Surveyor’s net

Irda introduces a web-based integrated licensing system to streamline the functioning of insurance surveyors and improve loss assessment process.

Written by Fe Bureau | Published: June 11, 2013 12:32 am

In order to streamline the functioning of insurance surveyors,the Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority (Irda) has introduced a web-based integrated licensing management system for all new users and existing trainee surveyors. All those who have enrolled as trainees and have completed their practical training and examination as per the Irda’s surveyor regulations,can submit their application for the grant of licence through the portal.

Insurance surveyors are experts who assess the loss or damage caused and are the links between the insurer and the insured. The Insurance Act mandates that all claims in the non-life segment above R20,000 have to be surveyed by professional surveyors,who are holders of a licence issued by the insurance regulator. Insurance risk surveyors carry out surveys of vehicles,buildings,plants and machineries and other non-life objects that are insured by an individual policyholder or a corporate entity. The surveyor presents a report of the damage and based on the quantum of losses,the insurance company processes the claim.

A licensed surveyor is allowed to operate in more than three departments,subject to clearing the requisite exams. The regulator,in the draft exposure,has also said that for the upgrade of a surveyor’s categorisation,the Indian Institute of Surveyors and Loss Assessors (IIISLA) will have to introduce a continuous evaluation and skill development training programme and the period of the training will not be less than 100 hours for licentiate,50 hours for associate and 25 hours for fellow members. The evaluation committee will also have a member from Irda and the insurance industry.

The recent Irda notification on trainee surveyors has underlined that prior to submission of application for enrolment,the applicant will have to select his trainer online and request him to impart training. Once the trainer gives accepts the request to impart training on the online portal,the applicant can submit Form No. 13 (enrolment form) and upload Form 14,which is the acceptance letter of trainer to impart training. Under the new norms,the trainer will have to submit quarterly reports by accessing the portal with his username and password for each trainee undergoing training under him.

In order to streamline the process of loss assessing,Irda will also give more teeth to the Indian Institute of Surveyors and Loss Assessors (IIISLA). A surveyor and loss assessor (SLA) of general insurance has to be a member of the institute and have to get a licence after undergoing specific training. The SLA always has to follow the code of ethics of the institute. The regulator,in an exposure draft,has underlined that outsourcing of survey work is prohibited as the insurer and the insured are two parties to the insurance contract.

The Irda has proposed that those who are willing to obtain an SLA licence will have to become an IIISLA member. This will provide them proper guidance,education and training to perform their tasks in accordance with the code of conduct. The one-time membership fee for joining the institute is R2,500,the annual fee is R1,000 for licentiate,R1,500 for an associate and R2,000 for fellow membership. Current norms require an existing SLA to maintain proper record of the work done by him,maintain a register of survey work in an Irda-prescribed form and furnish annual returns to the regulator.

The Irda also maintains a register of licensed surveyors with minimum information required for renewing licences. Even survey firms,which are licensed,will follow the same norms that are applicable to an individual licensed surveyor. The survey firms will make disclosure to IIISLA and Irda about their SLA employees’ terms and conditions of employment. Moreover,the draft exposure mentions that these firms are not permitted to outsource and will not be allowed to even franchise with other SLAs. The disclosure and compliance will form a part of their half yearly and annual returns to the IIISLA and Irda.

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