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An Overview Insurance Marketing Firm

Insurance Marketing Firm aka IMF refers to the new distribution channel authorized by IRDAI. The launch of the IMF was recommended by the Govardhan Committee report in 2017, which enables applicants to become IMF as per the underlying norms and have various tie-ups with insurers. In 2015, the IRDAI rolled out the norms concerning the registration of IMFs.

Services offered by the Insurance Marketing Firm

An Insurance Marketing Firm essentially facilitates the given categories of services:

Procuring and Soliciting insurance policies

According to the IRDA norms, an IMF reserves the right to procure and solicit insurance services. IMF can engage with as many insurers as it wants. As a marketing firm, the IMF can serve as an intermediary or broker of insurance products.

Facilitating Insurance Services

IMFs can team up with Insurance repositories, registered surveyors, loss assessors, TPAs, etc. This strategic partnership can help them serve areas such as:

  • Rendering assistance to back-office operations as per the IRDA norms
  • Acting as a certified agent for insurance repositories
  • Teaming up with surveyors and loss assessors to perform undertakings like loss assessment, credit analysis, etc.
  • Rendering services as per the IRDA norms

Marketing Financial Products

IMF can also perform the marketing of financial products as per the IRDA norms:

  • Mutual funds offered by the registered companies falling under SEBI.
  • Pension products falling under the ambit of PFRDA;
  • Banking products offered by the RBI-governed NBFCs
  • Non-insurance products falling under the Department of Posts
  • Financial products falling under IRDA

Eligibility Criteria for establishing Insurance marketing firm

The following are the conditions penned down by the IRDA for the establishment of an Insurance Marketing Firm in India:

  • The applicant firm should have a business registration or incorporation certificate.
  • The applicant firm must have a qualified principal officer
  • The applicant firm must have a working professional like Financial Service Executive and Insurance Sales Person
  • The net worth of the applicant firm should be a minimum of Rs 5 lakhs to set up a single branch of IMF. To open various branches, the net worth should not be less than Rs 10 lakhs.
  • The name of the firm should have the term IMF or insurance Marketing Firm.

Documents required to start an Insurance Marketing Firm in India

The listed below is the type of Documents to be arranged by the applicant to set up an IMF in India:

  1. Certificate of incorporation
  2. Charter Documents like Memorandum of Association and Articles of Association
  3. LLP agreement
  4. Qualification and details concerning the principal officer
  5. Qualification and details concerning Financial Service Executive(s)
  6. Qualification and details concerning Insurance Sale Person(s)
  7. Net worth certificate
  8. Bank account statement
  9. Three-year business plan
  10. Details concerning the IMF infrastructure
  11. Undertaking by the principal officer affirming the authenticity of the information and necessary papers provided
  12. Photographs concerning equipment and manpower
  13. Consent letter from the insurance entities that the applicant firm wishes to team up with.

In regards to an insurance firm, IRDA has penned down stringent rules concerning paper works. Therefore, it is vital for the applicant to double-check the accuracy of the paperwork before providing them to the authority.

Registration Process of the Insurance Marketing Firm

The process of securing registration for the Insurance Marketing Firm is as follows:

Step 1: Arrange the required paperwork

No registration process deems complete without apt paperwork. Hence, your first step should be arranging the Document as mentioned above.

Step 2: File the online application

The second step is to file an online application for establishing IMF. To do so, head over to the official government portal and get access to the e-form concerning IMF certification. While filling up the form, make sure to provide legitimate information to avert the likelihood of cancellation.

Step 3: Upload the mandatory Documents

In this step, you would be required to upload the mandatory Document in the format recommended by the authority.

Step 4: Pay the fees and secure the acknowledgment number

Once you are done with the Document uploading, visit the payment gateway to submit the application fee. After successful fee submission, the portal will generate the acknowledgment number that will help with application tracking.

Step 5: Application vetting and grant of certificate

The application will then be vetted by the authority for loopholes. If the authority points out any error, the application will be intimated with the issue to fix it in the given timeline. If no error is found, the authority shall accord the registration certificate.

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Frequently Asked Questions

An Insurance Marketing Firm refers to an IRDA-certified insurance platform that facilitates an assortment of insurance services, including procuring and marketing insurance products.

Insurance regulatory and development authority of India (IRDA)

  • Certificate of incorporation
  • MOA/LLP agreement
  • Qualification details concerning the Financial Service Executive, director, insurance salesperson
  • Net worth certificate
  • IMF infrastructure details
  • Three-year Business Plan
  • Declarations Bank Account Statement
  • IMF examination clearance certificate

Although both work under the ambit of IRDA and provide identical services, an insurance marketing firm can engage with a different line of business.

The applicant firm should have a qualified team comprising a principal officer, Financial Service Executive, and Insurance Sales Person. The second condition is relating the net worth estimation, which should be not less than Rs 5 lakhs for single branch IMF and Rs 10 lakhs for various branches.

The generalized process of registering IMF commences with the arrangement of the mandatory paperwork followed by the application filing and tracking.

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