General Insurance Council Regulations, 2008
In exercise of the powers conferred under section 64R(1)(d) of the Insurance Act, 1938 (4 of 1938), the General Insurance Council, with the previous approval of the Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority, hereby makes the following Regulations, namely:
1. Short Title and Commencement
a) These regulations may be called the General Insurance Council Regulations, 2008.
b) They shall come into force with effect from the date of approval of the Authority.
In these Regulations, unless the context otherwise requires-
a) 'Act' means the Insurance Act, 1938 (4 of 1938);
b) 'Authority' means the Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority established under sub-section (1) of section 3 of the Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority Act, 1999 (41 of 1999);
c) 'Board' means the Board of Directors or other governing body of members of an insurance company, by what ever name called;
d) 'Chairman' means the Chairman of the Committee;
e) 'Council' means the General Insurance Council as stated in clause (b) of section 64C of the Act;
f) 'Committee' means the Executive Committee of the Council, constituted pursuant to the provisions of Part II-A of the Act;
g) 'Member' means a member of the Council, and includes a member of the Committee, where appropriate to the context;
h) 'Secretary General' means the official nominated by the Authority to act as Secretary of the Committee under Section 64F(2)(b) and to discharge such functions as may be provided in these regulations
i) Words and expressions used and not defined in these regulations, but defined in the Act shall have the meanings respectively assigned to them in the Act.
3. Functions of the Council
a) Main Objects
I. To aid, advise and assist insurers carrying on general insurance business in the matter of setting up equitable and clear standards of conduct and sound practice and in the matter of rendering efficient service to holders of General Insurance policies.
II. To render advice to the Authority in the matter of controlling the expenses of insurers in respect of their General Insurance business in India.
III. To bring to the notice of the Authority, the case of any insurer acting in a manner prejudicial to the interests of the holders of general insurance policies.
IV. To bring about better co-ordination and cohesion in the general insurance industry.
V. To promote awareness about the role and benefits from general insurance.
b) Objects incidental or ancillary to the attainment of the main objects:
I. To promote, sponsor and support programmes and activities, and to take action including submitting memoranda, representations and campaigns necessary for maintaining a positive image of the General Insurance industry through media, forums and opinion makers and enhance the level of consumer confidence in the industry.
II. To study, analyze and represent to Government of India, State Governments, Regulator or any other Authority to maintain and enhance, development, growth and expansion of the General Insurance sector or any other matters related to the General Insurance business in India.
III. To promote and facilitate research and development in all branches and related activities of General Insurance business.
IV. To evolve and recommend innovative procedures and solutions for legal, technical, managerial or professional activities in the General Insurance business.
V. To act as a clearing house for data collection, storage, dissemination and exchange of data, procedures and practices to be adopted in General Insurance business
VI. To provide a forum or forums for exchange of views on matters relating to promotion of sound business practices and promoting efficient service to policyholders in general insurance business.
VII. To organize and conduct special training programmes such as but not limited to seminars, workshops and the like for personnel engaged in general insurance business.
VIII.To print, publish and circulate bulletins, periodicals, booklets, pamphlets, text books concerning the General Insurance business.
IX. To subscribe and become a member of any association, chamber of commerce or federation consistent with the functions of the Council.
X. To invest and deal with or keep in deposit the moneys of the Council in such manner as the Council may deem fit.
XI. To open bank accounts and operate the same.
XII. To appoint, employ or engage such persons as employees or otherwise as may be considered expedient by the Council.
c) The income and the property of the Council, whensoever derived shall be applied solely for the promotion of the objects set forth herein read with the provisions of the Act. The income / surplus funds of the Council shall not be distributed to the Members under any circumstances. However, the Council may decide not to collect fees for any year under the provisions of Section 64L(2) of the Act.
d) Proper and complete accounts shall be kept of all the sums of money received and expended by the Council/Committee and the matters in respect of which such receipts and expenditures takes place, and of property, credit and liabilities of the Council; and, subject to any reasonable restrictions as to the time and manner of inspecting the same that may be imposed in accordance with the regulations of the Council for the time being in force, the accounts shall be open for inspection by Members.
