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2. Definitions.-

In this Act, unless there is anything repugnant in the subject or context,-

5[(1) "actuary" means an actuary as defined in clause (a) of sub-section (1) of section 2 of the Actuaries Act, 2006 (35 of 2006); (1A) "Authority" means the Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India established under sub-section (1) of section 3 of the Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority Act, 1999 (41 of 1999);]

6[(2) "policy-holder" includes a person to whom the whole of the interest of the policy-holder in the policy is assigned once and for all, but does not include an assignee thereof whose interest in the policy is defeasible or is for the time being subject to any condition ;]

7[(3) "approved securities" means-

(i) Government securities and other securities charged on the revenues of the Central Government or of the Government of a 8*** State or guaranteed fully as regards principal and interest by the Central Government, or the Government of any 6*** State ;

(ii) debentures or other securities for money issued under the authority of any Central Act or Act of a State Legislature by or on behalf of a port trust or municipal corporation or city improvement trust in any presidency-town ;

(iii) shares of a corporation established by law and guaranteed fully by the Central Government or the Government of a 1*** State as to the repayment of the principal and the payment of dividend ;

(iv) securities issued or guaranteed fully as regards principal and interest by the Government of any Part B State and specified as approved securities for the purposes of this Act by the Central Government by notification in the Official Gazette ; and

Provided that securities or debentures specified in item (v) shall be recognished as approved securities only for such purposes and for such period and subject to such conditions as may be prescribed ;]

3[Explanation.- In sub-clauses (i) and (iii), "Government of a State" in relation to any period before the 1st November, 1956, means the Government of a Part A State.]

4[(4) "auditor" means a person qualified under the Chartered Accountants Act, 1949 (38 of 1949), to act as an auditor of companies;]

5[(4A) "banking company" and "company" shall have the meanings respectively assigned to them in clauses (c) and (d) of sub-section (1) of section 5 of the Banking Companies Act, 1949 (10 of 1949) 6***;]

(5) "certified" in relation to any copy or translation of a document required to be furnished by or on behalf of 7[an insurer or a provident society as defined in Part III] means certified by a principal officer of 8[such insurer or provident society] to be a true copy or a correct translation, as the case may be;

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10[(5B) "Controller of Insurance" means the officer appointed by the Central Government under section 2B to exercise all the powers, discharge the functions and perform the duties of the Authority under this Act or the Life Insurance Corporation Act, 1956 (31 of 1956) or the General Insurance Business (Nationalisation) Act, 1972 (57 of 1972) or the Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority Act, 1999 (41 of 1999);] 15

(6) "Court" means the principal Civil Court of original jurisdiction in a district, and includes the High Court in exercise of its ordinary original civil jurisdiction;

1[(6A) "fire insurance business" means the business of effecting, otherwise than incidentally to some other class of insurance business, contracts of insurance against loss by or incidental to fire or other occurrence customarily included among the risks insured against in fire insurance policies; (6B) "general insurance business" means fire, marine or miscellaneous insurance business, whether carried on singly or in combination with one or more of them;]

2[(6C) "health insurance business" means the effecting of contracts which provide for sickness benefits or medical, surgical or hospital expense benefits, whether in-patient or out-patient travel cover and personal accident cover;]

3[(7) "Government security" means a Government security as defined in the Public Debt Act, 1944 (18 of 1944);]

4[(7A) "Indian insurance company" means any insurer, being a company which is limited by shares, and,- (a) which is formed and registered under the Companies Act, 2013 (18 of 2013) as a public company or is converted into such a company within one year of the commencement of the Insurance Laws (Amendment) Act, 2015 (5 of 2015); (b) in which the aggregate holdings of equity shares by foreign investors, including portfolio investors, do not exceed forty-nine per cent. of the paid up equity capital of such Indian insurance company, which is Indian owned and controlled, in such manner as may be prescribed. Explanation.-For the purposes of this sub-clause, the expression "control" shall include the right to appoint a majority of the directors or to control the management or policy decisions including by virtue of their shareholding or management rights or shareholders agreements or voting agreements; (c) whose sole purpose is to carry on life insurance business or general insurance business or re-insurance business or health insurance business;]

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6[(8A) "insurance co-operative society" means any insurer being a co-operative society,-

(a) which is registered on or after the commencement of the Insurance (Amendment) Act, 2002 (42 of 2002), as a co-operative society under the Co-operative Societies Act, 1912 (2 of 1912) or under any other law for the time being in force in any State relating to Co-operative Societies or under the Multi-State Co-operative Societies Act, 1984 (51 of 1984);

