Insurance startups Acko general insurance and PolicyBazaar have got IRDAI approval under its new Sandbox Regulatory Program. Acko general insurance has got approval in two categories namely ‘non-life,’ and ‘Health’ while PolicyBazaar has got approval under ‘Intermediaries/ Distribution’ category.
Under non-life category, Acko will offer insurance cover for modular parts for two-wheelers and under health the company will offer insurance services in health & travel VAS (value added services) areas that are generally categorized as bite-sized insurance schemes.
According to the press release issued by IRDAI, all the approved applicants under Sandbox Regulatory Program can offer their trail services from 1st July to 31st December 2020.
Acko already owns IRDAI license for offering bite sized insurance services and has partnered with various companies like Ola, RedBus, Rapido, Zestmoney, Oyo and UrbanClap. The Mumbai headquartered company has been offering bit sized insurance services for quite some time now. The company’s innovative products under this niche category also helped in fetching the prestigious Golden Peacock Innovative Product award last year.
Bite-sized insurance, also known as micro-insurance, has become immensely popular over the years and many insurance startups are especially trying to invade this space.
Acko was recently in news for partnering with Amazon that paved way for the latter to enter in the insurance distribution space. Amazon, by the way, is one of the many high-profile & existing investors in Acko General Insurance.
As for PolicyBazaar, the online insurance aggregator has partnered with Digit Insurance to offer insurance cover for wearable devices in the healthcare sector.
Both Acko and PolicyBazaar are among the most well-funded startups in the online insurance space. The Varun Dua founded company has so far raised approximately $143 Mn from 16 investors, according to Crunchbase.
PolicyBazaar, which is a unicorn startup, has secured approximately $626 Mn funding through multiple funding rounds.
What is IRDAI’s Sandbox Regulatory Project
IRDAI’s Sandbox Regulatory Project is a part of IRDAI’s recently announced pilot project that seeks to promote innovation in the insurance sector. Last year, the insurance sector regulator started calling for applications for this pilot project and has already given approval to several insurance companies in different tranches.
Experts claim that if this pilot project is successful then it can lead to wide range of innovative products in micro insurance space. There many important areas like employment loss and saving linked insurance that has been left uncovered and they can be duly covered under micro-insurance, experts further claim.