With advancement of information technology, it was the turn of insurance sector to go digital like others. Facilities to keep policies in electronic format along with various online services had been sought for a long time in India. In 2013, the Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India (IRDAI) brought Insurance Repository System (IRS); the first of its kind in India with a view to bring transparency in the sector along with providing services at a click of mouse.
Insurance Repositories are companies formed and registered with the insurance regulator under the Companies Act, 1956 for maintaining data of insurance policies whether it’s life or non-life in digital form on behalf of insurance companies. With any of the licensed insurance repositories, policyholders can keep their policies in an Electronic Insurance Account (eIA).
So far, the IRDAI has licensed five entities to operate their businesses as insurance repositories. These are – Central Insurance Repository Limited, NSDL Database Management Limited, Karvy Insurance Repository Limited, CAMS Repository Services Limited and SHCIL Projects Limited.
With this move, over 25 crore policyholders having policies about 37 crore, can avail the benefits of keeping their e-insurance in a phased manner. With opening of an electronic account, policyholders will not require to keep paper documents.
What is an e-Insurance Account (e-IA)?
A demat account that facilitates policyholders to access and manage their policies online either bought as a physical policy or e-policy. To buy and keep policies in electronic mode, policyholders will need to open an electronic insurance account with any of the Insurance Repositories. Policyholders can buy and keep all kind of policies be it Health insurance, Term insurance, Motor insurance, Pension plan, or any other policies in a single eIA, they don’t need to open separate account for separate policy irrespective of insurers. Each policyholder, after getting an eIA opened, receives a unique user id and password using which they can login to the respective repository website to access their accounts.
Benefits of keeping policies in an e-IA
Unlike physical policies, there is no fear of losing or being damaged of policies different insurance companies in a single electronic account that enables policyholders to view and manage their policies online on the go. They don’t need to go offices of different insurers. Because of its single-point service feature and data available online, altering of details such as – address, nominee name etc. has become simple, faster and more reliable.
After you make changes, your repository notifies all relevant insurance companies. It would also help curbing mis-selling of insurance policies.
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How can One Buy Policy after having an Electronic Account?
Since a policyholder has already submitted all KYC documents to the repository at the time of opening the eIA and have been verified, he/she don’t require to submit such documents again while buying a policy. Thus, buying of insurance policies in electronic form becomes simpler. The buyer only needs to specify his/her unique electronic account number in the application. The respective insurance provider soon issues policy, and it is reflected in policyholder’s eIA.