Articles 1076 views November 13, 2019

E-Insurance

There is a new age of crusaders who strongly believe in going electronic. Going electronic in several fields eliminates the need for having various documents in physical forms. Now let’s put this idea to one of the most common segments that almost everyone is involved with, insurance. There are a number of documents that one has to submit for buying insurance. And then there is the policy document itself. Depending on the type of policy that you are buying, it can be a page or a booklet.

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Imagine if all of that can be eliminated? Well, we are well underway for the same. Over the past few years, insurance companies have put in efforts to reduce the dependency on physical documents. As a result, several insurance companies allow you to buy insurance policies by submitting documents online. Insurers now offer the ability to upload documents to an online portal. This change in the process eliminates the need for making copies of documents and submitting them.

Introduction of E-Insurance

But what about insurance policies? One would still receive a physical copy of the policy document and has to keep the document safe. There are chances of misplacing the document, which can add to the frustration. In a few instances, policyholders even had to endure damaged policy documents. This is where the Insurance Repository System introduced by the IRDAI or Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India comes to save the day.

The advancement in Information Technology has allowed for more seamless paperless transactions. And with the ever-increasing usage of mobile phones, the idea to go paperless with insurance makes even more sense. The idea of going all digital for or paperless for the insurance industry has floated around for some time now, but it is finally materializing.

Insurance Repository System

The IRDAI is now offering the insurance repository system, which allows policyholders to make the most of the digital platform. Policyholders can now buy and store their insurance policies in the digital format and not worry about physical documents ever. The facility was introduced by IRDAI back in 2014. During the initial phases, the policy was exclusively available for life insurance products. However, as the facility gained traction and found more takers, the facility was later available for non-life insurance products as well.

You can now buy and store your life insurance, home insurance, motor insurance, etc. in the digital format using Insurance Repository System. This digital-only platform is a win-win situation for most of the parties involved. For starters, policyholders need not worry about carrying or storing their documents. A single placeholder for all the policies makes way for better management. You can view your documents together, thus plan for renewals in a much better way. By going digital, the insurance companies are all set to save a lot of money. According to some estimates, they can save about INR 100 crore per year by going paperless.

E-Insurance Account (eIA)

To avail of insurance repository system benefits, policyholders need to have an e-insurance account. You can think of it like a Demat account for your insurance policies. A Demat account stores all your securities and shares in an electronic format. The E-Insurance account will similarly hold all your insurance policies in the digital format. Vehicle owners will benefit heavily from the facility since they no longer have to carry a copy of their bike insurance or car insurance.

The IRDAI has even provided guidelines for better policy renewals using the Insurance Repository System. If you have an E-Insurance account, you can renew your policies instantly without having to bother with opening your original insurance document and viewing the details for certain renewals. The guidelines also make it a point that all your insurance policies are in dematerialized or demat format. You can open a free E-Insurance account with any regulated Insurance Repository.

Benefits for Policyholders

It is only natural that policyholders would want to know, what do they have to gain by going paperless. Apart from the obvious convenience of not having to carry your policy documents or worry about storing them, there are a lot of added benefits that policyholders can enjoy. With the E-Insurance account, Insurance Repository is responsible for providing certain mandatory policy details to the policyholders.

These details include information such as status of the policy, the net asset value of policies, the status of bonus, status of premium payment, adding or modifying of nominees, the status of claims, the status of loans, etc. The Insurance Regulatory also would provide information such as due dates for policies along with an option to renew them instantly. Together, these are compelling enough reasons.

With Insurance Repository, you can manage your insurance products in a much better and smarter way. Imagine looking at your E-Insurance account and finding out the policy renewal dates, rather than flipping through policy documents or waiting for your insurer to remind you via an SMS or email.

The Workings of E-Insurance Account

Before you can sign up for an E-Insurance account, here are some additional details, which will help you make the decision to go paperless.

  1. You can visit the website of an Insurance Repository and assess the features and benefits on offer. Once you are satisfied, you can provide your details on the website. The insurance company will then create a free E-Insurance account for you. Any charges related to the creation of the account will be borne by the insurer.
  2. Since a customer is allowed to have only one E-Insurance account for all their policies, they are assigned with a unique E-Insurance account number.
  3. While setting up the account, a customer must provide their KYC details, which will be then associated with the E-Insurance account. For all future references, a customer just needs to provide their E-Insurance account number and nothing else.
  4. It is then the responsibility of the Insurance Repository to update the E-Insurance account with all the policy related details such as premiums, loans, bonuses, NAVs, assignment of nominees, etc. A policyholder can use the platform to renew their policies and make payments as well.
  5. The Insurance Repository is also available for insurance advisors. Thus, enabling them to view all the policies that they have helped their clients within a single platform.
  6. The portal allows customers to set reminders for policy renewals, making their life a little bit easier. At the same time, they can also look after all the accrued bonuses as well.
  7. In the event that a policyholder has some concerns or issues, they can use the platform to reach out to the insurance company.
  8. Another interesting aspect of the Insurance Repository is that policyholders can provide access to their accounts to beneficiaries or other authorized representatives. At the time of an injury, accident or even death, this feature comes in handy, as the beneficiaries can log in and get all the policy related details at a single place.

The introduction of E-Insurance or paperless insurance offers a completely different dimension to buying and storing of insurance policies. In fact, it improves the overall insurance experience of an existing policyholder as well as a potential policy buyer. The system provides a lot of transparency and automation, which further enhances the user experience.

Through this initiative, you no longer need to be dependent on physical papers for your insurance policies. Right from the moment you fill up an application form, to submitting documents to getting your life or non-life insurance policies, all are digitized. It not only streamlines the process but makes it a lot faster as well. You can now buy policies within a few minutes, provided you have made up your mind on which policy to buy. Policy renewals will also be a breeze with the help of Insurance Repositories.

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