Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India

Ref: IRDAI/IID/GDL/MISC/160/8/2022 | Date: 1st August 2022

All Insurers

Re: Master Guidelines on Anti-Money Laundering/ Counter Financing of Terrorism (AML/CFT), 2022

IRDAI had issued Master Guidelines on AML/CFT for General insurers and Life insurers in 2013 and 2015 respectively. Subsequently, multiple circulars had been issued on the subject.

2. In order to consolidate and update guidelines on AML/CFT, a single Master Guidelines covering provisions of PML Act, Rules and other applicable norms (as amended from time to time) is issued.

3. The guidelines are applicable to all classes of Life, General or Health insurance business.

4. The guidelines will come into force from 1st November 2022.

Randip Singh Jagpal
(Executive Director)


Date: 1st Aug 2022

Ref: IRDAI/IID/GDL/MISC/160/8/2022

Ref: IRDAI/IID/GDL/MISC/160/8/2022

Date: 1st Aug 2022

All the Insurers

Re: Master Guidelines on Anti-Money Laundering/Counter Financing of Terrorism (AML/CFT), 2022

1. Introduction

1.1. In terms of the provisions of Prevention of Money Laundering Act, 2002 (PMLA/PML Act/Act and the Prevention of Money- Laundering (Maintenance of records) Rules, 2005 (PML Rules/Rules) (as amended from time to time), insurers are required to follow Customer Identification Procedures while undertaking a transaction at the time of establishing an account based relationship/ client based relationship and monitor their transactions on-going basis.

1.2. Insurers shall take steps to implement provisions of PML Act and the PML Rules, as amended from time to time, including operational instructions issued in pursuance of such amendment(s).

1.3. The obligation to establish an anti-money laundering program applies to insurers as per provisions of clause (ii) and (iii) sub rule (14) of Rule 9 of the PML Rules. Insurers have responsibility for guarding against insurance products and services being used to launder unlawfully derived funds or to finance terrorist acts.

1.4. Money Laundering is a process or activity of moving illegally acquired money through financial systems so that it appears to be legally acquired. Section 3 of PMLA specifies the Offence of Money Laundering.

2. Short Title, Applicability and Commencement

2.1. These guidelines shall be called as Master Guidelines on Anti-Money Laundering/Counter Financing of Terrorism (AML/CFT) for all the insurers. These guidelines are issued by exercising the power enshrined under Section 34 of Insurance Act, 1938, Section 14(1) of Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority Act 1999 and provisions 4,5,7,9, 9A & 10 of the PML Rules.

2.2. These Guidelines would be applicable for all class of Life, General or Health Insurance business carried out by the „Insurers‟ except Re-insurance business carried out by the „Indian Insurance company‟ or „foreign company‟ in India.

2.3. These guidelines would come into force from 1st November 2022.

3. Definitions

In these guidelines, unless the context otherwise requires, the terms herein shall bear the meanings assigned to them as below:

3.1. “Aadhaar number”, shall have the meaning assigned to it under clause(a) of section 2 of the Aadhaar (Targeted Delivery of Financial and Other Subsidies, Benefits and Services) Act, 2016, hereinafter referred to as „The Aadhaar Act‟.

3.2. “Authentication”, means the process as defined under clause (c) of section 2 of the Aadhaar Act as amended from time to time.

3.3. “Beneficial owner” shall have the meaning assigned to it under sub clause (fa) of clause (1) of Section 2 of the PML Act.

3.4. “Central KYC Records Registry” (CKYCR) means an entity defined under clause (ac) of sub rule (1) of Rule 2 of the PML Rules, to receive, store, safeguard and retrieve the KYC records in digital form of a customer.

3.5. “Client” shall have the meaning assigned to it under sub clause (ha) of clause (1) of Section 2 of the PML Act.

Explanation: For the purpose of this guideline, the term client includes a customer/ person (Natural or Juridical) who may be a proposer or policyholder or master policyholder or life assured or beneficiaries or assignees, as the case may be.

3.6. “Client Due Diligence” (CDD) shall have the meaning assigned to it under sub clause (b) of clause (1) of Rule 2 of the PML Rules.

3.7. “Designated Director” shall have the meaning assigned to it under sub clause (ba) of clause (1) of Rule 2 of the PML Rules.

3.8. “Digital KYC” shall have the meaning assigned to it under sub clause (bba) of clause (1) of Rule 2 of the PML Rules.

3.9. “KYC Templates” means templates prepared to facilitate collating and reporting the KYC data to the CKYCR, for individuals and legal entities.

3.10. “KYC Records” shall have the meaning assigned to it under sub clause (cd) of clause (1) of Rule 2 of the PML Rules.

3.11. “Offline verification” shall have the same meaning as assigned to it in clause (pa) of section 2 of the Aadhaar Act.

3.12. “On-going Due Diligence” means regular monitoring of transactions to ensure that they are consistent with the customers‟ profile and source of funds.

3.13. “Officially valid document” shall have the meaning assigned to it under sub clause (d) of clause (1) of Rule 2 of the PML Rules.

3.14. “Politically Exposed Persons (PEPs)” shall have the meaning assigned to it under sub clause (xii) of 3(b) of Chapter I of Master Direction – Know Your Customer (KYC) Direction, 2016 issued by Reserve Bank of India (RBI), as amended from time to time.

3.15. “Principal Officer” shall have the meaning assigned to it under sub clause (f) of clause (1) of Rule 2 of the PML Rules.

3.16. “Suspicious Transaction” shall have the meaning assigned to it under sub clause (g) of clause (1) of Rule 2 of the PML Rules.

3.17. “Video Based Identification Process (VBIP)” means an alternative (optional)electronic process of Identification/ KYC in paperless form, carried out by the insurer/authorised person (person authorised by the insurer and specifically trained for face-to-face VBIP) by undertaking seamless, secure, real-time, consent based audio-visual interaction with the customer/beneficiary to obtain identification information including the necessary KYC documents required for the purpose of client due diligence and to ascertain the veracity of the information furnished by the customer/ beneficiary.

