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IRDAI Lowers Solvency Requirement and Removes Exposure Limit for Surety Bonds

The Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India (IRDAI) has made significant adjustments to the regulations governing surety bonds in response to feedback from insurance stakeholders. These changes aim to enhance the accessibility of surety insurance products and encourage more insurers to participate in servicing the growing demand across various sectors of the economy, particularly the infrastructure sector.

Revised Solvency Requirement

The solvency requirement for surety bonds has been reduced from 1.875 times to 1.5 times. This adjustment is designed to facilitate easier compliance for insurance companies, thereby fostering a more conducive environment for the expansion of the surety insurance market.

Removal of Exposure Limit

Additionally, the previous 30% exposure limit on each contract underwritten by insurers has been lifted. This removal aims to provide insurers with greater flexibility in managing their underwriting portfolios, potentially leading to increased participation in the surety insurance business.

Background and Impact

IRDAI had introduced a framework for the development of surety insurance business in India in January 2022, effective from April 1, 2022. Under this framework, Indian general insurers were permitted to commence surety insurance business provided they maintained a solvency margin of 1.25 times. The current revisions are expected to not only expand the surety insurance market but also bolster liquidity for contractors, offering a substantial boost to the infrastructure sector.

Surety Bonds in Brief

Surety bonds serve as a crucial risk mitigation tool, offering protection against potential financial losses arising from breaches of contract or non-performance. They involve one party (the surety) guaranteeing the obligations of another party (the principal) to a third party. This insurance product plays a vital role in ensuring the integrity, quality, and adherence to contractual terms, thereby facilitating the smooth execution of projects, especially within the infrastructure domain.

IRDAI Lowers Solvency Requirement and Removes Exposure Limit for Surety Bonds_4.1