bought with money that is tied to pensions
purchase and which cannot be used for any other purpose.
• Guaranteed period annuity is for a minimum fixed number of years.
o If the annuitant dies during the selected term installments for remaining part will be paid to
the beneficiaries.
o If the annuitant is still alive after the guaranteed period has elapsed the payments are
continued until his death.
• In joint life last survivor annuity where annuitants are husband and wife, regardless of who dies first
the surviving spouse continues to receive annuity payments.
• In Life annuity with return of purchase price is returned to the nominee/beneficiary.
• In increasing Annuity the annuity increases every year by a fixed percentage or in line with an agreed
inflation index.
• Pension plans are savings and investment plans tied to the provision of pension benefits for
individuals and their dependants.
• Pension plans have two phases:
o Accumulation phase
o Annuity phase
• In accumulation phase the individual makes regular or lump sum contributors.
• In annuity phase the insurance company makes regular payments to the annuitant.
• An individual can commute a third of accumulated fund tax-free.
• Two thirds of the commuted has to be used to buy an annuity.
• Contributions made in a retirement plan qualify for deduction from taxable income.
• The regular annuity received by the annuitant is taxable.
• Commutation is receiving regular/periodic annuity payments the individual can make a lump sum
• Insurance companies normally permit the individual to make withdrawals of up to a third of the
accumulated fund.
• As per IRDA norms which came into effect from 1 September 2010, all unit-linked pension plans
require insurers to guarantee minimum 4.5% returns (if all premiums are paid), an no partial
withdrawals will be allowed during the accumulation period.
M 7 : Other Key Financial Products
• Tax and inflation implications for financial products
• Premium paid up to a specified limit for health insurance plans qualifies for deduction from taxable
• Contributions made towards a retirement plan qualify for tax.
• The regular pension received by an individual is taxable.
• The regular pension received by an individual is taxable.
• The Finance Bill 2011 a decision has been taken to implement the new direct tax code (DTC) from 1
April 2012.
• This may bring in modifications in the existing tax treatment on all life insurance policies, at which
time it will be necessary to be conversant with such changes before being licensed as an agent.
Prioritizing needs and applying financial products to needs
• Health plans provide for costs incurred in event of hospitalization of the family income provide or any
other family member.
• Even though retirement is further from other financial goals, individual should not give less priority to
this goal.
• One can start with a lower amount and increase contributions over a period of time for retirement
M 8 : Identifying Client Needs
Who is your Client?
• Prospective Client : A prospective client may have any of the following needs
o Provide sufficient funds for the dependents in case of the premature death
o Build a contingency fund to take care of the emergencies that may arise
o Save funds for children education and marriage
o Provide protection for family members against home loans and other debts in the
absence of family income provider
o Save FUNDS for retirement
o Address any other requirements that may arise from time to time
• Any individual who has at least one of the above needs is a prospective client for the insurance
• Any individual that an insurance agent come across and who has any financial need is a
prospective/potential client.
• In a typical life cycle, Clients have two primary needs: protection & investments.
Client Needs
• The process of understanding client needs involves Identifying Needs, Quantifying Needs,
Prioritizing Needs
• Identifying Needs: An insurance agent needs to collect & analyze the following information:
o Details of the client in terms of their financial assets & liabilities
o Marital status
o Future financial goals of the client for themselves & their children
o Number & age of dependents
o Employment status (their existing grade & scope of promotion within their company)
o Income - which includes salary, business income & income from other sources and
investments (if any)
o Details of health status & heredity medical conditions
o Existing protection, savings & retirement provision (if any)
• Quantifying Needs: In the financial planning process an insurance agent needs to:
o Quantify each of the needs in monetary-terms
o Calculate suitable amounts that an individual needs to save & invest for the future
• Prioritizing Needs:
o The amount available for investment is the client's income less their living and other
expenses, i.e. the monthly surplus available
o It takes the client to determine which investment(s) are given highest priority in the
o The insurance agent should suggest the best product mix, where limited funds can be
allocated to fulfill the maximum needs of the client
• If the client already has some existing insurance plans, then advisor needs to check:
o Whether the existing insurance plan takes adequate care of the client's needs
o Whether the insurance is sufficient to fulfill the client's future financial liabilities?
o The agent should analyze the other needs of the client for which protection is to be
Identifying Needs Quantifying Needs Prioritising Needs
M 8 : Identifying Client Needs
The Typical Life Stages of a client:
• Childhood: Two Basic needs for parents are
o Secure their children's financial position, if they themselves
die prematurely; and
o Provide for their children's future expenses such as for higher
education, marriage and living expenses
• Young Unmarried: Young unmarried with no dependants.
o low protection need as there are no dependents
o need to invest any surplus income and earn high returns
gains priority
• Young Married: Double Income Family -
o Financial dependency on one person is reduced
o Such couples are also commonly known as Double Income
No Kids (DINK) couples
o Loss of income due to the death of any partner needs to be
o An individual term life insurance plan for bot partners is
suitable at this stage
• Young Married: Single Income Family -
o Savings are likely to be lower than for the double income
o Income protection assumes priority over other needs
• Young Married: Young married with children: Double Income Family -
o Effect of the loss of income due to te premature death of one
of the partners will be less. Protection of income is important.
o Investments towards their children's future can be a high
• Young Married: children Single Income Family -
o Income protection is very important.
o Loss of income of the earning member of the family could
lead to serious financial problems.
• A suitable-term life insurance plan should be recommended.
• Children Education Planning : Married with Older Children
o The insurance agent should take into consideration the cost
of the education course selected by the prospect for his child.
o The agent should assume an education inflation rate and
based on the date when the prospect's child will enroll for
higher education, work out the amount that will be required at
that time.
o Assuming a reasonable rate of return, the agent should
arrive at the monthly amount to be invested to accumulate the education fund.
o The prospect should start making regular investments towards the child's education fund
in a child insurance plan.
• Children Education Planning Married with Older Children:
o Financial responsibility towards their children's higher education and marriage.
• Pre-Retirement
• Entire focus is shifted towards the retirement fund and health protection as other needs are mostly
taken care of.
o Income of an individual/couple is limited to the returns on investments that they made in
the earlier stages of their working life.
o Review the health cover for themselves and their spouse to see if it is adequate to meet
the couple's healthcare requirements.
o Self-employed professionals and businessmen, there is no defined retirement age.
Young married
with children
Married with
older children
M 8 : Identifying Client Needs
Factors that affect the Life Stages
• Age
o The younger the age the lower will be the liabilities
o As a person grows older their protection need increases due to the new responsibilities
such as marriage & a family
• Marital Status and Dependents:
o When an individual gets married, their responsibilities increase
o Buying a home, a car & taking annual vacations etc. results in increased financial
o Protection needs become very important due to increased liability
• Employments:
o An individual's employment status can influence their financial planing needs &
investment capacity
• Public Sector Employee:
o Need for life insurance, pension plans & other medical related plans will not be high.
o Employer contributes towards provident funds, pension funds & gratuities under
retirement benefit schemes for its employees
o Other benefits such as life insurance for the individual & health insurance for their family
are provided
• Private Sector Employee:
o Need for a pension plan, life insurance, health insurance etc. is greater
o Some companies provide benefits such as a gratuity & provident fund. Many of them do
not provide any pension benefits.
o Some companies provides life insurance for the individual & health insurance for their
family & some give the option to the employee to contribute towards the premium
o However, other companies do not provide any of these benefits & the employee needs to
make their own arrangements
• Self Employed: In this case two important factors need to be considered:
o Self-employed individuals may have fluctuating income
o They may be the sole income provider for their families
• People with short career:
o Need to protect their income from premature death or disability during their peak earning
o Income earned needs to be invested in such a manner that it will provide a regular income
for the remainder of their career & in their retirement
• Unemployed:
o Unemployment can happen to a self-employed individual, salaried individuals & can
occur due to ill health or the economic situation
o Due to unemployment financial plans can be severely affected as their priority will shift.
