All about Insurance Repository & e-Insurance policies

Here is all you need to know about Insurance Repository & e-Insurance policies:

all about insurance repository and e -insurance accountMr. Anand Mishra who has a life insurance policy wanted to claim the money on maturity, to his shock he realised that his policy document was misplaced when he recently shifted his residence. Since he didn’t have the original policy document the claim process was cumbersome and time consuming. I am sure; this is not just a standalone incident, it might have happened to many policy holders.

To mitigate the problems associated with the issuance of paper documents, Insurance Repositories were established way back in 2013. It offered an e-Insurance account wherein policyholders could maintain their policy documents in dematerialised form. However, the idea could not scale heights as the policyholder had to bear the charges of dematerialisation & there was no mandate from IRDAI to the insurers to issue e-Insurance policies. The insurance companies thus continued to issue insurance policies in paper form.

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What is an Insurance Repository?

Insurance Repository is an artificial judicial entity or a company formed and registered under the Companies Act 1956, (1 of 1956) and authorised by Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India (IRDAI) to maintain policyholders’ e-Insurance accounts containing electronic insurance policies.

The primary objective of institution of Insurance Repository was the provision of an electronic facility wherein policyholders could hold and undertake changes, modifications and revisions in the electronic insurance policy with speed and accuracy. Besides, the repository will act as a one point contact for several policy service requirements. The Insurance repository system also brings about efficiency and transparency in the issuance and maintenance of insurance policies. In India following entities can act as insurance repositories:

• M/s NSDL Database Management Limited
• M/s Central Insurance Repository Limited
• M/s SHCIL Projects Limited
• M/s Karvy Insurance Repository Limited
• M/s CAMS Repository Services Limited

IRDA Regulations Jun 2016(Issuance of e-Insurance Policies)

To emphasise the usage of e-insurance accounts, the Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India (IRDAI) has come up with the Regulations for Issuance of electronic policy and submission of electronic proposal form of insurance policies. These regulations will be called as the Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India (Issuance of e-Insurance Policies) Regulations, 2016 and will be effective from 1st October 2016.

As per the new mandate, all the insurance companies will have to issue policies in electronic format for an annual premium equal to or above Rs. 10,000 or sum assured of greater than or equal to Rs. 10,000,00. It will be applicable for the life insurance as well as non-life insurance policies.

Let me now take you through the details of e-Insurance account.

What is an e-Insurance Account?

The e-Insurance Account is an online platform that will safeguard the insurance policy documents of the policyholders in electronic format. It will give policyholders, access to their insurance portfolio on a single platform. It will act like a bank passbook where for every policy, policy details such as the commencement & maturity, status, nomination & assignment, endorsement, address, terms and conditions, etc., would be available. In addition to this, the policyholder will be able to download a copy of the policy bond.

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How to open an e-Insurance Account?

The policyholder would be required to open an e-insurance account with any one of these repositories, absolutely free of cost. The insured needs to fill an e-insurance account application form and submit the application form to the repository or the insurer along with the required documents namely photo ID proof (PAN card/Aadhar), address proof, recent passport size photograph and a cancelled cheque.

Below is the List of valid KYC documents:

1. Identity Proof (Any One)
•  PAN card
•  UID
2. Address Proof (Any One)
•  Ration Card
•  Passport
•  Aadhar Card
•  Voter ID
•  Driving license
•  Bank Passbook (not more than six months old)
•  Verified copies of
–    Electricity bills (not more than six months old),
–    Residence Telephone bills (not more than six months old) &
–    Registered Lease and License agreement / Agreement for sale.
•  Self-declaration by High Court & Supreme Court judges, giving the new address in respect of their accounts.
•  Identity card/document with address, issued by
–    Central/State Government and its Departments,
–    Statutory/Regulatory Authorities,
–    Public Sector Undertakings,
–    Scheduled Commercial Banks,
–    Public Financial Institutions,
–    Colleges affiliated to universities; and
–    Professional Bodies such as ICWAI, Bar Council of India, ICAI, etc. to their Members

The account will be opened within one week, having a unique Account number. The account holder will be provided with a unique Login ID and Password to access the electronic policies online. An individual can open only one e-Insurance account.

e-Proposal Form norms

• Every insurer looking to solicit insurance business through electronic mode is required to create an e-proposal form similar to the physical proposal form.