1[(b) having a minimum paid-up capital of rupees one hundred crore in case of life insurance business, general insurance business and health insurance business;] (c) in which no body corporate, whether incorporated or not, formed or registered outside India, either by itself or through its subsidiaries or nominees, at any time, holds more than twenty-six per cent of the capital of such Co-operative Society;

(d) whose sole purpose is to carry on life insurance business or general insurance business 2[or health insurance business] in India;]

3[(9) "insurer" means-

(a) an Indian Insurance Company, or

(b) a statutory body established by an Act of Parliament to carry on insurance business, or

(c) an insurance co-operative society, or

(d) a foreign company engaged in re-insurance business through a branch established in India.

Explanation.- For the purposes of this sub-clause, the expression "foreign company" shall mean a company or body established or incorporated under a law of any country outside India and includes Lloyd's established under the Lloyd's Act, 1871 (United Kingdom) or any of its Members;]

(10) "insurance agent" means an insurance agent 4*** 5*** who receives or agrees to receive payment by way of commission or other remuneration in consideration of his soliciting or procuring insurance business 6[including business relating to the continuance, renewal or revival of policies of insurance]; 6[(10A) "investment company" means a company whose principal business is the acquisition of shares, stocks, debentures or other securities ;]

7[(10B) "intermediary or insurance intermediary" shall have the meaning assigned to it in clause (f) of sub-section (1) of section 2 of the Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority Act, 1999 (41 of 1999);]

8[(11) "life insurance business" means the business of effecting contracts of insurance upon human life, including any contract whereby the payment of money is assured on death (except death by accident only) or the happening of any contingency dependent on human life, and any contract 17

which is subject to payment of premiums for a term dependent on human life and shall be deemed to include- (a) the granting of disability and double or triple indemnity accident benefits, if so provided in the contract of insurance, (b) the granting of annuities upon human life ; and

(c) the granting of superannuation allowances and 1[benefit payable out of any fund] applicable solely to the relief and maintenance of persons engaged or who have been engaged in any particular profession, trade or employment or of the dependents of such persons ;]

2[Explanation.- For the removal of doubts, it is hereby declared that "life insurance business" shall include any unit linked insurance policy or scrips or any such instrument or unit, by whatever name called, which provides a component of investment and a component of insurance issued by an insurer referred to in clause (9) of this section.]

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5[(13A) "marine insurance business" means the business of effecting contracts of insurance upon vessels of any description, including cargoes, freights and other interests which may be legally insured, in or in relation to such vessels, cargoes and freights, goods, wares, merchandise and property of whatever description insured for any transit by land or water, or both, and whether or not including warehouse risks or similar risks in addition, or as incidental to such transit, and includes any other risks customarily included among the risks insured against in marine insurance policies ; (13B) "miscellaneous insurance business" means the business of effecting contracts of insurance which is not principally or wholly of any kind or kinds included in clauses (6A), (11) and (13A);]

6[(13BA) "National Company Law Tribunal" means the National Company Law Tribunal constituted under section 10FB of the Companies Act, 1956 (1 of 1956); (13BB) "the National Company Law Appellate Tribunal" means the National Company Law Appellate Tribunal constituted under sub-section (1) of section 10FR of the Companies Act, 1956 (1 of 1956);]

(14) "prescribed" means prescribed by rules made under 7[this Act]; and

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(16) "private company" and "public company" have the meanings respectively assigned to them in 1[clause (68) and clause (72) of section 2 of the Companies Act, 2013 (18 of 2013)];

2[(16A) "regulations" means the regulations framed by the Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India established under the Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority Act, 1999 (41 of 1999); (16B) "re-insurance" means the insurance of part of one insurer's risk by another insurer who accepts the risk for a mutually acceptable premium; (16C) "Securities Appellate Tribunal" means the Securities Appellate Tribunal established under section 15K of the Securities and Exchange Board of India Act, 1992 (15 of 1992);]

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1. The Act has been extended to-

Goa, Daman and Diu with modifications by Reg. 12 of 1962, s. 3 and the Schedule; and came into force in Pondicherry on

1-10-1963, vide Reg. 7 of 1963, s. 3 and the Schedule I; and brought into force in Dadra and Nagar Haveli (w.e.f. 1-7-1965) by

Reg. 6 of 1963, s. 2 and the Schedule I; the whole of the Union territory of Lakshadweep (w.e.f. 1-10-1967) vide Reg. 8 of

1965, s. 3 and the Schedule; and brought into force in the State of Sikkim (w.e.f. 1-7-1975) vide S.O. 274(E), dated 24-6-1975.

