Insurance is a means of protection from financial loss. It is a form of risk management, primarily used to hedge against the risk of a contingent or uncertain loss.An entity which provides insurance is known as an insurer, insurance company, insurance carrier or underwriter. A person or entity who buys insurance is known as an insured or as a policyholder. The insurance transaction involves the insured assuming a guaranteed and known relatively small loss in the form of payment to the insurer in exchange for the insurer's promise to compensate the insured in the event of a covered loss.

Insurance Repository :-

On 16 September 2013, IRDA launched "insurance repository" services in India. It is a unique concept and first to be introduced in India. This system enables policy holders to buy and keep insurance policies in dematerialised or electronic form. Policyholders can hold all their insurance policies in an electronic format in a single account called electronic insurance account (eIA). Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India has issued licences to five entities to act as Insurance Repository.

Legal Structure :-

The insurance sector went through a full circle of phases from being unregulated to completely regulated and then currently being partly deregulated. It is governed by a number of acts.The General Insurance Business Act of 1972 was enacted to nationalise about 107 general insurance companies then and subsequently merging them into four companies. All the companies were amalgamated into National Insurance, New India Assurance, Oriental Insurance and United India Insurance, which were headquartered in each of the four metropolitan cities.Until 1999, there were no private insurance companies in India.

Authorities :-

The primary regulator for insurance in India is the Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India (IRDAI) which was established in 1999 under the government legislation called the Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority Act, 1999.The industry recognises examinations conducted by the IAI (for 280 actuaries), III (for 2.2 million retail agents, 361 brokers, 175 bancassurers, 125 corporate agents and 29 third-party administrators) and IIISLA (for 8,200 surveyors and loss assessors).