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Insurance Marketing Firm (IMF)

Insurance Marketing Firm (IMF) is a new distribution channel approved by IRDAI as per the Govardhan Committee’s report submitted in 2007. It suggested setting up a group of agencies to improve the market penetration of the insurance business. It would enable merchandisers to sell mutual funds, pension plans, stocks, and other financial services under one umbrella. IMFs are similar to ‘Distribution Companies’ having multiple tie-ups with insurers, a model akin to Independent Financial Advisors (IFA). In continuation to this recommendation, certain regulations were released on 21st January 2015 by the IRDAI pertaining to the registration of Insurance Marketing Firms.

Why IMFs prefer Max Life

  • Market leader in the IMF distribution space (Src: IRDAI IMF Report, Aug 2017)
  • High clarity on the regulations and registration process
  • Dedicated channel support before and after the incubation process

More about IMFs

IMF can be a Company, LLP, Cooperative Society, or any other entity as specified in the regulations.  IMFs can sell insurance products from multiple indemnifiers while retaining an honest and upfront responsibility towards their clients. However, an IMF can conduct unlimited business with a single company. Insurance marketing firms can engage in the following activities.

  • Solicitation of insurance products
    IMFs are required to market products of 2 life, 2 general and 2 health insurance companies. However, regarding general insurance, IMFs can only deal in the retail (individual) lines of products.

  • Insurance servicing activities
    a) Back-office activities as per the IRDAI Guidelines on Outsourcing of activities by Insurance Companies, 2011;
    b) Becoming the approved person of insurance repositories;
    c) Undertaking survey and loss assessment work by employing licensed surveyors & loss assessors;
    d) Any other insurance-related activity permitted by IRDAI from time to time.

  • Marketing of other financial products through FSE
    a) Mutual funds (SEBI)
    b) Pension products (PFRDA)
    c) Other financial products (SEBI)
    d) Banking/ financial products (RBI)
    e) Non-insurance products (Dept of Posts)
    f) Any other product permitted by IRDAI
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Eligibility for Becoming an IMF

Eligibility for Becoming an IMF

You must be a private limited company, a limited liability partnership, or otherwise recognised by the IRDA.


Your company’s minimum net worth must stand at a minimum of INR 10 lakhs

You must have professional indemnity coverage.

Your Principal Officer must meet all IRDAI eligibility criteria, and your staff must all be licensed by an institution designated by IRDAI.

Advantages of Becoming an IMF

  • Better commission and income
  • Opportunity to become a part of a healthy corporate & professional setup
  • Legacy creation 
  • Enable offering multiple product choices
  • Business expansion opportunity through channel sales
  • Unlimited rewards and recognition
  • The One Customer-One Adviser model allows you to enjoy maximum wallet share, ensuring increased income
  • Opportunity to increase customer base by five folds
  • Enable to cater the investment needs of rural, semi-urban, and urban customers

Why should You Partner with Max Life?

Max Life supports the new entrepreneurial initiative of participating in developing more IMFs across the country. At the end of FY2017, ‘fifty of the country’s one hundred and fourteen IMFs were recorded to have formed partnerships with Max Life.’

Here are three major reasons why companies prefer partnering with Max Life as IMFs:

  • Comprehensive understanding and experience of this initiative
    Operational flexibility, a supreme work ethic, and a strong sense of clarity surrounding regulations, compliance procedures, dissemination of product information, and systems knowledge - we have everything IMFs need for successful business relationships.

  • Opportunity to partner with one of the largest Insurance companies
    At our core, we believe in a customer-centric approach and in making advice-based sales. We put customer's needs first and develop strong associations with them, so they return with more business repeatedly. As a partner concern, you will reap the benefits of these interconnections and can draw them into your business.

  • Full-fledged support and training for IMFs by Max Life experts
    Max Life trains partner IMFs to make an insurance product sale, keeping each customer’s need in mind, thereby developing credibility and a collaborative spirit - the very pillars on which Max Life was founded.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. What is an Insurance Marketing Firm ?

In a new move to improve the market penetration of the insurance business, the Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India (IRDAI) suggested that a group of agencies be set up where merchandisers can sell mutual funds, pension plans, stocks, and other financial services under one umbrella.

This cluster of companies, and some of the industry’s upper crust, became known as Insurance Marketing Firms (IMFs).

IMFs meet the needs of a large base of customers and offer better flexibility than their more traditional counterparts in the insurance business. Insurance Marketing Firm clients, whether individuals looking to indemnify their possessions or health in cases of accidents or injury, can pick from a greater number of choices than traditional insurance companies. It will set IMFs apart in the coming years.

2. What are the business opportunities for Insurance Marketing firms?

The expected returns from an insurance policy have changed in recent times. The younger  and better-exposed generation, making substantial investments in insurance today, is selecting plans with a notably higher risk factor.

IMFs are coming up with ways and means to boost their business and cement their position for the long term in the insurance market.

Setting up IMFs was a cogent move to promote nationwide insurance penetration. The top 2 potential business opportunities in this still small & new market are:

1)      The IMF channel absorbs finance professionals, insurers, and investors, thereby setting up a healthy agitation in the economy and continuing to offer employment for decades into the future.

2)      Each IMF, as per IRDAI regulations, can solicit insurance products from a maximum of six insurance companies, two each for life, health, and general. This presents an earning potential from multiple companies at once, basis the best-sourced product.

3)      IMFs have approval under IRDAI to cross-sell to their customers. This means they can distribute a diverse set of products from multiple sources to an existing client.

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