ns ran e in ndia      13.9
            on various relevant issues in the sector.
                                                          new reform initiatives
            The IRDA is also co-ordinating with
            and supporting insurance industry          With a view to removing archaic and redundant
            initiatives in standardising certain key   provisions in the insurance laws, empowering the
            terminology used in health insurance       Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority
            documents, for better comprehension        (IRDA) to enable more effective regulation, and
            and in the interest of policyholders. The  enhancing the foreign equity investment cap in an
            General Insurance Council, comprising      Indian insurance company with the safeguard of
                                                       Indian ownership and control, the government has
            all non-life insurers, evolved a consensus
                                                       implemented the Insurance Laws (Ammendment)
            on a uniform definition of ‘pre-existing
                                                       Act, 2015.
            diseases’ and its exclusion wording, which
                                                            The Act paved the way for major reform
            has earlier been an expression with many
                                                       related amendments in the Insurance Act, 1938,
            definitions, still more interpretations,
                                                       the General Insurance Business (Nationalization)
            and certainly a whole lot of grievances.
                                                       Act, 1972 and the Insurance Regulatory and
            Such standardisation, effective 1 June,    Development Authority (IRDA) Act, 1999. It
            2008 will help the insured by minimising   provides greater powers to the IRDAI by which
            ambiguity and also by better comparability the insurance regulatory framework is supposed
            of health insurance products. Also, with   to become more flexibile, effective and efficient.
            effect from 1 October, 2011, portability   Major changes as per the Act are given below:
            in health insurance has been started            (i) Promotion of Foreign Investment: In an
            in which an insured, if not happy with              Indian Insurance Company increased
            services or the product of the existing             from to 49 per cent (from 26 per cent)
            insurer, can change to another insurer              with the safeguard of Indian ownership
            whilst enjoying the benefits (especially            and control.
            that of pre-existing diseases) of her/his              Greater availability of capital for the
            existing policy.                                    capital intensive insurance sector would
       (ii) Micro Insurance: Micro insurance                    lead to greater distribution reach to
            regulations issued by the IRDA have                 under/un-served areas, more innovative
                                                                product formulations to meet diverse
            provided a fillip to propagating micro
                                                                insurance needs of citizens, efficient
            insurance as a conceptual issue. With the
                                                                service delivery through improved
            positive and facilitative approach adopted
                                                                distribution technology and enhanced
            under the micro insurance regulations, it           customer service standards.
            is expected that all insurance companies
                                                           (ii) Capital Requirement in Government
            would come out with a progressive
                                                                Companies: The public sector general
            business approach and carry forward the             insurance companies (four), presently
            spirit of regulations thereby extending             required as per the General Insurance
            insurance penetration to all segments of            Business (Nationalisation) Act, 1972 to
            the society. Presently, there are 10,482            be 100 per cent government owned, are
            micro–insurance agents operating in the             now allowed to raise capital. This will
            micro–insurance sector.                             enable them to have additional capital