3.18. Words and expressions used and not defined in these guidelines but defined in the Insurance Act, 1938 (4 of 1938), Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority Act, 1999 (41 of 1999),the PML Act, the PML Rules, the Aadhaar Act, Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, 1967 shall have the meanings respectively assigned to them in those Acts, Rules, Regulations, Guidelines issued under those Acts, as the case may be.

4. Internal policies, procedures, controls and compliance arrangement

4.1. Every Insurer has to establish and implement policies, procedures, and internal controls that effectively serve to prevent and impede Money Laundering (ML) and Terrorist Financing (TF).

4.2. To be in compliance with these obligations, the senior management of insurers shall be fully committed to establishing appropriate policies and procedures for the prevention of ML and TF and ensuring their effectiveness and compliance with all relevant legal and regulatory requirements. The insurers shall:

4.2.1. Develop an AML/CFT program comprising of policies and procedures, for dealing with ML and TF reflecting the current statutory and regulatory requirements.

4.2.2. Ensure that the content of these guidelines are understood by all staff members/agents. Develop staff members’/agents’ awareness and vigilance to guard against ML and TF.

4.2.3. The AML/CFT program should have the approval of the insurer’s board. The program should be reviewed periodically on the basis of risk exposure and suitable changes (if any) be effected based on experience and to comply with the extant Act / Rules / Regulations and other applicable norms.

4.2.4. Adopt client acceptance policies and procedures which are sensitive to the risk of ML and TF.

4.2.5. Undertake CDD measures to an extent that is sensitive to the risk of ML and TF depending on the type of client, business relationship or transaction.

4.2.6. Have in place a system for identifying, monitoring and reporting suspected ML or TF transactions to FIU-IND and the law enforcement authorities (if so required).

4.3. Policies and procedures set under AML/CFT program shall cover:

4.3.1. Communication of policies relating to prevention of ML and TF to all level of management and relevant staff that handle policyholder’s information (whether in branches or departments) in all the offices of the insurer;

4.3.2. The Client Due Diligence Program including policies, controls and procedures, approved by the senior management, to enable the insurers to manage and mitigate the risk that have been identified either by the insurers or through national risk assessment.

4.3.3. Maintenance of records;

4.3.4. Compliance with relevant statutory and regulatory requirements;

4.3.5. Co-operation with the relevant law enforcement authorities, including the timely disclosure of information;

4.3.6. Role of internal audit or compliance function to ensure compliance with the policies, procedures and controls relating to the prevention of ML and TF, including the testing of the system for detecting suspected money laundering transactions, evaluating and checking the adequacy of exception reports generated on large and/or irregular transactions, the quality of reporting of suspicious transactions and the level of awareness of front line staff, of their responsibilities in this regard. The internal audit function shall be independent, adequately resourced and commensurate with the size of the business and operations, organization structure, number of clients and other such factors.

4.4. Responsibility of Insurers:

The guidelines place the responsibility of a robust AML/CFT program on the insurers. Nonetheless, it is necessary that the following steps are taken to strengthen the level of control on the intermediaries/representative of insurer engaged by the insurers:

4.4.1. The list of rules and regulations covering performance of intermediaries /representative of insurer must be put in place. A clause should be added making KYC norms mandatory and specific process document can be included as part of the contracts.

4.4.2. Insurers shall initiate appropriate actions against defaulting intermediaries /representative of insurer who expose the insurers to AML/CFT related risks on multiple occasions.

4.4.3. As most part of the insurance business is through intermediaries /representative of insurers, the selection process of intermediaries/representative of insurer should be monitored scrupulously in view of set AML/CFT measures.

4.5. Compliance Certificate:

Insurers shall submit annual compliance certificate as provided in Annexure I within 45 days of end of Financial Year.

5. Appointment of a Designated Director and a Principal Officer

5.1. A “Designated Director”, who has to ensure overall compliance with the obligations imposed under chapter IV of the PML Act and the PML Rules, shall be appointed or designated by the insurers.

5.2. A Principal Officer (PO) at a senior level shall be appointed to ensure compliance with the obligations imposed under chapter IV of the Act and the Rules.

5.3. The contact details with mobile number and email id of the Designated Director and the Principal Officer or any changes thereon shall be communicated to Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India (IRDAI) and FIU-IND within 7 days of its effect.

5.4. In terms of Section 13 of the PMLA, the Director, FIU-IND can take appropriate action, including imposing a monetary penalty on insurers or its Designated Director or any of its employees for failure to comply with any of its AML/CFT obligations.

6. Recruitment and Training

6.1. Adequate screening mechanism as an integral part of their personnel recruitment/hiring process shall be put in place.

6.2. On-going training programme shall be put in place so that the members of staff are adequately trained in AML/CFT policy. The focus of the training shall be different for frontline staff, compliance staff, staff dealing with new customers and claims. The front line staff shall be specially trained to handle issues arising from lack of customer education. Proper staffing of the audit function with persons adequately trained and well-versed in AML/CFT policies of the insurers, guideline and related issues shall be ensured.

7. Internal Control/Audit

Internal audit/inspection department of insurers shall periodically verify compliance with the extant policies, procedures and controls related to money laundering activities on the basis of overall risk assessment. Insurers shall also upgrade its questionnaire and system from time-to-time in accordance with the extant PMLA and PML Rules. The reports should specifically comment on the robustness of the internal policies and processes in this regard and make constructive suggestions where necessary, to strengthen the policy and implementation aspects. Insurers shall submit audit notes and compliance to the Audit Committee.

8. Know Your Customer (KYC) Norms

8.1. What are KYC Norms?

8.1.1. Considering the potential threat of usage of the insurance services by a money launderers, insurers should make best efforts to determine the true identity of customer(s).

8.1.2. Effective procedures should be put in place to obtain requisite details for proper identification of new/ existing customer(s). Special care has to be exercised to ensure that the contracts are not under anonymous or fictitious names.

8.1.3. Where a client is a juridical person, insurers shall take steps to identify the client and its beneficial owner(s) and take all reasonable measures to verify his/her identity to their satisfaction so as to establish the beneficial ownership. Procedures for determination of Beneficial Ownership shall be as prescribed in sub rule (3) of Rule 9 of PML Rules.

