In order to encourage intermediaries and insurance company to appoint point of sale persons (POSPs), IRDAI has done with the requirement of passing the National Institute of Electronics and Information Technology (NIELIT) exam to become POSPs.
In a circular, IRDAI stated, “The competent authority has decided to dispense with the condition of training from and passing of the NIELIT examination.”
Instead, the insurance regulator has devised a new syllabus and training program for such sales representatives.
PoSPs are required to complete online training and pass an examination. IRDAI said that an insurer or intermediary has to conduct an in-house training of 15 hours for the candidate and thereafter conduct an exam.
Last year, IRDAI had allowed insurance companies and insurance intermediaries like agents, brokers and insurance marketing firms to appoint their sales representatives i.e. POPs across the country to solicit insurance policies. According to the guidelines, agents can appoint a matriculate as their sales representative to solicit insurance policies anywhere in India.
Insurance companies or agents have to bear expenses incurred on this exercise. PoSPs are allowed to distribute plain vanilla non-life products having standardized features. These products are typically pre-underwritten, covering segments like motor insurance - both comprehensive and third party, personal accident policy, travel insurance, home insurance, health insurance and other policies notified by IRDAI. Pre-underwritten policies are like social security schemes having pre-defined coverage, risks and premium.
The circular also includes the model syllabus for training. It consists of four modules covering various aspects of the insurance distribution business. It also includes the code of conduct and principles to be followed in the insurance industry.
Experts say that this new distribution channel could be a cost effective way to grow business. It can help agents expand their distribution footprint across the country, thereby helping increase insurance penetration in India.