India’s Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority (IRDA) reportedly has proposed in a draft set of Micro Insurance Regulations that propose shop owners should be allowed to sell microinsurance in order to increase the usage of insurance. IRDA recommends that owners of kirana shops, fair price shops, medical shops, petrol pumps and telephone kiosks should be able to become microinsurance agents.
Currently, microinsurance agents include non-governmental organizations (NGOs), microfinance institutions (MFIs), self help groups (SHGs) and certain banks. The draft reportedly reads, “Since, these individuals have a physical presence and standing in these specific market segments as those of the existing Standalone Micro Insurance Agents, it is considered that they stand on similar footing along with standalone micro insurance agents.” The full text of the draft is not available.
By Jaime Fellers, Research Associate
About Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority (IRDA):
IRDA is the agency in charge of regulating the insurance industry in India. It was formed by the Indian Parliament in 1999, and its mission is “to protect the interests of the policyholders, to regulate, promote and ensure orderly growth of the insurance industry and for matters connected therewith or incidental thereto.”
Sources and Additional Resources:
Deccan Herald: “Irda wants kirana shops, chemists to sell micro-insurance”, http://www.deccanherald.com/content/267453/irda-wants-kirana-shops-chemists.html
MicroCapital Universe Profile: Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority
MicroCapital Article: “MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Future Generali India Introduces Microinsurance for Rural Businesses”, by Webster Hughes, July 30,2012,
MicroCapital Article: “MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: SKS Microfinance of India to Offer Life Insurance”, by Brett Cohen, June 4, 2012,
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