8.1.4. While implementing the KYC norms on juridical persons, insurers will have to identify and verify their legal status through various documents (indicated, but not limited to, at sub-rule (6) to (9) of rule 9 of the PML Rules ), to be collected in support of The name, legal form, proof of existence, Powers that regulate and bind the juridical persons, Address of the registered office/ main place of business, Authorized individual person(s), who is/ are purporting to act on behalf of such client, and Ascertaining Beneficial Owner(s)

No reporting entity shall allow the opening of or keep any anonymous account or account in fictitious names or account on behalf of other persons whose identity has not been disclosed or cannot be verified.

8.1.5. While implementing the KYC norms on juridical person other than those mentioned in sub-rule (6) to (9) of rule 9 of the PML Rules , insurers shall verify that any person purporting to act on behalf of such client is so authorised and verify the identity of that person.

8.1.6. Where a client is an individual person, insurers shall verify the identity, address and recent photograph in order to comply with provision as specified in sub rule (4) of Rule 9 of the PML Rules.

A list of documents to be verified and collected under KYC norms for individuals is given in sub-rule (4) and (18) of rule 9 of the PML Rules.

No further documentation is necessary for proof of residence where the document of identity submitted also includes the proof of residence/address.

Where a customer submits Aadhaar for identification and wants to provide current address different from the address available in the Central Identities Data Repository, the customer may give a self- declaration to that effect to the insurer.

Under Individual Policies, those individuals who are not able to undergo Aadhaar Authentication due to any injury, illness or old age or otherwise, or they do not wish to go for Aadhaar Authentication, they may submit their Officially Valid Documents (OVDs) at the time of commencement of Account based relationship.

8.1.7. Insurers may perform KYC process by any of the following methods: Aadhaar based KYC through Online Authentication subject to notification by the Government under section 11A of PMLA Or Aadhaar based KYC through offline verification Or Digital KYC as per PML Rules Or Video Based Identification Process (VBIP) as consent based alternate method of establishing the customer‟s identity, for customer. The process of VBIP has been specified in Annexure II. Or By using „KYC identifier‟ allotted to the client by the CKYCR Or By using Officially Valid documents

AND PAN/Form 60 (wherever applicable) and any other documents as may be required by the insurer

8.1.8. Under all kinds of Group Insurance (Life /General/Health), KYC of Master Policyholders / Juridical Person / Legal Entity and the respective Beneficial Owners (BO) shall be collected. However, the Master Policyholders under the group insurance shall maintain the details of all the individual members covered, which shall also be made available to the insurer as and when required.

8.1.9. Customer information should be collected from all relevant sources, including from agents/intermediaries.

8.1.10 Care has to be exercised to avoid unwitting involvement in insuring assets bought out of illegal funds.

8.1.11 It is imperative to ensure that the insurance premium should not be disproportionate to income/ asset.

8.1.12 At any point of time, where insurers are no longer satisfied about the true identity and the transaction made by the customer, a Suspicious Transaction Report (STR) should be filed with Financial Intelligence Unit-India (FIU-IND) if it is satisfied that the transaction meets the criteria specified in sub clause (g) of clause (1) of Rule 2 of the PML Rules and any guidelines / indicators issued by IRDAI or FIU-IND.

8.2. Client Due Diligence (CDD)

Insurers shall undertake CDD as per the provisions of Rule 9 of PML Rules. Accordingly, the insurer shall undertake CDD as follows:

8.2.1. Knowing New Customer/ Client

In case of every new customer, necessary Client due diligence with valid KYC documents of the customer/ client shall be done at the time of commencement of account based relationship.

8.2.2. Knowing Existing Customer/Client

The AML/ CFT requirements are applicable for all the existing customers/ clients. Hence, necessary Client due diligence with KYC (as per extant PML Rules) shall be done for the existing customers from time to time basis the adequacy of the data previously obtained.

In case of non- availability of KYC of the existing clients as per the extant PML Rules, the same shall be collected within 2 years for low risk customers and within 1 year for other customers (including high risk customers).

For continued operation of accounts of existing customers having insurance policy of not more than aggregate premium of Rs. 50,000/- in a financial year, PAN/Form 60 may be obtained by such date as may be notified by the Central Government.

8.2.3. Ongoing Due Diligence

Besides verification of identity of the customer at the time of initial issuance of contract, Risk Assessment and ongoing due diligence should also be carried out (if so required) at times when additional/ subsequent remittances are made.

Any change which is inconsistent with the normal and expected activity of the customer should attract the attention of the insurers for further ongoing due diligence processes and action as considered necessary.

8.2.4. Verification at the time of payout/claim stage (redemption/surrender/ partial withdrawal/ maturity/ death/ refunds/reimbursement etc.) In insurance business, no payments should be allowed to third parties except as provided in the contract or in cases like superannuation/ gratuity accumulations and payments to beneficiaries/ legal heirs/assignees in case of death benefits . Necessary due diligence should be carried out of the policyholders / beneficiaries/ legal heirs/ assignees before making the pay-outs. Free look cancellations need particular attention of the Insurer especially in cases of client indulging in free look cancellation on more than one occasion at short intervals frequently.

8.2.5. Necessary due diligence become more important in case the policy has been assigned by the policyholder to a third party not related to him (except where insurance policy is assigned to Banks/ FIs/ Capital market intermediaries regulated by IRDAI/RBI/ SEBI or Marine cargo insurance policies). Notwithstanding the above, insurers are required to ensure that no vulnerable cases go undetected, especially, where there is suspicion of money- laundering or terrorist financing, or where there are factors to indicate a higher risk, necessary due diligence will have to be carried out on such assignments and STR should be filed with FIU-IND, if necessary.

