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IRDAI to Introduce ‘Bima Vahaks’ to Expand Insurance Force

To enhance the insurance force in India, the Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India (IRDAI) will soon introduce “Bima Vahaks” in each gram panchayat. Each Gram Panchayat will have a ‘Bima Vahak’ who would be tasked to sell and service simple parametric bundled insurance products, Bima Vistar, covering health, property, life and personal accident.

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Need of This:

  • There is a large section of the population which is missing the facilities of financial aid and insurance. About 30 per cent of the eligible population, the ‘missing middle‘, are deprived of health insurance solutions.
  • 50 per cent of vehicles are uninsured, and the coverage of property insurance is minuscule. The MSMEs are not adequately covered. This huge protection gap needs to be bridged.
  • The development of the insurance sector is not complete without reach to all sections to the population, the exclusion of those in the bottom of the pyramid and targeting the upper-income strata would result in development objectives going askew in the long run.

The Further Development:

The insurance companies have adopted a state each and with the help of state governments are looking to develop state-level insurance plans. Much like what has been done in the banks.

There’s arguably a case for having differentiated operations which cater to niche sectors, the same way we have NBFCs and microfinance institutes in lending.

There is a big protection gap in the country, and it was an “urgent need” for insurance companies and caregivers to collaborate and ensure wider coverage.

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