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What is the difference between ISNP and Insurance Web Aggregator

  • April 02, 2022
  • Registrationwala
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An ISNP  is an online platform that insurance companies and insurance intermediaries use to sell their insurance policies and other related products.

An insurance web aggregator is an online platform that aggregates insurance policies of different companies. Visitors can come to this platform, go through those policies and choose one to purchase as per their requirement.

As you can see, the second paragraph is just an extension of the first. And if you just go by them, you won't find any difference between an Insurance Web aggregator and an ISNP. IRDA has not provided many explanations regarding the factors that differentiate them.

However, this article simplifies. Learn the basic difference between an Insurance Web aggregator and an Insurance Self-Network platform.

Difference between ISNP and Insurance Web aggregator based on governing guidelines

(IRDA) Insurance Regulatory Development Authority of India regulates both the Insurance Self Network Platform and Insurance Web aggregator. It has formulated the guidelines, the terms & conditions, and the registration required to run these respective operations.

However, the regulations that IRDA implements to govern them are separate.

ISNP is governed as per the Guidelines for Insurance E-commerce which were published on 9th March. Their objective is to promote e-commerce in the Insurance space to lower the cost and increase the efficiency of the insurance business.

Dive more in-depth: ISNP 

Insurance web aggregators are under the governance of the Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India (Insurance Web Aggregators) Regulations, 2017. Their objective is to supervise and monitor insurance web aggregators as an insurance intermediary whose task is to establish a website that acts as an interface to the insurance seekers which facilitates them with:

  1. Information about terms and conditions about different insurance policies of different insurance companies, and
  2. A price comparison module so that insurance prospects can choose the policy that fits their requirements.

Find out more: Insurance Web Aggregator

Different Eligibility criteria for ISNP and Insurance Web aggregator

The eligibility criteria to establish an ISNP or Insurance Self Network Platform are as follows:

  • The holder of ISNP registration must already be an insurance intermediary or an insurer.  
  • ISNP registration is not issued on an individual basis. Thus, its holder should either be a company or a cooperative society.
  • The holder of registration must meet the Fit and Proper Criteria.
  • ISNP must only host insurance policies of companies and insurance intermediaries that have the approval of IRDA.

The eligibility criteria to establish an Insurance web aggregator is as follows:

  • Like the ISNP registration, a web aggregator license is also issued on an organizational basis. Thus, the applicant has to be a company with incorporation under the Companies Act.
  • The applicant of the Insurance web aggregator license shouldn't have any prior associations with the Insurance domain in any form. It means that none of the following can become a web aggregator of insurance policies:
    • Insurance Agent
    • Corporate Agent
    • Micro-Insurance Agent
    • Third-Party Administrators
    • Surveyor and Loss Assessor
    • Insurance Marketing firm
    • Insurance broker, and
    • Any other type of Insurance intermediary.
  • No web aggregator can have a referral agreement with an insurance company.
  • The principal officer of the web aggregator must have the requisite qualification.

Observing the points above, you can look at one major difference between the two entities:

Only those who are already an insurance intermediary, agency, or Insurance company can start an Insurance self-network platform.

On the other hand, only those who are NOT an insurance intermediary, agency, or insurance company are eligible to become Insurance web aggregators.

However, an Insurance Web aggregator is itself an Insurance Intermediary.  Does that mean a Web Aggregator can also start an ISNP? If so, what's the point?

It's one question that has left most web aggregators in a tizzy. An ISNP can also provide an interface that has the same facility as an Insurance web aggregator. So where is the difference?

The difference lies in the scale. If you're an insurance company that has started an ISNP, you can onboard multiple web aggregators on your platform. You can pool the insurance policies from each of them, providing an integrated platform that hosts the comparison modules of each insurance web aggregator.

Simply put, multiple insurance web aggregators and board their comparison interface and information of the insurance policies on a single Insurance Self Network Platform.

To put it even more simply, an ISNP can aggregate many Insurance Web Aggregators.

Conclusion

The true difference between an Insurance web aggregator and an Insurance Self Network Platform is the scale. An insurance web aggregator can only operate if the entity operating it has no prior association with the insurance market. On the other hand, only insurance companies and insurance intermediaries can start an ISNP. Being an intermediary, a web aggregator can therefore start an ISNP to onboard insurers.

If it's an insurer starting the ISNP, then he has to power to onboard the modules and policies of many insurance web aggregators as well. 


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