The insurance regulator on Wednesday urged the companies to open e-insurance accounts (e-IA) for their customers, which would act as the first step towards dematerialisation of insurance policies. The regulator is also keen on developing Bima Sugam, a digital platform for selling, servicing, and settling claims.
e-IAs serve as a repository of all insurance policies that the customers have subscribed to. The regulator has been discussing with the insurance industry on dematerialisation of insurance policies, a move aimed at increasing customer convenience.
The Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India (Irdai) has held consultations with the insurance, both life and non-life companies, this week and has sought their views on the matter.
Dematerialisation means converting physical documents into a modifiable online format. This initiative was started by Irdai a few years back but did not take off due to operational challenges.
“The regulator has invited views of the industry on the issue of dematerialisation of insurance policies. Irdai officials met the industry on Wednesday and explained the benefits of this facility, however, they have not mandated it yet,” said Vignesh Shahane, MD & CEO, Ageas Federal Life Insurance.
“The idea is to get every new customer an e-IA with an insurance repository and do the same for existing customers within 12 months. Irdai sees great benefit in moving customers into e-IAs. This has great benefit for all the stakeholders in the ecosystem, including the regulator. Irdai is looking at a sophisticated portal where the customers can buy insurance policies and get their claims settled and will be useful for all the stakeholders,” Shahane said.
Bima Sugam is a plug-and-play solution with an API interface. Irdai chief had termed it as a game changer in his address last month.