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Eligibility norms for insurance surveyors being revised — Only chartered accountants, engineers to qualify

Radhika Menon

Mumbai , Nov. 11

THE eligibility criteria for insurance surveyors are being revised. As per the new criteria, expected to be announced shortly, only chartered accountants and engineers will qualify to become insurance surveyors.

The move is to bring in professionalism into the field, said Mr Mahendra Dhruva, National President, The Institute of Insurance Surveyors and Adjusters (IISA).

Currently, engineering diploma holders can also appear for the surveyors' examination. The Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India (IRDA) has, on the insistence of the Ministry of Finance, appointed a self regulatory body called the `Indian Institute of Insurance Surveyors and Loss Assessors' to bring in professionalism into the field and the IISA will be merged with the new body.

Among the key changes that will come into place are entry barriers for individuals entering the profession and strict disciplinary action in case of malpractices, said a surveyor.

Currently, there are 20,000 surveyors who hold licences, of which only 13,000 are active. While surveyors specialise in portfolios such as fire, motor, marine and aviation, the new system would require a minimum qualification of engineering and chartered accountancy along with training for a year and passing of an examination for membership to the Institute. Mr Dhruva said the surveyors will be graded and given designations like Associate Members and Senior Fellows. As per the gradation, a junior surveyor will only be allowed to assess losses of smaller amount. The new regulation would also not allow `part-time surveyors', who come into the scene only during natural disasters or other calamities.

Besides, a disciplinary committee appointed by the body will prescribe a code of conduct and take action against delays in surveys and complaints from the insured regarding malpractices.

The composition of the body has also been finalised with 12 elected members and three nominees from the Finance Ministry. The nominees would include a representative of the Finance Ministry, IRDA and consumers. Mr Dhruva said that in terms of training, while junior members will learn the ropes with respect to the profession, the senior members would be kept abreast of technological advancements. The IRDA will observe the functioning of the Institute for three years and take a decision regarding converting it into a chartered body on the lines of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of India, said Mr Dhurva.

The CEO of a private general insurance company said that while the move to have quality barriers will add value over time, it would still be difficult monitoring the activities of so many surveyors. Insurance companies will also have to work with surveyors to ensure professionalism, said the CEO.

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