To become an authorized Insurance Agent – Life Insurance or General Insurance- a candidate has to clear the Insurance Regulatory Development Authority’s Agent Examination known simply as the IRDA examination. In this article hence we will cover the relevant details regarding the IRDA Examination of India.
The Insurance Regulatory Development Authority or IRDA was formed in the year 1999 based on an Act of Parliament. The IRDA was established to regulate the growth of the Insurance sector in India and to protect the interest of the ordinary policyholders. However to make sure that the Insurance sector grows in a regulated manner, it is essential to impart the right skills and knowledge about the sector and its products to its employees – known as Agents. Such Agents should be trained on the code of conduct of the insurance sector and the skills to sell the products to the market participants- individuals or institutional investors.
To train the Agents, it becomes mandatory for the IRDA to conduct periodic examinations before giving new license or renewing an existing license. Such examinations are known as pre-recruitment examinations and are conducted by the Insurance Institute of India, on behalf of the IRDA. The Insurance Institute of India was established in the year 1955 as a premier training and research institute in the field of Insurance and offers Certificates and diplomas to successful candidates who attempt its various examinations. Only those candidates who clear the IRDA examination can become an Insurance Agent and be employed by various Insurance Companies in India.
The IRDA examination for getting the Agent license is regulated by the IRDA Licensing of Insurance Agents Regulations of 2000 (especially Regulations 6 of the Act). The IRDA examination is conducted for the two categories of Insurance – Life Insurance and General Insurance and they are individually known as the pre recruitment Examination for Life Insurance Agents and Pre recruitment Examinations for General Insurance Agents. An Agent is free to attempt any one of the examinations or both of them together (he/she will be then known as a Composite Insurance Agent). The IRDA pre-recruitment examination is conducted by the Insurance Institute of India, Mumbai in offline and online mode. The offline mode of examination which was predominately used till now is now been phased out manner and the Online examination is given more importance. The Online examination of IRDA as mentioned above is administered by the Insurance Institute of India and conducted by the National Stock Exchange of India through its various online centers.
Pattern of the Examination
The IRDA pre recruitment examination is a two hour long online test and carries 100 marks. The Examination consists of only objective type questions including many questions testing the numerical abilities of the candidate. In order to clear the IRDA pre recruitment examination a candidate has to get atleast 50% marks. The Offline mode of test administration has been discontinued from April 2011 onwards.
Eligibility Requirements for IRDA Examination
The minimum educational qualification required to write the IRDA examination is a pass in the Class 12th examination or an equivalent academic qualification. In case an applicant is residing in any remote part of the country (with a population of less than 5000 as per the latest census of Government of India) then a pass in Class 10th is also permissible for writing the examination. The qualifying examination should be from a recognized Board of Education in India. Apart from the educational requirement, a candidate who is attempting the examination for the first time to get the Agent license should have a mandatory 100 hours training of 3-4 weeks in Life insurance or general insurance from an approved Institution.
And for those candidates who are seeking for renewal of their existing license the training hours required is only fifty hours. Those candidates who want to become a Composite Agent and plan to write both the General Insurance test and the Life Insurance Test, the mandatory training hours required is 150 hours. Only a person above the age of 18 years can write the IRDA examination. In order to register for the IRDA examination, a candidate has to visit the Insurance Institute of India website and select the respective test center. The cost of the application form is Rs 250 for first time Agent License.
Those who want to renew their license must do so atleast one month before the expiry of their first license and by paying the test fee of Rs 250. In case they are not able to meet the deadline then they have to pay an additional Rs 100 along with the test fee. However, the application for renewal of the license must be submitted within three months from the date of expiry of the original license. A candidate who has successfully cleared the IRDA examination can have only one license related to Life Insurance and/or General Insurance and cannot work for more than one Insurer. Every month of the year there are atleast two dates for the IRDA examination.
Online Centers for IRDA examination
The online examination of IRDA is managed by National Stock Exchange of India Limited through its online centers in the following States/UTs – Andaman & Nicobar Islands, Andhra Pradesh, Assam, Bihar, Chandigarh, Chhattisgarh, Delhi, Goa, Gujarat, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Jammu & Kashmir, Jharkhand, Karnataka, Kerala, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Meghalaya, Orissa, Pondicherry, Punjab, Rajasthan, Tamilnadu, Tripura, Uttar Pradesh, Nagaland, Uttarakhand and West Bengal,
Syllabus for IRDA Examination
General Insurance covers – Introduction to Insurance, Principles of General Insurance, Insurance Documents, Theory and Practice of Rating, Legislative and Regulatory Matters, Fire Insurance, Marine Insurance, Motor Insurance, Personal Accident Insurance, Health Insurance, Liability Insurance, Engineering Insurance, Miscellaneous Insurance-I and II, Claims, Rural Insurances, Government Schemes For Social Sector, Risk Management, Personal Development, Behavioral Aspects, Fundamentals of Agency Law, Procedure For Becoming An Agent, Functions Of The Agent, Salesmanship and Organization.
Life Insurance covers – Introduction to Insurance, Fundamentals of Agency Law, Legislative And Regulatory Matters, Procedure For Becoming an Agent, Functions Of The Agent, Organization, Fundamental Principles Of Life Insurance, Financial Planning and Taxation, Insurance Salesmanship, Computation Of Premiums/Bonuses, Insurance Documents, Life Insurance Products, Agency Commission Structure , Claims, Insurance In The Rural / Social Sectors, Group Insurance & Pension Plans, Options, Guarantees & Riders etc.