• The e-Proposal form should also have the option to capture the electronic Insurance Account (eIA) number that can be filled by the prospect wherever available.

• Every insurer also has to provide the physical version of the e-proposal form. If the information is captured in physical form, then the insurer has to make a provision to replicate the information into electronic form.

• If the prospect does not have an eIA number, then the insurer shall facilitate the creation of e-Insurance Account number wherever the e-insurance policy is intended to be issued through the Insurance Repository.

Features of an e-Insurance Account

• Buy policies online- You just need to fill an e-proposal form and quote your e-Insurance Account number in it. Once the policy is issued, the same would be intimated via a message sent to your registered mobile number & e-mail id.

• Convert your existing physical insurance policies into electronic form- This can be done by sending a service request to the insurance repository or the insurer.

• Hold all types of insurance policies like life, health, general and annuity in electronic form.

• Make modifications in the e-policy- For this, you simply need to send a request to the repository. It will affect the changes for which it is authorised & will forward the rest to your insurer.

You can also close your e-account by forwarding a request to the repository. Once the account is closed, the repository will provide you with the hard copy of your insurance policy.

In the event of death of e-Insurance account holder:

In the case death, e-Insurance account can be accessed by an Authorised Representative as appointed by the account holder. The Authorised Representative will have to intimate the Insurance Repository about the demise/incapability of policyholder with valid proof. He/she will only have the access rights to the account and will not be entitled to receive any policy benefits unless he/she has been designated as a ‘nominee’ or an ‘assignee’ by the deceased policy holder.

Benefits of e-Insurance Account

Benefits of eInsurance Account

1. Cost-Efficient:

When the customer buys the policy online, it eliminates the commission associated with the involvement of insurance agent. Buying the policies online is cheaper as the premium will be low. Also, the cost of converting policies from the paper to Demat form will be beard by the insurer.

2. Convenience:

All the insurance policies such as life, health, pension, etc. will be available under one umbrella and will be accessible anytime anywhere through e-Insurance account. Service request for e-Insurance account or any of the electronic policy can be submitted through a single platform. Loss or damage of policy, as in paper form will be eliminated and policies will be in safe custody.

3. Better After-sales Service:

More often, the customer tends to be forgotten by the insurance company after the sale of the insurance policy. But the IRDA regulations are an attempt to ensure responsiveness towards customer queries post sale of the product. If you want to modify and revise your policy or e-Insurance Account, you can send a request to your Insurance Repository.  It will affect the changes for which it is authorised & will forward the rest to your insurer.

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For example: If the policyholder wants to update his address, he can submit the request through e-Insurance account, and it will be updated on all the policies linked to the account. He need not have to visit the insurers.

4. Eco-friendly:

From the beginning to end, the entire process is not only hassle-free but also paperless. Even when the repository would answer to your queries, it would send the message on your registered email id & mobile number. This attribute of e-Insurance Account makes it an Eco-friendly option to conduct insurance transactions.

5. Easy Claim Settlement:

Policy benefits will be paid through the electronic facility to the registered bank accounts thereby resulting in faster claim settlement.

6. Reduces Agency Frauds:

There have been cases of insurance agents who mismanage funds of their clients like not submitting premium amounts to the insurer. It may put the client in jeopardy and devoid him of risk cover by the insurance company. E-insurance would bring an end to this problem. When you would buy an insurance policy through this platform, the premium paid by you would directly reach your insurance company instead of getting lost in transit.

7. Reduces errors while filling proposal form:

Insurance contracts require full and correct disclosure of all material facts by the proposer in the proposal form. If you get the proposal form filled by someone else on your behalf, the chances of submitting incorrect information are high. It may be problematic at the time of claim settlement. But when you buy policies via e-Insurance Account then you would be required to fill the e-proposal form on your own. It would ensure submission of correct information, and you or your family would face lesser problems at the time of claim settlement.

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