Get an e-insurance account now

With electronic insurance accounts mandatory from 1 October, find out how to open one and buy e-policies, says Easwara Narayanan.

If you are planning to buy an insurance policy after 1 October, it will be mandatory for you to have an e-insurance account, according to the Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India (IRDAI). Though e-insurance was started two years ago, the accounts have been made mandatory only now. The move is aimed at consolidating your insurance portfolio and also making the claim process easier.

You can open the electronic account by directly approaching the repository, or through your insurer, who can do it through its partnership with a repository. There is no extra cost involved in opening the electronic account. After you get an account, all your insurance policies will be available at one place. You can access them at any time and when it comes to making a claim or registering a complaint, you will not need to pay a physi cal visit to the insurance office or branches. The complaint will be addressed by policyholders’ grievance cell set up in the repository. Besides, the system ensures complete data confidentiality.

A big advantage for the industry is that the introduction of KYC will result in the creation of a reliable and comprehensive data base, complete with the insurance history of the customer and his insured assets, along with claim details.

HOW TO OPEN AN ACCOUNT

The first step is choosing an insurance repository and you can pick one from the five authorised by IRDAI: CAMS Repository Services, Karvy Insurance Repository, Central Insurance Repository, NSDL Database Management and SHCIL Projects.

The next step is to log in to the website of the repository insurance company and fill up the ap plication form. Attach the KYC documents with the form and submit these online. The documents mandatory for opening the account are Aadhar card or Permanent Account Number (PAN) card. There are other documents that you can submit asaddress proof, including the registered lease and licence agreement agreement for sale, Aadhar letter, ration card, driving licence, etc. You could visit the insurer’s or repository’s website for easy reference to the documents required to be submitted for proof of date of birth or for more information on KYC documents.

You can also submit the documents to an `Approved Person’, which is a Point of Sale (PoS) entity appointed by the repository to extend its services. The repository then verifies the documents and feeds the data in the system to open an electronic account. An e-insurance account will be opened within seven days of the date of submission of completed application form. Once the account is opened, a welcome kit, containing the login ID and password, is mailed to you. Now you can log in to the repository website and use the account.

HOW TO BUY AN E-INSURANCE POLICY

If you have opened your e-insurance account through the website of the authorised insurance repository, you will have to share the e-account number with the insurance company while buying the policy online or in person. The repositories are not authorised to sell policies to customers and can only maintain policies in the electronicform, besides providing the details.

If you have opened the account through the insurance company, you need not worry as the processing and all other activities related to the purchase will be completed by the insurer.

Once the account is opened, you can pay the premium by logging into your account. Electronic payments are becoming increasingly popular due to the widespread use of online shopping and banking. The bigger advantage is instant gratification of policy issuance that enables customers to transact 24×7. This will help pay the premiums under one roof, instead of logging in individually to different insurer websites that you may have opted for.

CONVERTING PHYSICAL POLICY TO E-POLICY

These rules apply only for new policies and the existing policies can continue to be held in the physical form. However, if you want to convert your physical policies, you can forward the request by filling the necessary form. You can either log in to the repository website or inform the insurer to convert the policy and link it to your e-insurance account. The e-insurance account is a new paradigm, which will come with a lot of attendant benefits for both the insurers and customers. Policies will be issued instantly and directly to the customer in the digital form and, hence, the question of delay in issuance or non-receipt of policywill not arise.

Source: Economic Times

Date: 26th September 2016

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