4. Register of Members
a) The Council shall maintain a register of all members containing, inter alia, the following particulars:
I. Name and address of each member and date of commencement of its membership.
II. Where any member has ceased to carry on general insurance business, the date of cessation of such business.
b) Pursuant to the provisions of clause [b] of sub-section 2 of section 64F of the Act, the eight representatives of the Committee shall be elected in the elections held after the first elections, in the manner as provided herein.
c) For the election of eight representatives of members of the Insurance Association of India carrying on general insurance business and for filling up any vacancy in the members of the Committee caused by resignation of an elected member or for other reasons, the Secretary General shall issue a notice of the election at least 21 days prior to the proposed date of election and invite nominations in writing from each of the said members.
d) Every nomination shall be duly proposed and seconded by the Chief Executive Officers of the general insurer nominating the person and of the general insurer seconding the nomination and also be duly signed by the candidate proposed in the nomination indicating his consent to be elected as a member of the Committee.
Provided that no person, other than the Chief Executive Offer [CEO] of an insurer shall be nominated as a candidate for election and no person other than the CEO, as may be specified in this behalf shall cast vote on behalf of an insurer.
e) Every such nomination shall be sent to the Secretary General before the time and date as may be specified by him while inviting nominations pursuant to the provisions of sub-regulation (2)
f) The Secretary General shall scrutinize the nomination papers on the date specified by him, and every nomination received beyond the specified date and time shall be rejected by him, for reasons to be recorded in writing.
Provided that the nomination form shall be in such form as may be specified by the Secretary General.
g) Any candidate may withdraw his nomination, by notice in writing signed by him, and delivered to the Secretary General by the date and time as may be specified by him, and withdrawal of candidature once tendered shall be irrevocable as far as that election is concerned.
h) The Secretary General shall intimate the names of persons whose valid nominations have been received and the withdrawal of any nominated candidate to all the members.
i) Where the number of candidates with valid nominations by close of the time allowed for nominations does not exceed the number of members to be elected, the candidates so nominated shall be declared elected by the Secretary General. Where the number of such candidates declared elected is less than eight, the Secretary General shall issue fresh notice inviting nominations for the remaining vacancies.
j) Where the number of candidates nominated exceeds the number of members to be elected, an election shall be conducted in the manner provided in this regulation.
k) The Secretary General, on the date to be specified by him, shall send in person or by registered post to the registered office of every member, a ballot paper together with necessary instructions as to how to fill in the ballot paper and specifying the date and time by which it shall be returned to him with the vote.
l) Every ballot paper shall bear the seal of the Council and shall contain the list of the candidates contesting the election.
m) Every member shall vote for as many candidates as there are vacancies in the Committee.
Provided that where the registration of an insurer is suspended or cancelled by the Authority, and so long as such suspension or cancellation is not revoked by the Authority, such an insurer shall forfeit its right to nominate a candidate for election or vote at the election.
n) Every member while casting vote shall place on his ballot paper X' mark in the square opposite the name of the candidate for whom he votes.
o) Every member, after filling his ballot paper in the manner as stated in sub-regulation (13) shall send the same in a sealed envelope either in person or by registered post so as to reach the Secretary General not later than the date and time specified in this behalf by the Secretary General.
p) A vote shall be deemed to be invalid in the event of any of the following instances or circumstances:
I. If the member signs his name or writes any word or makes any mark on the ballot paper by which the identity of the member is disclosed;
II. If the vote is recorded on a ballot paper which does not bear the seal of the Council;
III. If the "X" mark is not marked on the ballot paper in the manner as stated in sub-regulation (13);
IV. If the "X" mark is set opposite the names of more than the number of vacancies for which election is held;
V. If the ballot paper is unmarked or if the vote is otherwise void for uncertainty;
VI. If the ballot paper reaches the Secretary General beyond the specified time and date, for any reason whatsoever;
VII. If the member is otherwise disqualified from voting.
q) The counting of votes shall take place at the office of the Council, on the date and time as may be specified by the Secretary General, in the presence of an independent scrutineer appointed by the Secretary General, and at the time of counting, the Secretary General may allow the presence of the candidates or their authorized representatives.
Provided that the person to be appointed as an independent scrutinizer shall not be a candidate or his authorized representative.
r) The votes shall be examined by the Secretary General, and after rejecting any invalid votes, he shall proceed to count the number of votes secured by each candidate.
s) The Secretary General shall prepare a ranking list of the candidates in terms of the votes secured by each candidate, duly witnessed by the scrutinizer, and declare the results.
Provided that in the event of a tie, the candidate representing an insurer with a larger gross direct general insurance premium in India in the immediate preceding year shall get precedence in the ranking list.