o Need of Disability insurance & building emergency fund will cover their expenses in the
Individual's income
and expenditure
Individual's assets
and liabilities
Divorce, separation
and bereavement
Marital status and
Health issues
M 8 : Identifying Client Needs
• Health Issues:
o Health risks tend to increase as an individual gets older & chances of obtaining life and
health protection will be reduced
o A person may suffer from continued bad health, irrespective of their age
o If insurance companies accept the risk, may modify the conditions of acceptance and/or
charge higher premium
• Individual Income and Expenditure:
o Expenditure includes all outgoings i.e. amount spent on food, clothing, housing & leisure
activities & liabilities like repayments of a home loan, car loan etc.
o It is essential that an individual has surplus income after meeting all of their expenses
o If expenditure exceeds income then this will result in debt & the individual's capacity to
make investments will be nil
• Individual Assets and Liabilities:
o Assets are what an individual owns & liabilities are what they owe
o Assets can be acquired through saving, inheritance or business activity
o If assets are more than their liabilities, surplus money would be available for investment
o If liabilities exceed their assets, then they need to ensure that all due payments are met on
o Any assets which are no longer suitable or are earning fewer returns than expected
should be reviewed & cashed-in for investment into other assets
o Similarly an individual's liabilities, such as a home loan or a car loan, should be covered
by adequate life insurance so that in the event of the income earner's premature debt, the
family can pay off the debts & avoid financial troubles with lenders.
• Divorce, Separation and Bereavements
o In the case of divorce or separation, the financial objectives of individuals will change &
their investment capacity will decrease (if both the spouses are working). As a result,
existing investments should be reviewed.
o In the case of divorce & separation, financial planning for women (housewives) becomes
extremely important as a woman may not have any financial arrangements other than
those of her husband. So protection and retirement needs assume even greater
o A widowed woman will become the custodian of her husband's financial assets & she will
have the responsibility of providing for her dependent children. Her main concern will be
to manage the assets & enhance or preserve their investment value to provide for her
dependent children.
Client Needs - Real Need & Perceived Needs
• Real Needs
o The actual needs of a client which should take priority over others
o Determined by the use of financial planning techniques & analysis
• Perceived Needs
o Imagined or thought to be important by the client
o These needs can be understood by analyzing an individual's thoughts & desires.
• The job of an insurance agent is to help clients in identifying real needs. The process is as follows:
o Identification of real needs: This can be done by educating them about the importance
of insurance
o Identification of current and future needs
o Quantification and prioritisation of needs: Once needs are identified, they must be
quantified in terms of monetary value and prioritized
o Financial planning review: The client should meet up with the agent regularly to review
if their financial planning need have changed over time. If yes, then new investments
should be made to suit the changed circumstances
M 8 : Identifying Client Needs
Communication, questioning and listening skills
• An agent is very often the first contact point with their prospective clients.
• Agents may have to 'read between the lines' as clients may be unfamiliar with insurance terms &
jargon & this may hinder their understanding of their needs.
• There are 3 essential skills that every insurance
agent must have - Communication skills,
Questioning skills and Listening skills
• Communi cat i on Ski l l s: Good
communication skills include:
o A good command of the client's
local language and dialect;
o A friendly approach towards
clients and a genuine interest
in them.
o Agents should
b e a b l e t o
e n c o u r a g e
clients to speak
a b o u t t h e i r
c o n c e r n s
relating to their future and present needs; and
o whenever a client asks a question, or makes a point, the agent should answer the
question honestly and continue to engage the client in a two-way dialogue.
o This will encourage the client to participate in the financial planning process.
• Questioning Skills: Questions can be classified by: Structure or Purpose.
• Classification by structure: in this classification, questions can be of two types: open-ended and
closed-ended. Both types of questions have different objectives and effects and you should make
sure that you can use them correctly.
• Open ended questions encourages the client to talk freely & highlight issues which are most
important to them. Some examples of open-ended questions are:
o Why do you think that?
o Where do you see yourself 10 years from now?
o How do you feel about that?
• Close ended questions are structured so that the client has to provide short specific answers. The
client's response is restricted to 'yes', 'no', 'a specific fact', or 'a specific amount'. Some examples of
closed-ended questions are:
o Are you currently employed?
o How many children do you have?
o Do you have any current investments?
o Are you married?
Questions need
to be:
Put in simple
terms that a client will
easily understand
according to
the client
Linked to earlier
questions asked
M 8 : Identifying Client Needs
• Classification by purpose: In this classification, questions can be either open or closed and
include questions that:
o seek information;
o explore and collect additional information;
o check meaning or understanding;
o confirm points already agreed; and/or
o commit the client to action
o Phrasing of Questions need to be:
o Linked to earlier questions asked
o Put in simple terms that a client will easily understand
o Personalized according to the client
• Listening skills
o Good listening skills are also important for an insurance agent so that they can interpret
the client's answers correctly.
o The agent should record the client's answers and their body language should also be
studied by the agent, as this will help in determining their level of interest in financial
• Handling objection: It requires good communication & listening skills, as well as asking
appropriate questions are tools that can be extremely useful.
• Some common objections include:
o The product doesn't meet my need(s).
o A competitor's products are offering additional benefits.
o I don't have funds for investment
Gathering client information including family information:
• As a part of the planning process, the insurance agent needs to gather personal (including family)
data, professional data and information related to the client's finances using a form called as fact-
• It includes:
o Personal details - Client's name, age, address, contact details and marital status.
o Family details - number of members in the family and their name, age, and occupation
o Family physician - addresses of doctor & some close friends etc.
o Professional details - employed, self-employed or run a business
o Financial details - cash flows and their existing investments
• Confirming assumptions and agreeing objectives:
• Need analysis should be done after agreeing objectives with the client.
• During need analysis the assumptions made should be confirmed with the client.
• Importance of reviewing financial plans:
o In spite of all the financial planning techniques available, the exact amount of funds
needed in the future cannot be precisely determined.
o Amount is subject to various assumptions.
o Insurance agents will derive only an estimated amount and not the exact amount.
o Financial plan needs to be reviewed once every 12 months or so to see if there are any
changes in the client's needs and whether the investments are doing as expected.
o Review of financial planning is also a good way for an agent to keep in regular contact with
the client to show that he is concerned about the client's ongoing financial welfare.
M 9 : The Fact-find and Financial Planning
What is fact-find?
• Fact-Find is a process that enables the insurance adviser to:
o Identify a client's financial planning needs;
o Quantify them; and
o Prioritize them based on the resources available for investment.
• A Fact-find shows the current financial position of the person, where they stand today and their
anticipated future changes.
• A Fact-find identifies a client's financial planning needs and points towards those needs that are the
priority for the client.
• Objectives of a fact-find are as follows:
o Identifying needs
o Gathering client data
o Analyzing client cash flows and
o Providing for anticipated changes
• Identifying Needs: The prime objective fact-finding is to identify client needs in the areas of:
o Protection
o Savings
o Investment
o Health Insurance
• Gathering Client Data: This required
o Knowledge of te personal details of each client, their dependents, finances and
employment status.
o Existing health and life insurances and any existing pension provision.
o An understanding of the client's personal aims, desires and objectives for the future.
o An important fact finding objective is to find out the disposable income.
• Analyzing client cash flows: Can be derived from
o Detailed analysis of clients' income from all sources and expenses.
o Detailed review of the client's existing capital resources.
o Liabilities that must be offset against them
o A positive balance indicates the likely amount available for financial planning purposes.
o If there is little or no surplus, little can be done unless the client is able to reschedule debts
or reduce outgoings.
• Providing for anticipated changes
o Anticipated changes which will affect the client's financial position.
o Each change will have an impact on the amount that can be contributed in future.
o This helps to define the amount which clients can afford to commit themselves now.
