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IRDAI Approves ‘Amazon-like’ Intermediary For Selling Insurance Products: Benefits and Concerns

‘Bima Sugam’ program for insuarance policies looks to lessen companies’ expenses on brokers and agents

The Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India (IRDAI) has given its approval to Bima Sugam, an online 'insurance-selling' platform, CNBC18 reported. The insurance companies have been asked to operationalise it by January 2023. It seeks to eliminate the commissions charged by agents and brokers while selling insurance products. What is Bima Sugam?  Although Medianama could not find any official document detailing the role of Bima Sugam, sources told CNBC18 how the platform will work. The digital platform will act as an 'intermediary' where all insurance products will be listed (including but not limited to life and health insurance). It will also be responsible for the sale, servicing and claims of the listed insurance products, the show's host Yash Jain said. How Bima Sugam will be different from Policybazaar The IRDAI-backed platform will not only sell insurance to individuals but also to other aggregators (like Policybaazar), brokers and agents, who can then sell to consumers. Aggregators and brokers will act as "facilitators" or a "bridge" in selling insurance policies to individuals, CNBC18 said in its report. From the initial bits of information, it seems like, Bima Sugam will allow third parties like Policybazaar and insurance agents to buy products from them and sell to customers. It's not clear how the middlemen like Policybaazar and insurance agents will make a profit once this platform comes into play. Will Bima Sugam be owned by the government? It is likely to be a mix of private and government funding. According to CNBC18, the…

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I cover privacy, surveillance and tech policy. In my reporting, I try my best to present the most relevant facts, and sometimes add in a pinch of my thoughts.

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