Prelims level : Economy – Misc Mains level : GS III Indian Economy and issues relating to planning, mobilization of resources, growth, development and employment.
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  • A public disclosure norm requiring all general insurers, health insurers, specialised insurers and reinsurers, including branches of foreign reinsurers, to share information at specified intervals about their financials and performance, is on the cards.
  • The Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India (IRDAI) issued an exposure draft detailing the proposed norms, and proposed the implementation from 2019-20.

The Check and Balance:

  • The norms require the insurers to share information about revenue, profit and loss account and balance sheet, as well as provide segmental reporting and schedules to accounts.
  • Stating that one of the objectives of the norms was to ensure safety of policyholders, IRDAI said the International Association of Insurance Supervisors had recognised that the insurers had an equal, if not, greater responsibility towards the policyholders than their duty towards investors.

History of Insurance

  • The technique of pooling of resources to be re-distributed in times of calamities and emergencies like fire, floods, famine and epidemics is not new in India.
  • This    concept    of   insurance    finds   mention   in    the   writings  of   Manu’s  Manusmiriti, Yagnavalkya’s Dharmasastra and Kautilya’s Arthasastra.
  • Insurance records in the form of Marine trade loans and carrier’s contracts exist datingancient times.
  • Over time, the concept of Insurance evolved in India drawing heavily from other countries, particularly England.


  • IRDA is an apex statutory body that regulates and develops insurance industry in India. It was constituted as per provisions of Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority Act, 1999. Its headquarter is in Hyderabad.

Functions of IRDA:

  • Protect the rights of insurance policy holders.
  • Provide registration certification to life insurance companies
  • Renew, modify, cancel or suspend this registration certificate as and when appropriate; promote efficiency in conduct of insurance business
  • Promote and regulate professional organisations connected with insurance and reinsurance business; regulate investment of funds by insurance companies
  • Adjudication of disputes between insurers and intermediaries or insurance intermediaries.
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