Using a Fact-Find
• The most common form of fact - finding is a structured questionnaire. Fact finding involves the
• Structured interview: The steps are as follows:
o Making the client feel comfortable and relaxed
o Explanation of the fact-finding process and its purpose
o The information gathering session
o A discussion of priorities and the client's personal concerns
o An agreement, in principle, of the main problems to be addressed by the adviser's report
• Fact finding forms: a fact-finding form is divided into separate sections covering the client's details.
These sections include:
M 9 : The Fact-find and Financial Planning
o Personal details
o Family details
o Employment details
o Financial details
o Existing insurance and investments
o Monthly income and expenditure analysis
o Fi nanci al pl anni ng obj ect i ves and
o Future changes
• Please note: Where joint financial plans are required for,
say, husband and wife or two business partners, the same
information will be required for each person.
• Personal details:
o The client's date of birth and state of health,
including smoking habits and/or drinking habits
will indicate eligibility for insurance policies and
the premium rates to be paid
• Family details:
o This information prompts questions in the
extent of which clients need to provide
protection against their own disability or death
for their dependants' benefit.
o Names, ages, state of health and occupation of
the following will be recorded:
• Spouse
• Children
• Parents
• Other dependants
• Employment details:
o Job profile & workplace which play an important role on the premium
o Basic salary
o Commission
o Performance bonus and other benefits like
o Provident fund
o Leave encashment
o Gratuity
o Superannu8ation
o Pension
o Life and health insurance provided by the employer and the amount of cover provided
o The agent will take into consideration the employee benefits that the client is entitled to:
• provident fund,
• leave encashment,
• gratuity,
• superannuation,
• pension,
• life and health insurance provided by the employer and the amount of cover
provided etc.
Structured Interview
Making the client feel
comfortable and relaxed
Explanation of the fact-finding
process and its purpose
The information
gathering session
A discussion of priorities &
the client's personal concerns
An agreement, in principle, of the main problems
to be addressed by the adviser's report
M 9 : The Fact-find and Financial Planning
• Financial Details:
o Details of assets and liabilities will be recorded
o Income from the assets will be added to income from employment to identify
• total income and
• tax position
o For most clients, the major liability will be a housing loan.
o Other liabilities may include:
• outstanding credit card payments,
• personal loans and
• other loans (if any)
o For each liability, the client should be asked for protection plans that are in place.
• Existing Insurance and Investments:
o Existing policies and investments help to reduce the amount of financial provision
required to meet the client's financial objectives.
o Personal insurances both life and health will be recorded.
o Each insurance policy requires the following details:
• name of the insurer,
• the policy type,
• the nature and amount of the benefit,
• the premiums payable and the frequency of the payment
• who pays the premium
• whose life is insured
• names of the beneficiaries
• Monthly income and expenditure analysis:
o The total monthly income from all sources is recorded in this section.
o The client will then be asked list the main items of expenditure each month.
o Some expenses are:
• Food
• Children's education
• Monthly rent
• Pension premiums
• Travel costs
• Taxes
• Entertainment expenses
• Loan repayments
• Utilities - gas, water, electricity etc.
• Financial Planning objectives and considerations:
o This section records client's ambitions and concerns, both personal and for family
o The existing provision how the client feels about the adequacy of their existing:
• life and health cover;
• disability insurance;
• spread of regular saving; and
• retirement age and projected retirement fund
• The other section asks what plans and ambitions the client has for their
o family;
o children's education and marriage;
o changing homes in the future;
M 9 : The Fact-find and Financial Planning
o career, occupation or business;
o investments and loan finance;
o retirement; and
o estate on death.
o one consideration that helps to determine the right choice of financial products to meet
the client's needs is the client's ability to accept risk and withstand investment losses.
o sometimes questionnaires provide space for the client's risk profile to be supplied in te
client's own words.
o increasingly, however, questionnaires offer a forced choice across a range of risk ratings.
o typically, the risk rating range runs from zero to five, were zero represents an inability to
take any risk and five indicates a willingness to take high risks.
• Future Changes: Future changes should be taken care of
o Inheritance
o Birth of a child
o Any plans to complete a professional
o A possible change of career
o Any other ambitions
• Assessment and analysis:
o Needs analysis involves identifying whether or not the client has made sufficient financial
to meet unpredictable and predictable needs.
o During the assessment of a fact-find the key tasks of te agent needs to identify:
o The amount to be provided for the needs of each client in each need area.
o The Client's affordable contribution
o Allocation of this contribution to produce the best financial planning package currently
available, and
o Evaluation and review the performance of the financial plan on a regular basis with the
• Applying product features and benefits to a client situation:
• After analyzing the fact-finding information the agent applies product features to client needs and
accordingly shortlists products that most suit the client's requirement.
Making Recommendations
• When all information has been assembled, discussed and analyzed the agent can fulfill the ultimate
objectives of fact-finding - to recommend the products or portfolio of products that best meets the
client's needs for the contribution they can afford to pay now and sustain in the future.
• Only when all the diagnostic work has been completed in a professional manner is the agent in a
position to prepare a report for presentation to the client.
• The product recommendation presentation should have a proper structure.
• Once the recommendation presentation is over, the agent should sit with the client and clarify if they
have any doubts. If not the agent should proceed with completing form-filling formalities.
• The agent can use the benefit illustration document to show the client the projected growth (at the
rate of 6% and 10%) of investments.
• Along with the duly filled form the client needs to issue a cheque in the name of the insurance
company and the KYC documents.
• Presentation skills are critical in securing acceptance of recommendations.
• Presentations need to be a two-way communication in which the client is fully involved by the agent.
M 9 : The Fact-find and Financial Planning
• It is a failure of professionalism if the client is not aware of any restrictions or risks that may limit their
right to benefits in the future or may involve them in an investment loss.
Know your Customer
• Identification documents are per the Know Your Customer (KYC) are as follows -
• Photographs:
• Proof of identity: some common documents accepted are
o Driving license, Passport,
o Voter Id card, ID card for defence personnel,
o PAN card, Any other identification card issued by a government body etc.
• Proof of address - some common documents accepted as proof of address are
o Driving license, Passport,
o Electricity bill, Telephone bill
o Premium receipt of any insurance company
o Ration card, Bank passbook
M 10 : Good Client Practice
Characteristics of an agent
• The major characteristics of the members of all professions are as follows:
o Are committed to behaving ethically towards clients
o Adhere to professional code of conduct
o Adhere to minimum standard of professional competence
o Show a committed to continuous professional development
• The duties and responsibilities of an insurance agent
• Insurance agents are responsible for selling life insurance products to clients
• Agents must obtain license from IRDA under section 42 of insurance act 1938
• Section 42 - an insurance agent is "A person who is licensed under section 42 of insurance act in
consideration of his soliciting or procuring insurance business, including business continuation,
renewal or revival of the insurance policy"
• The duties and responsibilities of an insurance agent is to:
o Identify prospective clients to perform a need analysis to identify their different needs.
o Have an excellent knowledge to understand the various benefits and features of each
o Suggest appropriate products to clients based on their needs and investment capacity.
o Ensure that the proposal form is correctly filled in and all the information provided by the
client is correct.
o Be responsible for collecting the necessary documents such as :
• proof of age,
• identity proof and address
• medical reports and any other documentation required for underwriting
• Disclose the premiums and various fees that will be charged for insurance plans offered
• Disclose the scales of commissions if asked for by the prospective clients
• Ensure the remittance of premiums by the policy holder in the stipulated time by giving notice both
orally and in writing
• Collect premium from clients if they are authorized to do so by the respective insurers
• To Help underwriters in assessing the risk presented by te proposer by providing information about
o adverse habits,
o income inconsistency and
o other material facts that are contained in the agent's confidential report
• To help clients to make any necessary changes on the proposal form such as address, nomination
• To help legal beneficiaries and nominees with the claim settlement process when a claim arises
Requirements of the clients:
• After the fact-find, following stages are necessary
• Agent remuneration and upfront disclosure method, Remuneration methods
• Agent remuneration is stipulated as per The Insurance Act 1938.
