The number of registered insurance marketing firms in India have grown to 219 at present from less than 20 about two years ago, according to data from the IRDAI.
On the other hand, as of April 2018, there were 2,082,000 individual agents with life insurance companies compared to nearly 2,190,000 four years ago, reports DNA citing Life Insurance Council data.
Viewed as a new channel, insurance marketing firms (IMFs) were created to increase insurance penetration in the country by taking insurance to the doorstep of customers. They solicit or procure insurance products, and undertake insurance service activities like undertaking back office functions of insurers. Each IMF is allowed to tie up with two life insurers, two non-life insurers, and two health insurers.
"The insurance marketing firm model allows intermediaries like ex-industry veterans to recruit other agents and sell insurance in a better way. It is early days, and you can expect the insurance marketing headcount to cross 500 in a few years," said the CEO of a private sector life insurer.
The insurers which have clear rules and a streamlined registration process and which provide dedicated channel support will likely emerge as the winners in terms of snapping up good IMFs, said the distribution head of a government-run non-life insurer.
The IRDAI released regulations covering the licensing of IMFs in January 2015.