A process long due

Mar 04 2014, 09:47 IST
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SummaryUnclaimed money with insurers has grown three-fold in last four years.

insurer, or these might misplaced in transit.

Irda has now said that the policyholder protection committee of the board of insurance companies will have to ensure timely payouts of dues. The audit committee of the board will look into the unclaimed amount and oversee compliance. Every six months, the insurer will have to file with Irda details of the action taken and status of the unclaimed amount. Policyholders, on their part, must notify the insurer about any change in address.

Analysts say policyholders should convert all their life insurance policies into dematerialised format, which will be held with an insurance repository. At present, the facility is not available for general and health insurance. The repositories will enable policyholders to make changes in nominee or address details and also act as a single point for all policy related servicing.

One of the major advantages of keeping insurance policies in the electronic form is safety, as there is no risk of loss or damage of the policy bond. As all policies can be electronically held under a single e-insurance account, the policyholder can access them from anywhere.

A single change-of-address request made to the insurance repository can update policies issued by multiple insurers, thus reducing paperwork.

Moreover, an e-insurance account holder will be spared the trouble of submitting know your customer (KYC) details each time a new policy is taken.

Every year, the repository will send a statement of account to the e-insurance account holder with details. 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.

Insurance firms will send an insurance information sheet with basic details of the policy when a new electronic policy is issued. Repositories will enable a platform where policyholders can get the facility of online premium payment and claim settlement.

The e-insurance account holder will have an option to shift from one repository to another.

Irda has also made it clear that repositories will not sell or solicit policies and they will be authorised only to maintain policies in electronic form and provide service record. Each e-insurance account will have a unique account number and each account holder will be granted a login ID and password to access his policies online.

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