• After the first 10 years of operation, the maximum commission an agent can receive as a percentage
of first year premiums
o First year 35%
o Second year and third year 7.5%
o Subsequent years 5%
• During first 10 years of insurance company, maximum commission agent can receive is 40% of first
year premium.
• The agent whose agency has been terminated is entitled for receiving commission on the renewal
premium under section 44.
o Commission not exceeding 4% in any case
o The agent should have been working with the insurer for more than 5 years and policy of
not less than 50000 sum assured are in force at least one year of the termination of the
M 10 : Good Client Practice
o Agent working for at least ten years after ceasing to act as an agent, not procuring
insurance business for any other person directly or indirectly.
• W.E.F. 1st July 2010, for ULIPs all insurers have to disclose explicitly the commission what they pay
to their agents in the benefit illustration document.
• The benefit illustration document show the details of the
o Charges and
o Growth of the fund expected as per the life insurance council assumed growth rate of 6%
and 10%
• Mandatory for an agent to obtain a signed copy of the illustration recommending suitable policy.
• The different issues that may arise on the recommendation of suitable policies the clients areas
• Checking the clients commitment to need
o The client should be reminded the needs that were agreed during fact finding
o The client to confirm if they are still areas of concern
o If client disagrees, the agent to revise the financial plan
o If client agrees, agent should recommend suitable policy
• Outlining the regions for the recommendation of the particular policy
o The agent must explain the reasons for recommending a policy
o The agent should present a chart for client to compare the recommended policy with other
available policies
• Acceptance or rejection of the recommendation
o If client accepts the recommendation, he should be asked to fill the proposal
o If disagreed, the agent must ask further questions
o Recommendations can be rejected for
o The client wants to take some time to consider their option before investing. The agent
can ask to contact the client at a future date.
o Client not satisfied with recommendation. The products will have to be reviewed
according to the need of the client.
• What should an agent do if a client accepts some but not all of their recommendation?
o If the client wishes to act against the agents advise, the agent should
o Express his readiness to carry out the client's instruction
o Should make it clear that the transaction is not recommended by the agent
o The client's decision to act differently may emerge at two different stages i.e.
nDuring Presentation
nDuring the Fact Finding Interview
Churning and product switching
• Repeatedly encouraging clients to switch policies or investments from one to another is known as
• It is unethical practice and should be avoided.
• When Product switching is suitable. Where the switch is clearly in the client's best interest.
• The Long term benefits of retaining the policies and avoiding short term cancellation (Persistency)
• Persistency refers to the amount of business insurance company's are successful in relating without
policy lapses and surrender
• A low persistency ratio affects the whole insurance industry
o Insurance company : Large number of lapsed or surrendered policies result in loss of
profit and reduction in accumulation of reserves
o Client : Fewer benefit than originally expected and loss of cover
o Agent : Loss of renewal commission
M 10 : Good Client Practice
• Benefits of persistency
o Helps the clients in achieving goals
o Increase revenue ad maintaining
o Reduction in cost
o Increase client satisfaction and
developing a positive brand value
for the company
• What are different factors that can affect
• Product Design: Products must be designed
based on the real needs of the clients
• Change in financial circumstances of the
client. Unemployment, Disability of health
related issues
• Policy servicing
o Insurance agents should ensure
that they maintain regular contact
with clients and remind them when
premium are due.
o If client is unable to pay premium
then ask them to pay in Grace
• Role of the Agent: An agent play the most important role in maintaining high persistency.
• Different Methods for maintaining High Persistence
o Flexibility in premium payment - Cheque, Cash, Demand Draft, Online Transfer of Funds,
ECS, Credit / Debit Card, Collection of premiums through authorized insurance agents.
o Constant reminder of premium dates buy - Emails, Reminder letters by post, telephone
calls, SMS/Text message continuous contact with the Clients - New Product launch
o Policy servicing - Change in Nomination beneficiary, Contact Address, Frequency of
premium payment
• Clients Rights and complaint procedure
Client have right to raise grievances and complaints about the services they have received from life
insurance companies and their agents.
Building Long Term Relationship wit clients
• Insurers should focus on building long term
relationship with their clients rather focuses on
short term sales.
A satisfied client helps in two ways:
o Source of other potential clients
o Spread goodwi l l by speaki ng
positively about the company and the
• Many agents have ongoing system to review
their client's financial needs and financial
• Some events where review can be triggered are
as follows
o Marriage
o Moving House
o Birth of the child
o Change of job
• These changes could lead to recommendations
o Take out new protection contract
o Increase existing levels of protection
o Switch investment
o Alter existing tax saving plan
Role of
Change in
A review
may be
by events
such as:
of Job
Birth of
a child
M 11 : Claims
Requirements for a valid claim
• A claim is a direct demand that the insurer redeem the promise made in the contract.
• The 3 main types of claims are maturity claims, death claims and rider benefits.
• Maturity claims
o The amount payable on maturity = sum assured + any accumulated bonuses- any
outstanding premiums and interest thereon.
o In some cases the premiums paid over the tenure of the plan are returned on maturity.
These plans are termed as "return of premium" (ROP) plans by some insurers.
o In the case of ULIPs, the insurance company pays the fund value (or in some cases the
fund value and the sum insured) as the maturity claim, at the end of the plan's term.
o In the case of a money-back policy, the sum insured - survival benefits + bonuses are paid
at the end of the policy.
• Survival benefit payments
o For money-back policies te insurance company makes specific payments to the policy
holder at specific times during the term of the policy. These payments are called as
survival benefits.
o Reduced sum insured (paid-up value)
o Sometimes during the tenure of a policyholder may face financial problems and may not
be in a position to continue paying the premiums. During such times rather than
surrendering the policy, the policyholder has the option to convert it into a paid-up policy.
o On the maturity of such policies, the proportionate reduced sum insured is paid out by the
insurance company.
• Discounted claims
• Discounted claims are those options which are exercised by the policyholder within one year of the
maturity date of the policy.
• Commutation of installments
• For annuity plans, before receiving regular/periodic annuity payments, the individual can make up a
lump sum withdrawal. This is known as commutation.
• Insurance companies normally allow the individual to make withdrawals of up to a third of the
accumulated fund.
• The remaining two thirds must be used to buy the annuity payments for the individual.
• Annuity payments at the time of vesting in the case of annuities, on vesting, the regular annuity
payments start to be made by the insurance company to the annuitant.
• The payments may be made to the annuitant on a monthly, quarterly, semi-annually or annual basis
depending on the plan's terms and conditions.
• Death claim
o A death claim is where the life insurance company pays the sum insured to the
nominee/beneficiary on the death of the insured during the terms of the plan
o If the policy is participating policy, the insurance company will also pay the bonuses
accumulated until then.
o If the policy holder had taken out any loans, then the outstanding amount of the loan, the
interest and any outstanding premium and interest thereon will be deducted before the
final amount is paid.
o There are certain policies where the benefit is not paid on death but on a specified date as
chosen by the life insured when taking out the policy.
M 11 : Claims
• Rider benefit
o A payment under a rider is made by the
specified event according to the rider terms and condition.
o Example of riders: accidental death benefit (ADB) rider, Critical Illness rider (CI) rider and
“hospital care” rider.
Valid claim
• Once an insurance company receives notification of a claim it will want to be sure that the claim is
valid before it makes a payment. It will do this by checking the following:
o Was the insurance policy in force when the even occurred?
o Has the insured event taken place?
o Has the original policy document, a completed claim form and all the other required
documents been submitted?
o Has the policyholder performed their part with regards to age admission and the
disclosure of material facts relevant to the policy?
o Did the claim demand come from the right person (s)?
o Have all the other formalities that are required for a claim to be valid been fulfilled.
