insurance companies – foreign investment

Insurance Regulatory Development Authority (IRDA) has made few changes to the Indian Insurance Companies (Foreign Investment) Rules, 2015. Some of the salient features are enumerated below.

Rule 4 has been amended: Rule 4 hitherto said “

An Indian Insurance Company shall ensure that its ownership and control shall remain at all
times in the hands of resident Indian entities

Now the amended version reads as follows:

“4. (1) In an Indian Insurance Company having foreign investment,—
(a) a majority of its directors,
(b) a majority of its Key Management Persons, and
(c) at least one among the chairperson of its Board, its managing director and its Chief Executive Officer, shall be Resident Indian Citizens.
Explanation.—For the purposes of this rule and rule 9, the expression “Key Management Person” shall have the same meaning as assigned to it in guidelines made by the Authority on corporate governance for insurers in India.
(2) Every Indian Insurance Company having foreign investment, existing on or before the date of commencement of the Indian Insurance Companies (Foreign Investment) Amendment Rules, 2021, shall within one year from such commencement, comply with the requirements of the provisions of sub-rule (1).
4A. In an Indian Insurance Company having foreign investment exceeding forty-nine per cent.,—
(a) for a financial year for which dividend is paid on equity shares and for which at any time the solvency margin is less than 1.2 times the control level of solvency, not less than fifty per cent. of the net profit for the financial year shall be retained in general reserve; and
(b) not less than fifty per cent. of its directors shall be independent directors, unless the chairperson of its Board is an independent director, in which case at least one-third of its Board shall comprise of independent directors

Rule 5 which presently allowed FDI proposals in the insurance sector under automatic route upto 49% has been amended to provide for automatic approvals upto 74%.

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