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Most insurance policies to be in electronic form wef 1 Oct

August 19, 2016

Almost all insurance policies will be issued in electronic form with effect from 1 October this year, with insurance buyers required to have an e-insurance account (eIA) to buy or renew policies thence.

Most policies, including all motor insurance and overseas travel insurance policies, will only be purchasable in electronic form after September. From filling up the application form to making payments online to the issuance of the policy document, the entire process of buying insurance could soon be paperless. Maintaining and managing policy documents or records across multiple companies will also be done away with, as the policyholder will have access to a single-view platform. “More importantly, customers will no longer be vulnerable to being cheated by fraudsters fabricating and forging policies since digital policies will be authentic,” Mr Easwara Narayanan, Chief Operating Officer, Future Generali India Insurance told The Economic Times.

However, Mr S V Ramanan, CEO, CAMS Repository Services, said: “The response to the e-insurance account has been lukewarm so far. The reason being it’s still not well known in the market. The policyholder trusts the recommendation of the sales person or the insurer, and this hasn’t been their priority at the moment.” Customers will have to open an eIA with any insurance repository to hold the insurance policies in electronic form. Currently, there are five insurance repositories in India. Mr Nilesh Parmar, COO, Edelweiss Tokio Life, said: “In the immediate term, we do see some disruption on account of the mandatory issuance of e-insurance policies for all online customers. Convincing customers of the need to open an eIA account and the actual process of opening this account for the vast majority of customers who don’t have this account yet could lead to some challenges.”

Furthermore, there are still large areas of the country where this may not be possible. Mr Anil Chopra, Group CEO & Director, Bajaj Capital, said: “The extension of this (electronic policies) to small cities and villages and to the policyholders who are not Internet-savvy is challenging.” Mr Narayanan also said: “Companies may have to organise digital signatures, apart from initiating arrangements with repositories for opening electronic insurance accounts. These are not major challenges.”



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