In a bid to increase the penetration of life insurance in the country, the IRDAI is allowing point of sales (PoS) persons to distribute micro life insurance plans.
In a circular, the IRDAI says that the micro life insurance plans would be plain vanilla products wherein each benefit is pre-defined and disclosed clearly at the time of sale. The products can be pure term insurance products with or without return of premium, non-linked non- participating endowment products (survival benefit feature also allowed), immediate annuity products and non-linked non-par health insurance with fixed benefits, among others.
The insurance regulator said that the turnaround time for issuance of policy/acceptance of risk and communication of acceptance or otherwise to the customer of such policy should not be more than four working days from the date of collection of proposal at the point of sale.
If the proposal is not accepted, payment should be refunded to the proposer within seven days from the date of decision.
The circular also says that any life insurer or insurance intermediary that intends to engage PoS persons to sell life insurance must provide at least 15 hours of training, conduct an examination as well as issue a certificate to the candidate who passes the examination.
In 2015, the IRDAI created the position of PoS person as a new type of insurance distributor, who travels the last mile to reach customers, particularly in rural areas. As these persons have lower qualifications and training thresholds, compared to other insurance distributors such as agents, brokers and corporate agents, they are authorised to sell only basic insurance products, which do not require a lot of underwriting expertise. PoS persons can be engaged either directly by insurers or by intermediaries such as corporate agents and insurance brokers.