IRDAI Clears Different Licences To New Players

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Insurance regulator IRDAI has cleared different levels of licences to a host of new players in the insurance industry in non-life and reinsurance spaces in its recently held board meeting.

However, not a single licence was cleared by the insurance regulator for any player on life space as it didn’t receive any such application this time.

Insurance and reinsurance companies promoted by billionaire investors like Warren Buffet and Narayana Murthy have been given regulatory clearances by the Irdai for their Indian foray, industry sources told PTI here today.

Gen Re, one of the reinsurance multinational companies, promoted by Warren Buffet has received second level of regulatory clearances or R2, while Acko General Insurance, a domestic firm backed by InfosysBSE 0.84 % founder NR Narayana Murthy, has received preliminary licence to set up their operations in the country, the sources added.

Irdai in its board meeting held on March 3 has cleared different level of regulatory clearances to the new companies intending to enter country’s insurance industry.

Domestic firms like Dewan and EdelweissBSE 0.07 % have also been given second level of regulatory clearances or R2. However, they will be able to kick off their operations in the country on receiving the final approval or R3 licence only.

However, not a single licence was cleared by the insurance regulator on life insurance space for a simple reason that it didn’t receive any such application from the industry which was not only having a long gestation period, but also huge capital-intensive one.

Buffet’s Gen Re is likely to join other global top re insurers like Munich Re, Swiss Re, Lloyd’s, SCOR, RGA and XL Catlin to kickstart its direct operations in the country in form of a branch.

Gen Re has an exposure for the Indian market in terms of life and health business on an offshore basis and has service company in the country since 2006.

The global re insurer is expecting to receive the final regulatory licence-R3-soon and is eyeing for April 1 renewal for starting its business.

Acko General Insurance was registered on November 3. Three directors were mentioned by the company in a filing at the Ministry of Corporate Affairs, including Varun Dua, Ruchi Deepak and Deepak Angrula.

Irdai has also given its preliminary licence to Fairfax for its second joint venture with another Indian company, Oben Insurance with some rider.

At present, there are 24 players on the life insurance space which include LIC and 30 players on the non-life insurance space which include four state-owned, two specialised and six stand-alone health insurers.

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