5. Meetings of the Committee and bye-laws for transaction of business at meetings
a) The Committee may meet for the dispatch of business as often as may be considered necessary, adjourn and otherwise regulate its meetings as provided in these regulations. Provided that the Committee shall meet at least six times in a calendar year for the conduct of business of the Council, and ordinarily such meetings shall take place at the office of the Council. One of these meetings shall be held in compliance with the requirements as prescribed in Section 64M(1) of the Act.
b) The notice and agenda for the meeting shall be circulated at least seven days in advance by the Secretary General. Provided that any suggestions received from members less than seven days in advance may normally be taken for discussion at the subsequent meeting only, unless the Chairman of the Committee decides otherwise.
Provided further that the Chairman of the Committee may convene an emergent meeting of the Committee by giving at least forty-eight hours' notice to transact business that cannot wait for the procedures of an ordinary meeting of the Committee.
c) An item not included in the agenda of a meeting of the Committee may be taken up for consideration, if so approved by the Chairman of the Committee.
d) The Chairman of the Committee shall preside at all the meetings, and in his absence, the members present shall elect one among them to be the Chairman (Presiding Member) of that meeting.
e) The quorum for a meeting of the Committee shall be five members.
f) If at any meeting, the required quorum is not present, the Chairman or the Presiding Member, as the case may be, shall after waiting for thirty minutes from the scheduled commencement time of the meeting, adjourn the meeting to such hour in the same day or some other day as he may deem fit.
g) Where at the adjourned meeting also the required quorum is not present, the members present shall constitute the quorum, and they can proceed to transact the business.
h) All matters required to be decided by the Committee shall be decided by a majority of the votes of members present. Provided further that any member of the Committee who is specifically involved in any matter for the time being before the Committee shall not be present or take part in any deliberation relating thereto.
i) Any matter for the consideration of the Committee may at the discretion of Chairman of the Committee be decided by circulation among the members as an alternative to convening a meeting for the purpose. Provided that the decision arrived at shall not be valid unless at least four members, entitled to vote thereon, signify their consent to the decision.
j) The Secretary General shall record and keep the minutes of proceedings at the meetings of the Committee.
k) The minutes shall contain a fair and correct summary of the decisions arrived at the meeting.
l) The Secretary General shall send a copy of the minutes to each of the members, and the same shall be placed at the next meeting of the Committee for confirmation.
6. Traveling and daily allowance
Every member and invitee shall be entitled for attending the meetings of the Committee reimbursement of travel and other expenses, incidentals and sitting fees as may be decided by the Committee from time to time.
7. Duties and Powers of the Executive Committee -
Consistent with the provisions of Regulation 3 and in discharge of its functions, the Committee shall have the power:-
a) To acquire by way of purchase or gift or to take on lease or hire or otherwise any movable or immovable property;
b) To sell, assign, mortgage, lease, exchange, transfer or otherwise deal with all or any property, movable or immovable of the Council in any way it may consider necessary;
c) To construct, develop, renovate, expand or alter any movable or immovable property in the possession of the Council and to take necessary action for proper maintenance of any such movable or immovable property.
d) To open and maintain bank accounts and to draw, accept, endorse, discount, execute, sign, issue or otherwise deal with cheques, drafts, certificates, receipts, Government Securities, promissory notes, bills of exchange or other negotiable instruments;
e) To borrow or raise or secure the payment of money in such other manner as the Committee shall deem fit.
f) To defend and institute any suit or other legal proceedings on behalf of the Council / Committee.
g) To create administrative, technical and other posts under the Council and make appointments thereto in accordance with the Rules to be framed by the Committee.
h) To maintain provident and other funds for the benefit of the employees of the Council and their dependents;
i) To undertake all such activities as are deemed necessary for promoting the objects for which council is established.
j) To prescribe code of professional conduct and practice and to issue guidance notes on professional matters.
k) To insure against such damages, risks, accidents and liabilities of all kinds which may affect the Council in any way or in respect of the staff of the Council or in respect of the property belonging to or leased by the Council and to pay premiums on all such insurance
l) To appoint and or consult professionals, advisors, consultants whether for remuneration or otherwise.
m) To approve the Rules of operations of the Executive Committee's Secretary General.
Subject to the provisions of sub-section (5) of section 64F of the Act, the Council may form such other committees consisting of such persons as it may think fit to discharge such functions as may be delegated thereto.
