COVID-19 had resulted into grave and unsettling consequences. Since March 24, 2020, the Government of India (GOI) has announced complete lockdown in entire nation in order to control the spread of COVID-19. Keeping in mind the aforesaid, the Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority (IRDA) of India has granted several relaxations vide various notifications and circulars.
Relaxations granted by IRDA are mentioned below:
Submission of Final Re-insurance Programme –
In compliance with the regulations, insurers are required to file their respective board approved final re-insurance programme for the financial year 2020-21 by April 30, 2020 along with a synopsis of catastrophe modelling report. The timeline for submission of the board approval re-insurance programme has been extended till May 31, 2020, vide IRDIA circular of March 28, 2020.
Submission of Returns by Insurers –
In view of the Covid-19 pandemic, the IRDAI vide circulars dated April 4, 2020 has granted additional time to all insurers for submission of regulatory returns to be submitted as at March 31, 2020. Fifteen days additional time has been granted for submission of monthly returns and 30 days additional timeline has been granted for submission of quarterly, half-yearly and yearly returns and cyber security audit. The timeline for submission of monthly and quarterly returns for the month of March 2020 by insurers and insurance intermediaries under the relevant regulations has been extended by a period of 15 days.
Rescheduling of Term Loans –
In view of the Covid-19 pandemic, the IRDAI vide circulars dated April 8, 2020 has granted three months moratorium period towards payment of instalments falling due between March 1, 2020 and May 31, 2020. The repayment schedule for such loans and also the residual tenor, will be shifted across the board by three months subsequent to the moratorium period.
Submission of Returns by Insurance Intermediaries –
For the regulatory returns which are required to be filed by insurance intermediaries, IRDAI vide circular dated April 9, 2020 has allowed 30 days additional time for submission of half-yearly and yearly returns and cyber security audit.
In view of the lock-down due to COVID-19 continuing till May 17, 2020, the Authority hereby allows further time till May 31, 2020 for the insurance intermediaries to file their quarterly returns vide notification dated May 13, 2020.
Relaxations for Policy Holders –
IRDAI vide notification dated April 16, 2020 has directed the health insurers to permit the policy holders, whose policies are due to be renewed between March 25, 2020 up to May 3, 2020, to pay the premium for renewal of their respective policy on or before May 15, 2020 and the health insurers have been directed to ensure continuity of health insurance cover from the date on which the policy falls due for renewal.
Similarly, If the motor vehicle third party insurance is due to be renewed during the period from March 25, 2020 up to May 3, 2020, the insurers have been directed to allow the policy holders to pay the premium on or before May 15, 2020 and ensure continuity of the statutory motor vehicle third party insurance cover from the date on which the policy falls due for renewal. (vide notification dated April 16, 2020)
Further vide notification dated May 9, 2020, IRDAI has extended additional grace period for policyholders up to May 31, 2020 for all policies where premium was due in the month of March 2020, as the lockdown has been further extended up to May 17, 2020.
Submission of Quarterly Return –
In continuation of the lockdown further till May 17, 2020; IRDAI vide notification dated May 13, 2020 has granted additional time upto May 31, 2020 for the insurance intermediaries to file their quarterly returns for the quarter ending 31.3.2020.
Extension of timeline for review and updation of stewardship policy –
Considering the present lock down stipulations owing to Covid-19, IRDAI vide notification dated 30 April, 2020 has decided to extend the timelines for the insurers to review and update their existing stewardship policy based on the revised guidelines from May 7, 2020 upto May 31, 2020.
Extension of time limit applicable to Public Disclosures on websites –
In view of the lockdown and restrictions imposed to contain the spread of the COVID 19 pandemic, the Authority had extended the time limit for ensuring compliance with the directions regarding Public Disclosures on websites by insurers for the period ending March 31, 2020 by 30 days vide notification dated June 04, 2020.