Why a claim may be invalid
• There are three main circumstances in which a claim may be invalid
o The policy is not in force
o Excluded conditions apply
o The claim is fraudulent
• Duties after death and documentary evidence
• Unless the insurance company knows about the death, it will not pay out the sum insured
• The first thing that must happen, after the death of the life insured, is for the insurance company to be
advised that the death has taken place
• The notification may be sent by the nominee, assignee, relative, the individual’s employer or the
insurance agent
• Notification of the death is not enough - the insurance company will need proof, not just that the
death actually took place, but that the life was insured by the company.
• Duty for the claimant is to ensure that the insurance company receives the following documents:
o The policy document
o Deeds of Assignment and reassignment
o Proof of age
o Death certificate
o Claimant’s statement
o Legal evidence of title
o The discharge form
o Early death claims
• If the claim occurs within three years from the date of risk, or from its revival, insurance companies
normally classify it as an early death claim.
• In such cases insurance companies will carry out a detailed investigation.
• Additional documents may be called for in order to make certain that material facts were not
suppressed at the time of proposal/revival.
insurance company on the occurrence of a
M 11 : Claims
• If the life insured had an unnatural death, such as an accident, by suicide or by an unknown cause,
the following will also be looked int:
o a Police first information report (FIR);
o panchnama (inquest);
o Forensic report;
o post mortem report; and
o Coroner’s report.
• Depending on the initial evidence, a special inquiry may be ordered. IRDA guidelines for claim
• Claims procedures in respect of a life insurance policy.
• A life insurance policy shall state the primary documents which are normally required to be
submitted by the claimant in support of a claim.
• Any queries or requirement of additional documents, to the extent possible, shall be raised all at
once and not in a piecemeal manner, within a period of 15 days of the receipt of the claim.
• A claim under a life policy shall be paid or be disputed giving all the relevant reasons, within 30 days
from the date of receipt of all relevant papers and clarifications required.
• Where in the opinion of the insurance company the circumstances of a claim warrant an
investigation, it shall initiate and complete such investigation not later than 6 months from the time of
lodging the claim.
• Subject to the provisions of section 47 of the Act, where a claim is ready for payment but the payment
cannot be made due to any reasons of a proper identification of the payee, the life insurer shall hold
the amount for the benefit of the payee.
• Such an amount shall earn interest at the rate applicable to a savings bank account with a scheduled
bank (effective from 30 days following the submission of all papers and information).
• Where there is a delay on the part of the insurer in processing the claim for a reason other than the
one covered by sub-regulation (4), the life insurance company shall pay interest on the claim
amount at a rate which is 2% above the bank rate prevalent at the beginning of the financial year in
which the claim is reviewed by it.
Maturity claim
• Action on maturity claim is normally initiated by the insurance company itself.
• The insurer is expected to make the payment on the maturity date.
• Post-dated cheques are usually sent a few days in advance of the maturity date, provided a signed
discharge form has been received.
• If the policy is reported lost, then the insurer may settle on the basis of indemnity.
• In case of an absolute assignment, the claim payment will be made to the assignee.
• If the assignment is conditional, reverting to the policy holder on maturity, the insurance company
can make the payment to the policyholder.
• Some maturity claims (for example in case of ULIPs) may be payable, not on the date of maturity as
chosen by the policyholder, but later and in installments, not as a lumpsum. This is known as the
settlement option.
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M 11 : Claims
Survival benefits
• When it comes to making survival benefit payments, the procedure is similar to the payment of
maturity claims.
• If the policy is reported to be lost, a duplicate policy may be provided on which an endorsement will
be made regarding the settlement of the survival benefits.
Death claims
• In death claims, the process is started by the claimant, who will advise the insurance company of the
death of the life insured.
• The insurance company will wait for the relevant documentation, check it, and carry out any further
investigations that it deems necessary.
• Once it is satisfied that the claim is a valid one, it will send the sum insured to the nominee or
beneficiary within a reasonable timeframe, i.e. it will settle the chain.
Fraudulent claims
• Insurance fraud is a deliberate attempt to use insurance for unjustified financial gain. Insurance
fraud includes bogus claims and the misrepresentation of facts.
• The indemnity is in the form of a statement, signed by the claimant, stating that should the original
policy come to light and evidence of ownership by another party is provided, then the claimant will
reimburse the insurance company for any claim payments made to them.
Consequences of fraud
• If fraud is not detected and a fraudulent claim is paid, there are direct consequences for the insurer,
the insured and on the fraudulent claimant.
• Caution points at the time of handling death claims
• If the notification of death is received from a stranger, there is reason to ask: 'Why has it not come
from a family member or a relative?'
• Too many enquiries about progress in the settlement of the claim should raise doubts.
• If the notification of death is received three years after the date of death, there is reason to be
• Presumption of death
• Proof of death is essential for a claim to be settled. However, sometimes a person is reported
missing without any information about their whereabouts.
• Sections 107 and 108 of the Indian Evidence Act 1872 deal with presumption of death.
• Under this Act if an individual has been heard of for seven years they are presumed to be dead.
• This has the following effect on the actions of the life insurance company:
o If the nominee or heirs claim that the life insured is missing and must be presumed to be
o Insurers insist on a decree from a competent court.
o However, the insurer may also act on its own, without a decree of the court, if reasonably
strong circumstantial evidence exists to show that the life insured could not have survived
a fatal accident or hazard.
o It is necessary that the premiums should be paid until the court decrees presumption of
o Insurers may, as a concession, waive the premiums during the seven year period.
Void and voidable Contracts
• A contract may not be valid or fully valid in law for a number of reasons.
• A void contract has no binding effect on either party because a void contract is no contract at all (the
expression is really a contradiction in terms).
M 11 : Claims
• Circumstances that will render a policy void include mistake, illegitimate / unlawful circumstances,
lack of insurable interest.
• A voidable contract is binding unless and until one of the parties chooses to set it aside.
• Breach of good faith - misrepresentation or non-disclosure will allow the insurer to treat the policy as
• Breach of warranty - this will entitle the insurer to treat the policy as void.
Indisputable contracts
• If the proposer has made untrue or incorrect statements at the time of proposal, either in the
proposal form or in the personal statement, or they have not disclosed some Material information,
the policy contract becomes void ab initio.
• This means that all the benefits under the policy cease and all monies paid in premiums are forfeited.
• Ab initio is a Latin term which means 'from the beginning'. A policy contract which is declared void ab
initio means that the policy was null and void from the beginning and since the contract is not legally
enforceable; the insurer is not required to pay the claim.
• This penalty is subject to section 45 of the Insurance Act 1938. Under this section, a policy which has
been in force for two years cannot be disputed on the grounds of incorrect or false settlements in the
proposal and other documents, unless it is shown to be on a material matter and was fraudulently
• This provision is meant to protect policyholders from suffering for minor inaccuracies on stated facts
M 12 : Legislation and Client Advice
Insurance Act 1938
• The insurance Act was established in year 1938.
• In this context, solvency - in simple terms - means whether the insurer has sufficient resources to
satisfy the IRDA that they are able to pay all claims at any point in time.
• The Act broadly contains provisions relating to the:
o Registration of insurers and renewal of registration;
o Manner of investment of premium
o Maintenance of insurers' solvency levels (see 'Be aware' below);
o Appointment of staff;
o Amalgamation and transfer of insurance business;
o Assignment and transfer of insurance business;
o Rural and social sector;
o Control over management;
o Licensing of agents and their commission;
o Prohibition of rebates;
o Power of investigation and inspection by the regulatory authority;
o Protection of policyholders' interests; and
o Constitution of the Insurance Association and Insurance Councils.
• The provisions of this act affect:
o The Agent,
o The insurance company,
o The policyholder and
o Others which include constitution of Insurance associations and insurance councils and
the tariff advisory committee for general insurance.