9. Risk Assessment/ Categorization

9.1. Insurers have to carry out ML and TF Risk Assessment exercise as provided in sub rule (13) of Rule 9 of PML Rules periodically based on risk exposure to identify, assess, document and take effective measures to mitigate its ML and TF risk for clients/customers or geographic areas, products, services, nature and volume of transactions or delivery channels etc. While assessing the ML/TF risk, the insurers are required to take cognizance of the overall sector specific and country specific vulnerabilities, if any, that the Government of India / IRDAI may share with insurers from time to time. Further, the internal risk assessment carried out by insurer should be commensurate to its size, geographical presence, complexity or activities/ structure etc.

9.2. In the context of the very large base of insurance customers and the significant differences in the extent of risk posed by them, as part of the risk assessment, the insurers shall at a minimum, classify the customer into high risk and low risk, based on the individual’s profile and product profile, to decide upon the extent of due diligence.

9.3. The documented risk assessment shall be updated from time to time. The insurers shall consider all the relevant risk factors before determining the level of overall risk and the appropriate level and type of mitigation to be applied. It shall be made available to competent authorities and law- enforcement agencies, as and when required.

9.4. Risk Categorization:

9.4.1. Risk categorization shall be undertaken based on parameters such as customer’s identity, social/financial status, nature of business activity, and information about the clients’ business and their location etc. While considering customer’s identity, the ability to confirm identity documents through online or other services offered by issuing authorities may also be factored in.

9.4.2. For the purpose of risk categorization, individuals (other than High Net Worth) and entities whose identities and source of wealth can be easily identified and transactions in whose policies by and large conform to the known profile may be categorized as low risk. Illustrative examples of low risk customers could be salaried employees whose salary structures are well defined, people belonging to lower economic strata of the society, government departments and government owned companies, regulators and statutory bodies. In such cases, the policy may require that only the basic requirements of verifying the identity and location of the customer are to be met. Notwithstanding the above, in case of continuing policies, if the situation warrants, as for examples if the customer profile is inconsistent with this investment through top-ups, a re-look on customer profile is to be carried out.

9.4.3. For the high risk profiles, like for customers who are non – residents, high net worth individuals, trusts, charities, NGO’s and organizations receiving donations, companies having close family shareholding or beneficial ownership, firms with sleeping partners, politically exposed persons (PEPs), and those with dubious reputation as per available public information who need higher due diligence, KYC and underwriting procedures should ensure higher verification and counter checks.

10. Simplified Due Diligence (SDD)

10.1. Simplified measures as provided under sub clause (d) of clause (1) of Rule 2 of PML Rules are to be applied by the insurer in case of individual policies, where the aggregate insurance premium is not more than Rs 10000/ – per annum.

However, Simplified Client Due Diligence measures are not acceptable whenever there is a suspicion of money laundering or terrorist financing or where specific high risk scenarios apply, based on the Risk Assessment/categorization policy of the insurers. Based on the robust risk assessment, insurers may apply Simplified Due Diligence measures only in respect of customers that are classified as ‘low risk’.

10.2. The list of simplified due diligence documents are specified in sub clause (d) of clause (1) of Rule 2 of the PML Rules.

11. Enhanced Due Diligence (EDD)

11.1. Enhanced Due Diligence as mentioned in Section 12AA of PML Act. shall be conducted for high risk categories of clients.

11.2. Insurers should examine, as far as reasonably possible, the background and purpose of all complex, unusual patterns of transactions, which have no apparent economic or lawful purpose. Where the risks of money laundering or terrorist financing are higher, insurers should be required to conduct enhanced due diligence measures, consistent with the risks identified.

11.3. Insurers shall

11.3.1. Verify the identity of the clients preferably using Aadhaar subject to the consent of customer or;

11.3.2. Verify the client through other modes/ methods of KYC as specified in these guidelines.

11.4. Insurer shall examine the ownership and financial position, including client’s source of funds commensurate with the assessed risk of customer and product profile.

12. Sharing KYC information with Central KYC Registry (CKYCR)

12.1. Government of India has notified the Central Registry of Securitisation Asset Reconstruction and Security Interest of India (CERSAI), to act as, and to perform the functions of the CKYCR vide Gazette Notification No. S.O. 3183(E) dated November 26, 2015.

12.2. Where a customer submits a “KYC identifier” for KYC, the Insurers shall retrieve the KYC records from CKYCR. In such case, the customer shall not submit the KYC records unless there is a change in the KYC information required by Insurers as per Rule 9(1C) of PML Rules.

12.3. If the KYC identifier is not submitted by the client / customer, insurers shall search (with certain credentials) for the same on CKYCR portal and record the KYC identifier of the client/ customer, if available.

12.4. If the KYC identifier is not submitted by the client/customer or not available in the CKYCR portal, insurer shall capture the KYC information in the prescribed KYC Template meant for „Individuals’ or „Legal Entities’, as the case may be.

12.5. Insurers shall file the electronic copy of the client‟s KYC records with CKYCR within 10 days after the commencement of account based relationship with a client/ Customer (both Individual/ Legal Entities).

12.6. Once “KYC Identifier” is generated/ allotted by CKYCR, the Insurers shall ensure that the same is communicated immediately to the respective policyholder in a confidential manner, mentioning its advantage/ use to the individual/legal entity, as the case may be.

12.7. The following details need to be uploaded on CKYCR if Verification/Authentication is being done using Aadhaar:

12.7.1. For online Authentication,

a) The redacted Aadhar Number (Last four digits)

b) Demographic details

c) The fact that Authentication was done

12.7.2. For offline Verification

a) KYC data

b) Redacted Aadhaar number (Last four digits)

12.8. At the time of periodic updation, it is to be ensured that all existing KYC records of individual/legal entity customers are incrementally uploaded as per the extant CDD standards. Insurers shall upload the updated KYC data pertaining to inforce /paid-up policies against which “KYC identifier” are yet to be allotted/generated by the CKYCR.

12.9. Insurer shall not use the KYC records of the client obtained from Central KYC Records registry for purposes other than verifying the identity or address of the client and should not transfer KYC records or any information contained therein to any third party unless authorised to do so by the client or IRDAI or by the Director(FIU-IND).

13. Reliance on third party KYC

For the purposes of KYC norms under clause 8, while insurers are ultimately responsible for customer due diligence and undertaking enhanced due diligence measures, as applicable, insurers may rely on a KYC done by a third party subject to the conditions -specified under sub-rule (2) of rule (9) of the Rules.

