Electronic Accounts for All Insurance Policies

Insurance repositories system is introduced and with the help of electronic accounts you can now convert your policies into electronic form without any cost. All existing and new insurance policies will now be in a dematerialised format and held with an insurance repository. The repositories will enable policyholders to make changes in nominee or address details, or make any other modification, and also act as a single-stop shop for all policy-related servicing.

IRDA (Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority)  granted certificate of registration for repositories to five entities- NSDL Database Management, Central Insurance Repository, SHCIL Projects, Karvy Insurance Repository and CAMS Repository Services.

One of the major advantages of keeping insurance policies in electronic form is safety as there is no risk of loss or damage. All insurance policies can be electronically held under a single e-insurance account, the policyholders can access the policy and get details from anywhere and even download a copy of the policy.

By making single address change request you can update address in all of your policies issued by multiple insurers, so reduces paperwork and saves time.

An e-insurance accountholder will be spared the trouble of submitting KYC details each time a new policy is taken. Every year repository will send a statement of account to the e-insurance accountholder with the details of all policies. Single view of all policies will be made available to an authorized person in case of death of the e-insurance accountholder and will help in faster claim settlement. Currently the management cost for insurance companies is around Rs 120 per policy per annum but with e-insurance this cost is likely to come down to Rs 20 per policy per annum. The e-insurance account and servicing will be offered without any charges to the policyholder.

You can credit all new and existing life, annuities, health and general insurance policies to the e-account but to start with only life insurance polices will be credited.

Insurance firms will send an insurance information sheet, which will contain basic details of the policy policy when a new electronic policy is issued. Repositories will enable a platform where policyholders can get the facility of online payment of premiums and online claim settlement by insurers. The e-insurance account holder will have an option to shift from one repository to another. IRDA said that repositories will not sell or solicit policies. They will be authorized only to maintain policies in electronic form and provide service record. Each e-insurance account will have a unique account number and each accountholder will be granted a login ID and password to access his policies online.

An individual cannot open multiple e-insurance account. An e-insurance accountholder or a policy holder will have to fill in the e-insurance form, submit a photo identity, address proof, a recent passport size photograph and a cancelled cheque for ECS/NEFT services for insurance premium payment.

Even an individual who does not have an insurance policy can open an e-insurance account. After buying a policy, he can submit a request for dematerialization to the insurer or the insurance repository. An e-insurance account will be opened within seven days from the date of submission of the complete application. If the insurance repository fails to issue the policy in electronic form within the time specified, it will be liable to fine. Once an account is open, the repository will send a welcome kit, giving details of how to operate the account.

If you want to buy a new policy in electronic form, all you have to do is quote the e-insurance account number in your proposal form and make a request for a policy in electronic form. The repository will send an email and SMS on your registered email id and mobile number to confirm that the policy has been successfully credited into your e-insurance account.

By the time, insurance repositories will be able to provide a number of convenient services to policyholders.