• Until 1999 the controller of insurance was responsible for administration of Insurance Act 1938. The
controller was replaced by the IRDA.
• Section 40(1) of the act prohibits any form of remuneration for soliciting or procuring insurance in
India to any person other than a licensed insurance agent or an insurance intermediary.
• Section 40 A(1) stipulates the limits on the remuneration or reward by way of commission or
otherwise can be paid by an insurance agent.
• Section 41 B(1) also prescribes the limits for the expenses of management of life insurance
• All insurers have to comply with this section and provide statements in the prescribed format,
certified by an actuary, within a given time limit.
• Section 41(1) says no person shall or allow either directly or indirectly;
o Any rebate of the whole or part or commission payable or
o Any rebate of the premium shown on the policy
o Shall any person taking or renewing or continuing a policy accept any rebate
o Except such rebates as may be allowed in accordance with the published prospectus or
table of Insurer.
• Section 42 of Insurance Act of 1938 stipulates the conditions for issuing a license to a person or a
company to act as an insurance agent for soliciting or procuring insurance business.
• The license is valid for 3 years after which it needs to be renewed.
• The renewal application and fee should reach the IRDA at least 30 days before the license expiry
• A fee applies for duplicate licenses issued when the original has been lost, damaged or destroyed.
• Any person who acts as an insurance agent without holding punishable by a fine.
M 12 : Legislation and Client Advice
• As per Section 44 of the Insurance act 1938, no insurance agent can be refused payment of renewal
commission due to him on renewal premium.
• Even after the termination of agency by the renewal commission is payable, except for fraud,
o The insurance agent has served the insurer continually and exclusively for at least 5
o Policies insuring a total sum of not less than Rs. 50,000 were in force for one year before
his ceasing to act as an agent for the insurer.
o The commission on renewal premiums due to him does not exceed 4%.
o The agent has served the insurer continually and exclusively for at least 10 years.
• In the event of the death of an agent, any commission payable to him under the above points, is
payable to his heirs for as long as such commission would have been payable had he been alive.
Indian Life Assurance Companies Act - 1912
• The first statutory measure in India to regulate life insurance business was introduced in 1912 when
the Indian Life Assurance Companies Act was passed.
• Prior to 1921, there had been no legislation to regulate insurance business in India.
• Premium rate tables and periodical valuations of the companies had to be certified by and Actuary
Life Insurance Corporation Act 1956.
• The Life Insurance Corporation Act 1956 was passed on 19th June 1956 and subsequently the life
insurance corporation was formed on 1st September 1956.
• The Life Insurance Act 1956 was passed to
o Provide the nationalization of insurance business in India by transferring all such
business to LIC of India.
o To regulate and control the business of LIC and other connected matters.
• The Life Insurance Corporation of India was formed in 1956 with the merger of 245 Indian and
foreign insurers in total (154 Indian, 16 non-Indian and 75 provident societies).
• Section 30 of the Act gave the LIC an exclusive privilege to transact life insurance business in India.
• The Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority (IRDA) Act 199 was passed by Parliament in
December 1999. The Act provided for the establishment of the IRDA as a corporate body:
o To protect the interest of holders of insurance policies;
o To regulate, promote and ensure orderly growth of the insurance industry;
o And for other related matters
• As mentioned in section A, The IRDA Act 1999 led to:
o Amendments in the Insurance Act 1938,
o The Life Insurance Corporation Act 1956, and
o The General Insurance Business (Nationalization) Act 1972
• Section 4 of the IRDA Act 1999 specifies the composition of the IRDA and it consists of:
o A chairperson,
o Not more than five whole-time members and
o Not more than four part-time members.
• All the members are appointed by the Government of India. Section 14 of the Act lays down the
duties, powers and functions of the IRDA.
M 12 : Legislation and Client Advice
Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) 2002
• Money laundering is the process of bringing illegal money into the financial system by hiding its
illegal origin so that it appears to be legally acquired.
• Money laundering is the term used to describe the process of turning dirty money into clean money.
• Illegal or 'dirty' money is put through a cycle of transactions so that it comes out 'washed' at the other
end as 'legal' or 'clean' money.
• There are three common stages of money laundering:
o Placement: Involves the physical placing of cash obtained from illegal sources.
o Layering: Separating illicit proceeds from their source by creating complex layers of
financial transactions.
o Integration: Creating the impression of an apparent legitimate explanation for the illegal
• This act came into effect from 1 July, 2005 to control money laundering activities as well as to
combat the financing of terrorism.
• Guidelines on anti-money laundering (AML) for insurance companies were issued on 31st March,
2006 which requires all insurers to establish an anti-money laundering program.
• Each company is required to have an AML policy and accordingly file copy with the IRDA.
• The IRDA made it mandatory for all life insurance companies to follow the AML guidelines from
1 August, 2006.
• Compliance with the PMLA is applicable to all financial institutions regulated by:
o The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) - the banking regulator,
o The Securities Exchange Board of India (SEBI) - the capital markets regulator,
o The Insurance Regulatory Development Authority (IRDA) - the insurance regulator and
o All other financial intermediaries.
• The guidelines require every insurer to have an AML program which at a minimum should include:
o Internal policies, procedures and controls;
o The appointment of a principal compliance officer;
o Recruitment and training of insurance agents/employees on AML measures;
o Internal audit/control.
• You should be aware that the following points must be adhered to in respect of the AML guidelines
while conducting your business. Know your customer (KYC).
• Insurance need to determine the true identity of their customers, and agents have a major role to
play in this.
• Agents should make sure that their clients submit the necessary identity and address proofs.
• KYC needs to be carried out at all stages - issue of policy, top-ups and at the time of claim payment.
• Individuals whose identity and source of funds can be easily identified are categorized as low risk
• These are the categories of Low-Risk customers:
o Salaried Employees
o Government Employees
• These are the categories of high risk customers:
o High net worth individuals (HNIs)
o Politically exposed persons (PEPs)
o Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs)
M 12 : Legislation and Client Advice
o Non-resident Indians (NRIs)
o Money Changers
o Arms and Explosive dealers
o Persons dealing with Real Estate
o Antique Dealers
• Insurance agents must be very careful while dealing with high-risk customers.
• Agents need to make sure proper screening of such people is carried out.
• All KYC and AML requirements have to be adhered to while dealing with these clients.
• The customer's source of funds and their estimated net worth needs to be verified and properly
• To ensure that the premiums are being paid out of a legitimate source of funds, payment of premium
by cash cannot exceed Rs. 50,000.
• Premiums of Rs. 50,000 and above can be paid only by cheque, demand draft, credit card or any
other banking channels.
• The services of the defaulting agents who expose insurer to AML - related risks on multiple
occasions should be terminated and details are to be reported to the IRDA.
• If faced with a non-complaint agent, the insurance company must all necessary actions to secure
compliance. This can include terminations of the business relation with the agent.
Married Women's Property (MWP) Act 1874
• Section 6 of this act provides that a life insurance policy that has been taken out by a married man on
his own life, for the benefit of his wife and children, shall be deemed to be a trust and will be outside
the control of the life insured, his creditors, court attachment etc.
• A trust is a legal agreement, which has three parties associated with it -
o A trustor,
o A trustee and
o A beneficiary.
• A trustee must be a major (18 years and above) and their consent to act as a trustee should be taken
and added to the policy s an endorsement.
• The trustor, or the author of the trust, is the person who forms the trust.
• The trustee can either be a person or an entity who/which is responsible for managing the assets,
the ownership of which is entrusted to them as a 'trust' by the truster.
• The beneficiary is an individual/entity who receives the benefits from the trust.
• The proposer can appoint:
o A person as a trustee;
o Two or more persons as trustees;
o A corporate trustee, such as a bank transacting trustee business.
• If a trustee is not appointed or not existing, Official Trustees will be appointed by a competent
Government Authority.