Where insurer relies upon third party that is part of the same financial group, they should obtain KYC documents or the information of the client due diligence within 15 days.

14. Contracts with Politically Exposed Persons (PEPs)

14.1. It is emphasized that proposals of Politically Exposed Persons (PEPs) in particular requires examination by senior management.

14.2. Insurers are directed to lay down appropriate on-going risk management procedures for identifying and applying enhanced due diligence measures on an on-going basis to PEPs and customers who are close relatives of PEPs. These measures are also to be applied to insurance contracts of which a PEP is the ultimate beneficial owner (s).

14.3. If the on-going risk management procedures indicate that the customer or beneficial owner(s) is found to be PEP, or subsequently becomes a PEP, the senior management should be informed on this business relationship and apply enhanced due diligence measures on such relationship.

15. New Business Practices/Developments

15.1. Insurers shall pay special attention to money laundering threats that may arise from

15.1.1. Development of new products

15.1.2. New business practices including new delivery mechanisms

15.1.3. Use of new or developing technologies for both new and pre­existing products.

15.2. Special attention should especially, be paid to the „non-face-to-face‟ business relationships brought into effect through these methods.

15.3. Insurers should lay down systems to prevent the misuse of money laundering framework. Safeguards will have to be built to manage typical risks associated in these methods like the following:

15.3.1. Ease of access to the facility;

15.3.2. Speed of electronic transactions;

15.3.3. Ease of making multiple fictitious applications without incurring extra cost or the risk of detection;

15.4. The extent of verification in respect of such „non face-to-face‟ customers will depend on the risk profile of the product and that of the customer.

15.5. Insurers shall have in place procedures to manage specific increased risks associated with such relationships e.g. verification of details of the customer through on-site visits.

16. Implementation of Section 51A of the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, 1967 (UAPA)

16.1. Section 51A of the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, 1967(UAPA), relating to the purpose of prevention of, and for coping with terrorist activities was brought into effect through UAPA Amendment Act, 2008. In this regard, the Central Government has issued an Order dated 2nd February 2021 detailing the procedure for the implementation of Section 51A of the UAPA.

16.2. The insurers should not enter into a contract with a customer whose identity matches with any person in the UN sanction list or with banned entities and those reported to have links with terrorists or terrorist organizations.

16.3. Insurers shall periodically check MHA website for updated list of banned entities.

16.4. A list of individuals and entities subject to UN sanction measures under UNSC Resolutions (hereinafter referred to as „designated individuals/ entities‟) would be circulated to the insurers through Life/ General Insurance Council, on receipt of the same from the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA). This is in addition to the list of banned entities compiled by Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) that have been circulated to the insurers till date.

16.5. Insurers shall maintain an updated list of designated individuals/entities in electronic form and run a check on the given parameters on a regular basis to verify whether designated individuals/entities are holding any insurance policies with the insurers. An updated list of individuals and entities which are subject to various sanction measures as approved by Security Council Committee established pursuant to UNSC 1267 can be accessed regularly from the United Nations website at and UNSC 1988 can be accessed regularly from the United Nations website at

16.6. By virtue of Section 51A of the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, 1967 (UAPA), the Central Government is empowered to freeze, seize or attach funds of and/or prevent entry into or transit through India any individual or entities that are suspected to be engaged in terrorism. [The list is accessible at website]. To implement the said section an order reference F. No. 14014/01/2019/CFT dated 2nd February, 2021 has been issued by the Government of India. The salient aspects of the order with particular reference to insurance sector are provided at Annexure III.

16.7. The list of Nodal Officers for UAPA is available on the website of Ministry of Home Affairs.

17. Contracts emanating from countries identified as deficient in AML/CFT regime

Insurers are required to:

17.1. Conduct enhanced due diligence while taking insurance risk exposure to individuals/entities connected with countries identified by FATF as having deficiencies in their AML/CFT regime.

17.2. Pay Special attention to business relationships and transactions, especially those which do not have apparent economic or visible lawful purpose. In all such cases, the background and purpose of such transactions will as far as possible, have to be examined and written findings have to be maintained for assisting competent authorities.

17.3. Agents/intermediaries/ employees to be appropriately informed to ensure compliance with this stipulation.

17.4. Go beyond the FATF statements and consider publicly available information when identifying countries which do not or insufficiently apply the FATF Recommendations while using the FATF Public Statements, being circulated through the Life/ General Insurance Council.

17.5. Take similar measures on countries considered as high risk from terrorist financing or money laundering perspective based on prior experiences, transaction history or other factors (e.g., legal considerations, or allegations of official corruption).

18. Reporting Obligations

18.1. Insurers shall furnish to the Director, Financial Intelligence Unit-India (FIU-IND), information referred to in Rule 3 of the PML Rules in terms of Rule 7 thereof.

Explanation: In terms of Third Amendment Rules notified in September 22, 2015 regarding amendment to sub rule 3 and 4 of rule 7, Director, FIU- IND shall have powers to issue guidelines to the Insurers for detecting transactions referred to in various clauses of sub-rule (1) of rule 3, to direct them about the form of furnishing information and to specify the procedure and the manner of furnishing information.

18.2. The reporting formats and comprehensive reporting format guide, prescribed/ released by FIU-IND and Report Generation Utility and Report Validation Utility developed to assist insurers in the preparation of prescribed reports shall be taken note of. The editable electronic utilities to file electronic Cash Transaction Reports (CTR) / Suspicious Transaction Reports (STR) which FIU-IND has placed on its website shall be made use of by Insurers which are yet to install/adopt suitable technological tools for extracting CTR/STR from their live transaction data. The Principal Officers of those insurers, whose all branches are not fully computerized, shall have suitable arrangement to cull out the transaction details from branches which are not yet computerized and to feed the data into an electronic file with the help of the editable electronic utilities of CTR/STR as have been made available by FIU-IND on its website

18.3. Illustrative list of Suspicious Transactions would be shared by IRDAI through Life/ General Insurance Council. Further, Red Flag Indicators issued by FIU-IND also be taken in account for Suspicious Transaction, wherever necessary.