2. Subs. by Act 47 of 1950, s. 2, for sub-section (2) (w.e.f. 1-6-1950).

3. The words "except the State of Jammu and Kashmir" omitted by Act 62 of 1956, s. 2 and the Schedule (w.e.f. 1-11-1956).

4. 1st July, 1939: see notification no. 589-(4)/38, dated the 1st April, 1939, Gazette of India, 1939, Pt. I, p. 631.

5. Subs. by Act 5 of 2015, s. 3, for clauses (1) and (1A) (w.e.f. 26-12-2014).

6. Subs. by Act 6 of 1946, s. 2, for clause (2) (w.e.f. 20-3-1946).

7. Subs. by Act 47 of 1950, s. 3, for clause (3) (w.e.f. 1-6-1950).

8. The words "Part A" omitted by the Adaptation of Laws (No. 3) Order, 1956.

* Subject to verification and confirmation by the administrative ministry.

1. The word "Part A" omitted by the Adaptation of Laws (No. 3) Order, 1956.

2. Sub-clause (v) omitted by Act 42 of 2002, s. 2 (w.e.f. 23-9-2002).

3. Ins. by The Adaptation of Laws (No. 3) order 1956.

4. Subs. by Act 47 of 1950, s. 3 for clause 4 (w.e.f. 1-6-1950).

5. Ins. by s. 3, ibid, (w.e.f. 1-6-1950).

6. Now renamed as Banking Regulation Act, 1949 (10 of 1949).

7. Subs. by Act 13 of 1941, s. 2, for "an insurer" (w.e.f. 8-4-1941).

8. Subs. by s. 2, ibid, for "the insurer" (w.e.f. 8-4-1941).

9. Clause (5A) omitted by Act 5 of 2015, s. 3 (w.e.f. 26-12-2014).

10. Subs. by Act 41 of 1999, s. 30 and the First Schedule (w.e.f. 19-4-2000). Earlier it was inserted by Act 47 of 1950, s. 3

(w.e.f. 1-6-1950).

1. Ins. by Act 47 of 1950, s. 3 (w.e.f. 1-6-1950).

2. Ins. by Act 5 of 2015, s. 3 (w.e.f. 26-12-2014).

3. Subs. by Act 47 of 1950, s. 3, for clause (7) (w.e.f. 1-6-1950).

4. Subs. by Act 5 of 2015, s. 3, for clause (7A) (w.e.f. 26-12-2014).

5. Clause (8) omitted by s. 3, ibid. (w.e.f. 26-12-2014).

6. Ins. by Act 42 of 2002, s. 2 (w.e.f. 9-8-2002).

1. Subs. by Act 5 of 2015, s. 3, for sub-clause (b) (w.e.f. 26-12-2014).

2. Ins. by s. 3, ibid. (w.e.f. 26-12-2014).

3. Subs. by s. 3, ibid., for clause (9) (w.e.f. 26-12-2014).

4. The words and figures "licensed under section 42" omitted by s. 3, ibid. (w.e.f. 26-12-2014).

5. The words "being an individual" omitted by Act 35 of 1957, s. 2 (w.e.f. 1-9-1957).

6. Ins. by Act 47 of 1950, s. 3 (w.e.f. 1-6-1950).

7. Ins. by Act 42 of 2002, s. 2 (w.e.f. 23-9-2002).

8. Subs. by Act 47 of 1950, s. 2, for clause (11) (w.e.f. 23-9-2002).

1. Subs. by Act, 5 of 2015, s. 3, for "annuities payable out of any fund" ( w.e.f. 26-12-2014).

2. Ins. by Act 26 of 2010, s. 3 (w.e.f. 9-4-2010).

3. Clause (12) omitted by Act 5 of 2015, s. 3 (w.e.f. 26-12-2014).

4. Clause (13) omitted by s. 3, ibid. (w.e.f. 26-12-2014).

5. Ins. by Act 47 of 1950, s. 3 (w.e.f. 1-6-1950).

6. Ins. by Act 11 of 2003, s. 133 and the Schedule (w.e.f. 1-4-2003).

7. Subs. by Act 41 of 1999, s. 30 and the First Schedule, for "section 114" (w.e.f. 19-4-2000).

8. Clause (14A) omitted by Act 62 of 1956, s. 2 and the Schedule (w.e.f. 1-11-1956).

9. Clause (15) omitted by Act 5 of 2015, s. 3 (w.e.f. 26-12-2014).



Insurance Act, 1938 Back




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