• The beneficiaries of a life insurance policy affected by the MWP Act can be:
o The wife alone;
o One or more children; or
o The wife and one or more children jointly.
• Insurance under the MWP Act is free from:
o Court attchments,
o Tax attachments; and
o Creditors.
M 12 : Legislation and Client Advice
• The policy cannot be amended or surrendered.
• The policy must be on his own life.
• The proposer should be a married, divorced or widowed man. Only his wife and children can be
• Each policy will remain a separate trust.
• When a claim arises, the policy monies will be paid to the trustees according to the policy.
• The trustees hold the policy money for the beneficiaries.
• It should not have been formed to defraud creditors.
• Two or more trustees can be appointed.
• Nomination and assignment are not allowed.
Other key legislation
• Redressal of Public Grievance Rules 1998.
• The Governing Body of Insurance Council (GBIC) was established under the Redressal of Public
Grievances rules 1998 (RPG rules 1998) to set up and facilitate the Institution of Insurance
Ombudsman in India.
• The representative should be either the Chairman or Managing Director or a Director of the
• The RPG rules contain provisions regarding:
o The appointment and office term for the Insurance Ombudsman;
o Stipulations in respect of staffing and administration of the Ombudsman centre;
o The powers of Ombudsman; and
o The manner of lodging complaints and disposing of complaints by the Ombudsman either
by way of 'Recommendation' or 'award'.
• Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority (Insurance Advertisement and Disclosure)
Regulations 2000.
• The IRDA (Insurance Advertisement and Disclosures) Regulations 2000 define 'insurance
advertisement' as:
o Any communication directly or indirectly related to a policy and intended to result in the
eventual sale or solicitation of a policy from members of the public.
o It includes all forms of printed and published materials or any material using the print
and/or electronic medium for public communication.
• Unfair or misleading advertisement includes any advertisements that:
o Fail to be identified as an insurance product;
o Make claims beyond the ability of the policy; or
o Describe such benefits that do not match policy provisions
• An advertisement by an insurance agent that affects an insurer must, before it is issued, be prior
approved by the insurer in writing.
• The insurer needs to ensure that the advertisement is not deceptive or misleading before granting
such approval.
• An agent is not required to obtain the prior approval of the insurer before placing an advertisement if
the advertisement:
o Has been developed by the insurer itself and is provided to its agents;
o Is generic and information is limited to the agent's name, logo, address and phone
number; or
o Contains only statements that mention the experience, service and qualifications of the
agent and makes no reference to specific policies, benefits or costs.
M 12 : Legislation and Client Advice
• Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority (Manner of Receipt of Premium) Regulations
• These Regulations define the manner in which premium can be paid by a policyholder for
purchasing an insurance policy as follows:
o Cash;
o Any negotiable instrument such as cheque, demand draft, pay orders, bankers cheque
drawn on and scheduled bank in India
o Postal money orders;
o Credit or debit card held in the policyholder's name;
o Bank guarantee or cash deposits;
o Internet;
o E-transfer;
o Direct credit, via standing instructions of the proposer or the policyholder or the life
insured through bank
o Transfers;
• Except where the premium has been paid in cash, the risk will commence only after receipt of the
premium by the insurer.
• Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority (Licensing of Corporate Agents) Regulations
o In October 2002 the IRDA issued a notification under the IRDA (Licensing of Corporate
Agents) Regulations 2002.
o The Regulations deal with the issue of licensing and other matters related to corporate
agents such as companies, firms, banks, co-operative societies etc.
o The Corporate Agents are not individuals and can still become agents.
Foreign Exchange Management (Insurance) Regulations 2000
• These Regulations prohibit resident Indians from taking out life/general insurance policies issued by
an insurer outside India.
Foreign Exchange Management (Insurance) Regulations 2000 - Life Insurance Memorandum (LIM)
• This sets out exchange control regulations that govern issues relating to the issue of
o Life insurance policies in Rupees and in foreign currencies to non-residents;
o Collection of premium;
o Settlement of claims; and
o Other related matters.
Issue of policy and collection of premium
• In the case of resident individuals with Indian nationality, life insurance policies can be issued in
foreign currency.
• In the case of non-residents, life insurance policies denominated in foreign currency by insurers,
provided that the premium is collected in foreign currency from abroad.
83 Claim settlement
• In cases where the claimant is a resident outside India, for rupee life insurance policies, payment in
foreign currency will only be in proportion to the amount of premium paid in foreign currency
M 12 : Legislation and Client Advice
• In the case of non-resident beneficiaries, settlement in foreign currency can be made in their
NRE/FCNR account.
Commission to overseas agents
• Commission by insurance companies can be paid to their
o Under this Act, a consumer, as an individual, can approach the various forums prescribed
under the Act for redressal if they are not satisfied with the goods or service provided.
o COPA applies to the insurance industry as well.
o Policy holders have the right to seek redress against unfair trade practices or
unsatisfactory service from insurers and from agents.
o The majority of disputes relating to insurance arise out of repudiation and delays in
o Consumer dispute redressal forums are established in each district and for each State.
o The forum at the district level will hear complaints up to the value of Rs. 20,00,000.
o The forum at the State level will hear complaints up to the value of Rs. 1,00,00,000.
o The National Commission will attend to matters beyond the jurisdiction of the State
forums and also appeals against the decisions of a State forum.
• The following are basic consumer rights:
• Right to Protection against marketing goods & services.
• Right to Information.
• Right to be Safe.
• Right to Choose.
• Right to be heard.
• Right to Seek Redressal.
• Right to Consumer Education.
M 13 : Regulation and Client Advice
The role of Government
• Power of the Central Government ti supersede the IRDA
• The IRDA Act 1999 gives the Central Government of India the power to supersede the IRDA by
issuing a notification if:
o IRDA is unable to discharge its functions or duties
o It has persistently defaulted on its duties and responsibilities
o Circumstances exist which render action necessary in the public interest.
• Relationship of the Central Government with the IRDA
• Role of the Government in the growth of the industry
o Under prevailing Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) laws for insurance domestic private
companies are allowed to form joint ventures (JVs) with foreign partners, in which the
foreign partner can hod a 26% stake.
o Income Tax Incentives : The Government offers various tax incentives to encourage
people to invest in insurance.
Key Indian and International Insurance bodies
• Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority (IRDA) was incorporated as a statutory body in
April 2000.
• Life Insurance Council (LI Council)
o Was constituted under section 64A of the Insurance Act 1938.
o Functions through the Executive Committee and several sub-committees, and includes
all life insurance companies in India.
o Develops & coordinates all discussions on behalf of the industry with the Government, the
IRDA and the public.
o The functions of the Life Insurance Council are as follows:
• Maintaining High Standards of Ethics & Governance
• Creating a Positive Image of the Industry
• Promoting awareness of the role & benefits of life insurance
• Organizing Structured & proactive meetings with Government, Lawmakers &
• Conducting Research & contribution to Life Insurance sector's development
Rules for carrying out the provisions of the Act
Directions on questions of policy
Annual statement of accounts
Returns, statements and particulars on
M 13 : Regulation and Client Advice
• Forum for interaction with other organizations in the financial services sector
• Insurance Education, training & conferences
• Help and Guidance to members when necessary
• Active Link between Indian & Global Life Insurance markets
• General Insurance Council (GI Council)
o Represents the collective interests of the general (non-life) insurance companies in India
• Insurance Brokers Association of India (IBAI)
o IRDA recognised apex body for all licensed insurance brokers in India.
o Represents insurance buyer, although the broker is remunerated by the insurance
o There is no additional cost to the policy holder for placing business through an insurance
• Institute of Actuaries of India (IAI)
o Formally the Actuarial Society of India - ASI, was formed in 1944 and was registered as a
member of the International Actuarial Association in 1979.
o An actuary is an expert who applies mathematical and statistical methods for assessing
the risk associated with certain events in insurance.
o All Actuaries should be fellows of the IAI.