18.4. While furnishing information to the Director, FIU-IND, delay of each day in not reporting a transaction or delay of each day in rectifying a mis- represented transaction beyond the time limit as specified in the Rule shall be constituted as a separate violation. Insurers shall not put any restriction on operations in the accounts where an STR has been filed. Insurers shall keep the fact of furnishing of STR strictly confidential. It shall be ensured that there is no tipping off to the customer at any level.

18.5. Robust software, throwing alerts when the transactions are inconsistent with risk categorization and updated profile of the customers shall be put in to use as a part of effective identification and reporting of suspicious transactions.

18.6. Insurers shall leverage the broadest number of data points / records available with them in implementing alert generation systems to assist in identifying and reporting suspicious activities.

18.7. Insurers should not enter into arrangement with any unregulated entity which may have the effect of directly or indirectly impairing any reporting obligations of the insurer.

19. Record Keeping

19.1. In view of Rule 5 of the PML rules, the insurers, its Designated Director, Principal Officer, employees are required to maintain the information/records of types of all transactions [as mentioned under Rules 3 and 4 of PML Rules 2005] as well as those relating to the verification of identity of clients for a period of five years. The records referred to in the said Rule 3 shall be maintained for a period of five years from the date of transaction. Records pertaining to all other transactions, (for which insurers are obliged to maintain records under other applicable Legislations/Regulations/Rules) insurers are directed to retain records as provided in the said Legislation/Regulations/Rules but not less than for a period of five years from the date of end of the business relationship with the customer.

19.2. Records can be maintained in electronic form and/or physical form. In cases where services offered by a third party service providers are utilized,

19.2.1 Insurers shall be satisfied about the organizational capabilities, and that technology, systems and measures are in place to safeguard the privacy of the data maintained and to prevent unauthorized access, alteration, destruction, disclosure or dissemination of records and data.

19.2.2 The physical or electronic access to the premises, facilities, automatic data processing systems, data storage sites and facilities including back-up sites and facilities and to the electronic data communication network of the service provider is controlled, monitored and recorded.

19.2.3 The service provider has established standard transmission and encryption formats and non-repudiation safeguards for electronic communication of data.

19.2.4 It should also be ensured that the provisions under the relevant and extant data protection statutes are duly complied with.

19.3. Insurers should implement specific procedures for retaining internal records of transactions both domestic or international, to enable them to comply swiftly with information requests from the competent authorities. Such records must be sufficient to permit reconstruction of individual transactions (including the amounts and types of currency involved (if any) so as to provide, if necessary, evidence for prosecution of criminal activity. Insurers should retain the records of those contracts, which have been settled by claim or cancelled, for a period of at least five years after that settlement.

19.4. In situations, where the records relate to ongoing investigations, or transactions which have been the subject of a disclosure, they should be retained until it is confirmed that the case has been closed. Wherever practicable, insurers are required to seek and retain relevant identification documents for all such transactions and report such transactions of suspicious funds.

19.5. In case of customer identification data obtained through the customer due diligence process, account files and business correspondence should be retained (physically or electronically) for at least five years after the business relationship is ended.

20. Monitoring of Transactions

20.1. Regular monitoring of transactions is vital for ensuring effectiveness of the AML/CFT procedures. This is possible only if the insurers have an understanding of the normal activity of the client so that it can identify deviations in transactions/ activities.

20.2. Insurers shall pay special attention to all complex large transactions/ patterns which appear to have no economic purpose. The insurers may specify internal threshold limits for each class of client accounts and pay special attention to transactions which exceeds these limits. The background including all documents/ office records/ memorandums/ clarifications sought pertaining to such transactions and purpose thereof shall also be examined carefully and findings shall be recorded in writing. Further such findings, records and related documents shall be made available to auditors and also to IRDAI/ FIU-IND/ other relevant Authorities, during audit, inspection or as and when required. These records are required to be maintained and preserved for a period of five years from the date of transaction between the client and insurers.

20.3. The Principal Officer of the insurers shall monitor and ensure that Suspicious transactions shall be regularly reported to the Director, FIU- IND.

20.4. Further, the compliance cell of insurers shall randomly examine a sample of transactions undertaken by clients to comment on their nature i.e. whether they are in nature of suspicious transactions or not.

21. Repeal Provisions

From the date of coming into force of these guidelines, the instructions / guidelines contained in the circulars mentioned in the Appendix, issued by IRDAI shall stand repealed.

22. Notwithstanding anything contained in these guidelines, in case of any issue with respect to interpretation of any provision of these guidelines, the provisions/ directives of the FIU India, the PML Act/Aadhaar Act/Income Tax Act and their rules as amended from time to time, will prevail.

The insurers are also advised to refer to the extant relevant directives, rules, laws and provisions mentioned therein on a regular basis to broadly understand, apply, update their AML /CFT program and implement the provisions of this guideline.

(Randip Singh Jagpal) Executive Director
Master Guidelines on AML/CFT

Annexure I

(refer to para 4.5)

Certificate of Compliance (Master Guidelines AML/CFT)

Name of Insurer:

Financial Year:

We do hereby submit that our company………………………………….. (name)……………………………………………………………………………………… has fully complied with all the norms laid down under Master AML / CFT guidelines 2022, and the company has set up a robust mechanism to comply with the extant PML Rules / Acts.

