When we started Plum, our goal was to get off the ground quickly.
Having said that, we wanted to ensure that we stay compliant with the regulations from day zero.
We consulted many experts within the insurance industry, including senior leaders at IRDAI. They proposed we launch as a Corporate Agent for several reasons.
- First, obtaining the licence was comparatively effortless, mitigating business risk.
- Second, it had lower day-to-day compliance requirements, allowing us to concentrate fully on achieving product-market fit without needless distractions.
- Lastly, it permitted us to experiment with various business avenues, including non-insurance sectors – a crucial element in the early days when exploration and discovery were the main objectives.
With the collaborative efforts of Saurabh and myself, we successfully obtained the IRDAI Corporate Agent licence within a few months.
The Need for a Broker Licence
Our journey to scaling over 3000 organisations for health benefits and insurance highlighted the limitations posed by our IRDAI Corporate Agent licence. It was hindering the realisation of our vision.
Initially, the Corporate Agent licence linked us with a limited number of insurance companies, with only three general insurers, three health insurers, and three life insurers. Although IRDAI liberalised these limitations to 9+9+9, it still required extensive paperwork to formally enter into a Corporate Agent partnership with a new insurance partner. As we looked towards growth and scalability, we yearned for the freedom and agility to select insurance partners spontaneously.
Secondly, we received recurring requests from our 3000+ clientele who needed Plum to assist with business insurance products like Directors & Officers Insurance and General Liability Insurance. Our ability to provide covers was capped at an INR 5 crore sum insured, which proved insufficient for most businesses. Upgrading to a Broker License removes this limitation.
Lastly, regulation from two decades ago stipulated that Corporate Agents represent Insurers and act as extensions of Insurance companies. This occasionally hindered our efforts to establish trust with prospective customers. We wanted to assure them that Plum consistently prioritises the best interests of employers and employees.
These combined factors led us to transition our licence from Corporate Agent to Broker.
If you are an employer or employee using Plum, or considering using Plum, nothing changes for you. We continue to remain customer centric. We continue to bring the best insurance partners to underwrite the risk. We continue to provide you with holistic healthcare solutions for your team.
Our new licence enables us to delve deeper into business insurance products and other product lines.
We are grateful to IRDAI's leadership who supported us immensely through this transition, ensuring its timely execution without any business disruption. We also extend gratitude to the 3000+ organisations that have placed their trust in us over the past three years, relying on us for their team's health and wellness.
Furthermore, we appreciate the 500,000+ members who utilise Plum daily to prioritise their health.
Abhishek and Saurabh