• Tariff Advisory Committee (TAC)
o Established by section 64U of the Insurance Act 1938 to control.
o Regulate rates, advantages, terms and conditions offered by insurers in respect of
general insurance business.
o De-tariffication is the process of freeing pricing of insurance product prices can be
determined on the basis of their risk assessment and as driven by the market.
• Insurance Institute of India (III)
o Was formed in 1955 as the Federation of Insurance Institutes, becoming the III in 1987 to
promote insurance education & training in India.
• National Insurance Academy (NIA)
o Set up in 1980 by the Government with support from LI Council, GI Council and the four
PSU general insurers.
o Main objective: design, implement and operate an insurance training architecture that will
engage the trainees in assisted learning, research, management and communications.
• Chartered Insurance Institute (CII)
o Was formed in UK with members in more than 150 countries.
o Largest insurance & financial services professional in world.
o Works with local regulators, educational partners and industry organizations to improve
the professionalism.
Duties, powers and functions of the IRDA and other regulators
• Duties power and functions of IRDA
o Issues certificate of registration and renew, modify, withdraw, suspend or cancel such
o Protect interests of policy holders in matters concerning assignment, nomination of
policies, insurable interest, claim settlement, surrender value, and other terms and
conditions of insurance contract.
o Specify requisite qualifications, code of conduct and practical training for intermediaries.
o Code of conduct for surveyors and loss assessors.
o Promote efficiency in insurance business conduct.
o Promote & regulate professional organisations connected with insurance and
reinsurance business.
M 13 : Regulation and Client Advice
o Specify the percentage of premium income to come for insurance companies to finance
schemes for promoting and regulating professional organisations referred to in clause F.
o Levy fees and charges for carrying out the purposes of this act.
o Call for information on, undertake inspection of, conduct enquiries in, investigate and
audit insurance company's intermediaries and other organisations connected with the
insurance business.
o Control and regulate rates advantages, terms and conditions that may be offered by
insurers for general insurance business that is not controlled and regulated by tariff
advisory committee (see 64U of the Insurance Act 1938).
o Specify form and manner for maintenance of books and statement of accounts by
insurance companies and intermediaries.
o Regulate investment of funds by insurers.
o Regulate maintenance of solvency margin by each insurer as required by law.
o Adjudicate in disputes between insurers and intermediaries.
o Supervise functioning of tariff advisory committee.
o Specify percentage of life and general insurance business to be undertaken by the
insurer in the rural and social sector.
o Exercise such other powers as may be prescribed.
• Reserve Bank of India (RBI) - The RBI is the regulator, supervisor and monetary authority of the
financial system in India.
• Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) - The SEBI is the regulator for the securities market
in India and protects the interests of all investors in the securities market.
IRDA (Licensing of Insurance Agents) Regulations 2000
• Becoming an Agent: Steps
• Qualification: An applicant living in a place
that has a population of 5,000 or more as
per the last census: A minimum 12th
standard pas or an equivalent examination
provided by any recognized board or
• An applicant living anywhere else: A
minimum 10th standard pass or - An
equivalent examination provided by any
recognized board or institution.
• Practical training: The applicant needs to
have completed at least 50 hours of
practical training in the life insurance by an
approved institution. (75 hours in case of a
composite agency)
• Renewal of license: The applicant needs
to have completed at least 25 hours of
practical training in life insurance business
from an approved institution as specified in
Regulation 5(3).
• Cancellation of license: The designated
person may cancel the license of an
insurance agent if the agent suffers from
any of the disqualifications mentioned in
sub-section (4) of section 42 of the Act
Practical Training (Regulation 5)
Application form (Regulation 3) & fee (Regulation 7)
Becoming an agent
Qualification (Regulation 4)
Examination (Regulation 6)
Licensed Agent
M 14 : Customer Protection
Importance of Customer Protections
• Customer protection in the insurance industry is important due to low financial literacy levels and
because insurance is still not understood by the masses.
• Customer protection measurers plays important role in safeguarding customer's interests in case of
problem with agent or insurance company.
• In India, many people having insurance cover have complaints, which resulted in legal disputes.
This trend is detrimental to customers, individual agents and insurers and to the overall growth of the
insurance industry.
• An informed and satisfied customer is a brand ambassador for the industry. Therefore, it is in the
interests of all industry stakeholders to protect the customer.
• The agent should make sure that he gives all possible product information and makes proper
disclosures at the time of fact-finding so that there is no scope for potential future grievances.
• If after buying a policy, a customer still has a grievance then the agent should guide the customer in a
proper manner through the appropriate channel.
• Low customer protection leads to high levels of dissatisfaction which is detrimental to the growth of
the entire insurance industry as a whole.
• Transparency in transactions during the entire life of the policy ensures fair treatment to the
IRDA (Protection of Policyholders' Interests) Regulations 2002
• In October 2002 the IRDA, in consultation with the Insurance Advisory Committee, issued the
Regulations for the protection of policyholders' interests'.
• Point of sale: A prospectus of any insurance product will clearly state:
o The scope of benefits;
o The extent of insurance cover;
o The exceptions and conditions of the insurance cover in a straightforward manner;
o Whether the product is participating (with-profits) or non-participating (without-profits);
o The premium on all the riders relating to health or critical illness, in the case of term or
group products, shall not exceed 100% of the premium of the main policy;
o That the allowable rider or riders on the product will be clearly spelt out with regard to their
scope of benefits, and under no circumstance will the premium relatable to all the other
riders put together exceed 30% of the premium of the main product; and
o The benefits arising under each of the riders shall not exceed the sum insured under the
basic product.
• In the process of a sale, the insurer or its agent or any intermediary shall act according to the code of
conduct prescribed by:
o The Authority
o The Life Insurance Council
o The recognized professional body or association of which the agent is a member.
• When the proposal is not completed by the potential client, a certificate may be attached declaring
that the contents of the form and documents have been fully explained to them and that they have
fully understood the significance of the proposed contract.
• The reason for low penetration of Life Insurance in India (less than 10%) is that many people still do
not appreciate the importance of having an insurance cover and prefer to live with the risk.
M 14 : Customer Protection
Proposal for Insurance
• A proposal for the grant of Insurance cover must be evidenced by a written contract.
• It is the duty of the Insurer to provide a complimentary copy of the proposal within 30 days of the
acceptance of the proposal.
• Forms and documents used in the grant of cover may be made available in languages recognized
under the constitution of India.
• The insurer needs to process the proposal with speed and all decisions shall be communicated in
writing within 15 days from the receipt of proposal.
• The insurance company should encourage the proposer to use nomination facility where ever
• In filling out the proposal, the client is to be guided by the provisions of section 45 (indisputability
clause) of the Insurance Act 1938.
• Matters to be stated in a life insurance policy
o The Regulations specify exactly what should be clearly stated in the policy.
o A life insurance policy will clearly state the policy requirements for
• Conversion of a policy into a paid-up policy
• Surrender
• Non-forfeiture
• Policy revival
• Along with the policy document the insurer should also include information on how to contact the
Insurance Ombudsman.
• Free Look period/Cooling off period: The insurer has an option to return the policy within 15 days of
receipt if he disagrees with any of the terms and conditions and get a refund of the premium paid.
• The refund of premium would exclude the proportionate premium for risk cover for interim period,
medical examination expense and stamp duty charges.
Servicing the policyholders
• A Life Insurer must respond within 10 days of receipt of any policyholder's communication in all
matters like:
o Registering a claim
o Assignment and nominations
o Loan processing
o Endorsement changes
o Status of bonus and surrender value
o Change in address
o Duplicate policy request
o Other Requests: Premium notice, revival, premium options
• Lack of transparency and disclosure from agent would:
o Would lead to loss of repeat business and reference
o Deprive of word of mouth publicity
o Lead to lapse of policies affecting agent's continuous income and confidence
• An agent should always place customer's interest above everything else

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