Principal Officer/Chief Compliance Officer(Name and Signature)

Chief Executive Officer (Name and Signature)

(* to be submitted within 45 days of end of FY)

Annexure II

(refer to para

Video Based Identification Process(VBIP)

Insurers may undertake live VBIP by developing an application which facilitates KYC process either online or face-to-face in-person verification through video. This may be used for establishment/continuation/ verification of an account based relationship or for any other services with an individual customer/beneficiary, as the case may be, after obtaining his/her informed consent and shall adhere to the following stipulations:

a) The Insurer/authorised person while performing the VBIP for KYC shall record clear live video of the customer/beneficiary present for identification and obtain the identification information in the form as below:

i) Aadhaar Authentication if voluntarily submitted by the Customer/ beneficiary, subject to notification by the government under Section 11 A of PMLA or

ii) Offline Verification of Aadhaar for identification, if voluntarily submitted by the Customer/beneficiary or

iii) Officially Valid Documents (As defined in rule 2(d) under PML Rules 2005) provided in the following manner –

1) As digitally signed document of the Officially Valid Documents, issued to the DigiLocker by the issuing authority


2) As a clear photograph or scanned copy of the original Officially Valid Documents, through the eSign mechanism.

b) The insurer may also utilize this facility to verify PAN (wherever applicable). The insurer/authorised person shall capture a clear image of PAN card to be displayed by the customer during the process, except in cases where e-PAN is provided by the customer. The PAN details shall be verified from the database of the issuing authority including through Digilocker. Use of printed copy of e-PAN is not valid for VBIP.

c) The insurer/authorised person shall ensure that the online video is clear and the customer/beneficiary along with the authorised person in the video shall be easily recognisable and shall not be covering their face in any manner.

d) Live location of the customer/beneficiary (Geotagging) shall be captured (both for online/ face-to-face VBIP) to ensure that customer/beneficiary is physically present in India.

e) The authorised person/ Insurer shall ensure that the photograph and other necessary details of the customer/beneficiary in the Aadhaar/ Officially Valid Documents/ PAN matches with the customer/beneficiary present for the VBIP.

f) The authorised person/ Insurer shall ensure that the sequence and/or type of questions during video interactions are varied in order to establish that the interactions are real-time and not pre-recorded.

g) In case of offline verification of Aadhaar using XML file or Aadhaar Secure QR Code, if voluntarily submitted by the Customer/ beneficiary, it shall be ensured that the generation of XML file or QR code is recent and not older than 3 days from the date of carrying out VBIP.

h) All accounts opened or any service provided based on VBIP shall be activated only after being subject to proper verification by the insurer to ensure that the integrity of process is maintained and is beyond doubt.

i) Insurers shall ensure that the process is a seamless, real-time, secured, end- to-end encrypted audio-visual interaction with the customer/beneficiary and the quality of the communication is adequate to allow identification of the customer/ beneficiary beyond doubt. Insurers shall carry out the liveliness check in order to guard against spoofing and such other fraudulent manipulations.

j) To ensure security, robustness and end to end encryption, the insurers shall carry out software and security audit and validation of the VBIP application as per extant norms before rolling it out and thereafter from time to time.

k) The audio-visual interaction shall be triggered from the domain of the insurers itself, and not from third party service provider. The VBIP process shall be operated by the Insurer/authorized persons. The activity log along with the credentials of the official performing the VBIP shall be preserved.

l) Insurers shall ensure that the video recording bears the GPS coordinates, date (DD:MM:YY) and time stamp (HH:MM:SS) along with other necessary details, which shall be stored in a safe and secure manner as per PML Rules.

While exercising Online VBIP, the Insurer shall exercise extra caution and the additional necessary details viz. IP address etc. shall be preserved by the insurer to substantiate the evidence at the time of need.

m) Insurers are encouraged to take assistance of the latest available technology (including Artificial Intelligence (AI) and face matching technologies etc.) to strengthen and ensure the integrity of the process as well as the confidentiality of the information furnished by the customer/beneficiary. However, the responsibility of identification shall rest with the insurer.

n) Authorized person of the insurer shall facilitate face to face VBIP process only at the customer/beneficiary end.

However, the ultimate responsibility for client due diligence will be with the insurer.

o) Insurer shall maintain the details of the concerned Authorised person, who is facilitating the VBIP.

p) Insurers shall ensure to redact or blackout the Aadhaar number as per extant PML Rules.

q) Insurer will adhere to the IRDAI Cyber security guidelines as amended from time-to-time along with the necessary security features and standard as mentioned below:

    • The Video KYC application and related APIs/Web Services shall undergo application security testing (both gray box and white box) through an CERT-In empanelled vendor and all reported vulnerabilities shall be mitigated before moving into production.
    • The infrastructure components used for hosting Video KYC application shall undergo vulnerability assessment and secure configuration review through an CERT-In empanelled vendor and all reported vulnerabilities shall be mitigated before moving into production.
    • There shall be an end-to-end encryption from the customer/beneficiary to the hosting point of the Video KYC application. The minimum encryption standards and key lengths like AES 256 for encryption should be used.
    • If the Video KYC application and video recordings are located at a third party location and/or in Cloud then the third party location and/or cloud hosting location shall be in India.

Annexure III

(refer to para 16.6)

Implementation of Section 51A of UAPA

To implement the said section an order reference F. No. 14014/01/2019/CFT dated 2nd February, 2021, has been issued by the Government of India. The salient aspects of the order with particular reference to insurance sector are detailed in the following paras:

i. Procedure for reporting/freezing of insurance policies of ‘designated individuals/entities’

In case any matching records are identified, the procedure required to be adopted is as follows:

a) To maintain updated designated lists in electronic form and run a check on the given parameters on a daily basis to verify whether individuals or entities listed in the Schedule to the Order, hereinafter, referred to as designated individuals/entities are holding any funds, financial assets or economic resources or related services held in the form of insurance policies with them.

b) In case, the particulars of any of their customers match with the particulars of designated individuals/entities, the insurers shall immediately inform full particulars of the funds, financial assets or economic resources or related services in the form of insurance policies, held by such a customer on their books to the Central [designated] Nodal Officer for the UAPA, at Fax No. 011-23092551 and also convey over telephone No. 011-23092548. The particulars apart from being sent by post shall necessarily be conveyed on email id: [email protected]

c) The insurers shall also send a copy of the communication mentioned in 1(b) above to the UAPA Nodal Officer of the State/UT (where the account is held) and to IRDAI and FIU-IND without delay.

d) In case, the match of any of the customers with the particulars of designated individuals/entities is beyond doubt, insurers shall prevent such designated individuals/entities from conducting any transactions, under intimation to the Central [designated] Nodal Officer for the UAPA at Fax No. 011-23092551 and also convey over telephone No. 011-23092548. The particulars apart from being sent by post should necessarily be conveyed on e-mail id: [email protected], without delay.