9. Secretary General
a) The Secretary General of the Committee shall be a person nominated by the Authority pursuant to the provisions of subsection (6) of Section 64 F of the Act.
b) The Secretary General shall act as the Chief Executive Officer of the Council, who shall be responsible for the direction, organization, management and performance of the employees and staff of the Council.
c) The Secretary General shall work under the supervision and control of the Committee.
d) The Secretary General shall, with the approval of the Committee, appoint other employees and staff as may be necessary for the work of the Council
e) The Secretary General and all other employees and staff shall be paid salaries, benefits, allowances and perquisites out of the funds of the Council/Committee and shall be subject to the Service Conditions and Rules as may be framed by the Committee from time to time
f) The Secretary General shall furnish to the Authority a report not later than 3 months from the close of the financial year on the various activities performed by the Executive Committee during the preceding year.
g) Without prejudice to the generality of the powers, functions and duties as stated herein above, the Secretary General shall have the powers necessary and appropriate to manage the affairs of the Committee and to carry on the day to day management and other matters related to the Council.
10.Business Plan and Budget
The Committee shall ensure that:
a) The Council adopts a Business Plan and Budget for each financial year;
b) It conducts the business in accordance with the Business Plan and Budget;
c) At least two months before the commencement of each financial year, the Secretary General shall prepare and circulate to the Members of the Committee a draft Business Plan and Budget for the following financial year;
d) the Committee shall consider the draft Business Plan and Budget and adopt a business plan and budget for the next financial year before commencement of that financial year.
11. Funds of the Council/EC
The expenses of the Council shall be funded through equal subscriptions from each Member which will be collected from the members in the manner and within the time as may be specified by the Committee. The Committee shall call for special contributions from members for specific large approved expenses. All subscriptions are payable by the members on demand.
12. Accounts and Audit
a) The financial year of the Council shall be from 1st day of April* of each year to the 31st day of March* of the following year.
b) The Committee shall every year cause to be prepared a statement of the income and expenditure of the Council for the year ending on 31st March* and of its liabilities and assets as at that date, and such statements after having been verified and signed by the auditor, shall be laid before the Annual General Meeting of the Council/EC together with any report thereon made by the Auditor.
c) The Committee shall draw up a Report on the affairs of the Council/EC and the activities of the previous year, which shall be submitted at every Annual General Meeting before 30th September of each year. A copy of that report shall be furnished to the Authority immediately after its presentation to the Council.
d) An auditor shall be appointed by the Committee each year to audit all the accounts of the Council, verify and sign the annual statements of Income and Expenditure and the Balance Sheet prepared by the Committee and shall make a report thereon. Provided that a person shall not be qualified for appointment as auditor, unless he is a Chartered Accountant within the meaning of the Chartered Accountants Act, 1949 (38 of 1949).
13. General Meetings and Annual Meeting of the Council
a) General Meetings of the Council shall be held at periodic intervals as may be considered necessary by the Committee or the Chairman.
b) An annual general meeting of the Council shall be held each year not later than three months after the closure of the financial year, at such time and place as the Committee may determine to consider the following agenda:
I. To receive and consider the Report of the Committee on the affairs of the Council and its activities for the previous year;
II. To receive and consider the annual audited statements of accounts for the previous year ending on 31st day of March*;
III. To appoint the auditor for the next year and fix his remuneration;
IV. To consider any other matter that the Committee/ Council has approved for placing before the annual general meeting.
c) The Chairman of the Committee shall preside over the annual general meeting, and in his absence, any member of the Committee as may be decided by the members present shall preside.
d) The quorum required shall be two thirds of the total number of members for the time-being of the Council. Provided that where the required quorum is not present, the provisions of Regulation 5 shall apply mutatis mutandis.
14. Indemnity of Officers
The members of the Committee and Officers of the Committee shall be indemnified by the Council from all losses and expenses incurred by them in or about the discharge of their respective duties, except such as happen from their own respective willful default, and no member of the Committee shall be liable for any other member of the Committee or Officers, for signing any receipt or document or for any act of conformity unless the same shall be due to his own willful default.
15. Information to press
No person, other than a person specifically authorized by the Committee, shall give information to the press or any other public media on matters relating to decisions, views, and opinions of the Council or the Committee as the case may be.
If any doubt or dispute arises regarding the interpretation of the provisions of these regulations or regarding the validity of any election held under these regulations, the same shall be referred to the Authority, whose decision there on shall be final and binding.
No election shall be deemed to be invalid merely on account of any accidental omission to send, or delay in sending a ballot paper or the accidental non-receipt of, or delay in receiving a ballot paper by a member, or any other accidental irregularity or infirmity in the conduct of an election.