Insurance regulator IRDA today permitted agents of general insurance companies to sell mediclaim products of standalone health insurance companies to help increase the penetration of such products in public.
"In order to encourage penetration of health insurance and to spread the message of health insurance across the country, it has also been decided to allow Standalone health insurance companies to avail the services of agents, corporate agents of other life or non-life insurance companies to distribute their products provided such agents," IRDA said in a statement.
Such agents, however, need to undergo 25 hours training, it said.
IRDA added meanwhile that in terms of this permission, any agent cannot offer his/her services to more than one Standalone Health Insurance Company.
"The authority had recognised that health insurance cover is the necessity of the Indian public and hence proposed the same as a separate class of business while granting registration to some insurers to act as Standalone Health Insurance Companies to provide only health insurance products," it said.
It is observed that currently the Standalone Health Insurance Companies can utilise the services of Life Insurance Agents after converting them into composite agents, which calls for completion of Certification by them, it said.
It has been decided to waive mandated certification for Life Insurance Agents desiring to distribute products of a Standalone Health Insurance Company, the regulator said.
However, it said, the standalone health insurers desirous of converting life insurance agents into composite agents to sell their products, should do so after making such agents undergo an internal training programme on health insurance.
The training should cover the basics of health insurance, health insurance terminology, and products for a minimum period of 25 hours.
It added: "Further, it is clarified that such composite agents shall not be allowed to transfer general part of their license to other non-life insurance company without completing certification."