Most of the new insurance policies henceforth will be issued only in electronic format. Policies will be issued instantly in digital format and even existing policies can be converted into an e-insurance one. Every policyholder will require an e-insurance account for this. The new rule has come into effect from October 1.
The e-insurance account will be akin to a demat account for shares and mutual funds. All types of insurance policies—life, health, motor, travel—will be stored in digital format and one can renew policies or make changes to any policy online. It is mandatory for every insurer to issue electronic insurance policies in disaster-prone and vulnerable areas as specified by Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India (Irdai). Every insurer will issue electronic insurance policies directly to the policyholder or through the registered insurance repositories. Even existing policy holders can avail the facility of electronic insurance by registering with the insurer.
Benefits of e-insurance
The electronic insurance accounts will be opened free of cost for policyholders. As all policies can be held under a single e-insurance account, one can access them from anywhere and download a copy. One of the major advantages of keeping insurance policies in the electronic form is that there is no risk of loss or damage.
A single change-of-address request made to the repository can update details for policies issued by multiple insurers, thus reducing the paperwork. An insurer can offer discount in the premium rates to the policyholders for electronic insurance policies, which is not the case in case of physical form. A policyholder will not have to make physical visits to the insurance office or branches to register any claim.
Hassle- free KYC
To open an e-insurance account, a policyholder will have to submit details of Aadhaar card, Permanent Account Number (PAN) and an address proof. The repository will verify the documents and the electronic account will be opened within a week from the date of submission of the completed application form. An electronic insurance account holder will not have to submit multiple KYC for policies across life, non-life, health and pension products. Every year, the repository will send a statement of account to the e-insurance account holder with the details of the policies. A single view of all policies will be made available to an authorised person in case of death of the e-insurance account holder, which will help in faster claim settlement.
One can opt for one of the five repositories authorised by the insurance regulator—CAMS Repository Services, Karvy Insurance Repository, Central Insurance Repository, NSDL Database Management and SHCIL Projects. The repositories will capture KYC data and convert the policies into electronic mode. Each repository will maintain records of each e-insurance account and the policyholder will have to login with the ID and password issued by the repository.
One can pay renewal premium through the portal of the insurance repository and the premium collected will be transferred to the designated bank account of the insurer. This will help in bringing premium payments under one roof instead of logging on different insurance company website. The repositories will also have policyholders’ grievances cell for resolution of grievances. The grievances registered with the repositories will be managed through the Integrated Grievances Management System of the insurance regulator.