e) Insurers shall file a Suspicious Transaction Report (STR) with FIU-IND in respect of the insurance policies covered by paragraph (1) (a) above, carried through or attempted, in the prescribed format.

f) On receipt of the particulars (held in the form of Insurance Policies) of suspected designated individual/entities the Central [designated] Nodal Officer for the UAPA would cause a verification to be conducted by the State Police and/or the Central Agencies so as to ensure that the individuals/entities identified by the insurers are the ones listed as designated individuals/entities and the insurance policies, reported by insurers are held by the designated individuals/entities.

g) In case, the results of the verification indicate that the insurance policies are owned by or are held for the benefit of the designated individuals/entities, an order to freeze these insurance policies under section 51A of the UAPA would be issued without delay and conveyed electronically by the Central [designated] Nodal Officer for the UAPA to the concerned office of insurers under intimation to IRDAI and FIU-IND.

h) The said order shall take place without prior notice to the designated individuals/entities.

„Freezing of insurance contracts‟ would require not-permitting any transaction (financial or otherwise), against the specific contract in question.

ii. Procedure for unfreezing of insurance policies of individuals/entities inadvertently affected by the freezing mechanism, upon verification that the individual/ entity is not a designated individual/entity

a) Any individual or entity, if they have evidence to prove that the insurance policies, owned/held by them has been inadvertently frozen, shall move an application giving the requisite evidence, in writing, to the concerned insurers.

b) Insurers shall inform and forward a copy of the application together with full details of the insurance policies inadvertently frozen as given by any individual or entity, to the Central [designated] Nodal Officer of MHA within two working days.

c) The Central [designated] Nodal Officer for the UAPA shall cause such verification as may be required on the basis of the evidence furnished by the individual/entity and if he is satisfied, he shall pass an order, without delay, unfreezing the insurance policies owned/held by such applicant, under intimation to the concerned insurers. However, if it is not possible for any reason to pass an Order unfreezing the assets within 5 working days, the Nodal Officer shall inform the applicant.

iii. Implementation of requests received from foreign countries under U.N. Security Council Resolution 1373 of 2001

a) U.N. Security Council Resolution 1373 obligates countries to freeze without delay the funds or other assets of persons who commit, or attempt to commit, terrorist acts or participate in or facilitate the commission of terrorist acts; of entities owned or controlled directly or indirectly by such persons; and of persons and entities acting on behalf of, or at the direction of such persons and entities, including funds or other assets, derived or generated from property owned or controlled, directly or indirectly, by such persons and associated persons and entities.

b) To give effect to the requests of foreign countries under U.N. Security Council Resolution 1373, the Ministry of External Affairs shall examine the requests made by the foreign countries and forward it electronically, with their comments, to the Central [designated] Nodal Officer for freezing of funds or other assets.

c) The Central [designated] Nodal Officer of MHA, shall cause the request to be examined without delay, so as to satisfy that on the basis of applicable legal principles, the requested designation is supported by reasonable grounds, or a reasonable basis, to suspect or believe that the proposed designee is a terrorist, one who finances terrorism or a terrorist organization, and upon his satisfaction, request would be electronically forwarded to the Nodal Officer in IRDAI. The proposed designee, as mentioned above would be treated as designated individuals/entities.

d) Upon receipt of the request by Nodal Officer in IRDAI from the Central [designated] Nodal Officer, the request would be forwarded to insurers and the procedure as enumerated at paragraphs (i) above on freezing of insurance policies shall be followed.

e) The freezing orders shall take place without prior notice to the designated persons involved.

iv. Communication of orders under section 51A of UAPA

IRDAI would communicate all Orders under section 51A of UAPA relating to insurance policies, to all the insurers after receipt of the same from MHA.

v. Exemption in accordance with UNSCR 1452

The above provisions of freezing shall not apply to funds and other financial assets or economic resources that are necessary for paying insurance premiums or exclusively for payment of reasonable professional fees and reimbursement of incurred expenses associated with the provision of legal services or fees or service charges for routine holding or maintenance of frozen funds or other financial assets or economic resources, after notification by the MEA of the intention to authorize, where appropriate, access to such funds, assets or resources and in the absence of a negative decision within 48 hours of such notification.


List of Circulars*

Sl Circular Ref Date Contents
1. IRDA/SDD/GDL/CIR/020/02/ 2013 7th February 2013 AML/CFT (Guidelines for General Insurers)
2. IRDA/SDD/GDL/CIR/79/ 04/2013 22nd April 2013 Data on AML/CFT guidelines
3. IRDAI/SDD/GDL/CIR/175/09/ 2015 28th Sep-tember 2015 Master circular on AML/CFT(Guidelines for Life Insurers)
4. IRDAI/SDD/MISC/CIR/135 /07/2016 12th July 2016 Operati-onalisation of Central KYC Record Registry (CKYCR)
5. IRDAI/SDD/MISC/CIR/ 248/11 /2017 8th November 2017 The prevention of Money-Laundering (Maintenance of Records) Second Amendment Rules, 2017
6. IRDAI/SDD/CIR/ MISC/267/12/2017 18th December 2017 The prevention of Money-Laundering (Maintenance of Records) Seventh Amendment Rules, 2017
7. IRDAI/SDD /CIR/MISC/047 03/2018 20th March 2018 The prevention of Money-Laundering (Maintenance of Records) Second and Seventh Amendment Rules, 2017
8. IRDA/SDD/CIR/ MISC/020/01/2019 29th January 2019 Allowing Aadhaar Card as one of the  acceptable documents for
KYC under certain conditions
9. IRDA/SDD/CIR / MISC/245/09/2020 21st Sept-ember 2020 Video Based Identification
10 IRDAI/SDD/CIR/MISC/016/ 01/2021 25th January 2021 Centralized KYC Registry – Roll out of Legal Entity Template & other changes

* The above circulars have been repealed by this Master Guidelines.

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