New health insurance can now be bought completely online and it is no longer necessary to have physical documents of a car or car insurance policy
You no longer need physical documents from health insurance, car insurance. Here’s How It Works | Photo credit: Thinkstock
To ensure insurance can be bought and sold completely online in the wake of a coronavirus pandemic, the insurance regulator Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India (IRDAI) has given insurers the ability to sell health and auto insurance policies completely online. The entire process from filling in the insurance form to issuing the policies is arranged online.
The physical documents or hard copies of the policy or even the application form are no longer required when purchasing health and auto insurance policies. This not only makes the process faster, more transparent, but also safer for the policyholder. It will help the insurance industry increase penetration and reach more people.
New health insurance can now be purchased completely online and it is no longer necessary to have physical motor insurance documents. This rule is applied to all insured persons where the insured amount does not exceed Rs 5 crore. All package insurance policies issued to individuals follow the same rule and this also applies to fire insurance policies that cover the living expenses. This rule is in effect until March 2021.
What insurance companies should do
- Insurers will send the policy schedule and a copy of the quotation form digitally / electronically. They will only be sent to the registered email address or mobile number provided by the customer with the specific consent of the policyholder.
- At the same time, policyholders will be informed by SMS that the policy document / copy of the proposal form has been sent to their email address or to another digital / electronic mode (as possible).
- Insurers will put in place an appropriate mechanism to ensure that documents are delivered to the policyholder’s designated email ID / mobile number and that confirmation is properly obtained / collected automatically upon delivery.
- When documents are sent electronically, the mechanism of the policyholder who received the document or the electronic platform that delivered the documents is maintained. The policyholder should be clearly informed that the document delivery date is being calculated for consideration of any free viewing requests.
- Insurers keep records of such approvals for further reference.
- The policy document sent electronically contains all schedules, conditions, benefits, etc. otherwise available in the physical document.
- Policyholders are also advised that the printing of a physical policy document and its sending along with the copy of the proposal form may be delayed due to operational issues due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
- The electronically sent policy document is as valid as the physical policy contract / document. Wherever the policyholder requires the physical version of the policy document / copy of the proposal, it will be made available.
- Wherever policy documents could not be sent electronically for any reason, the companies will be required to forward the physical documents to the policyholders.
Application procedure without signature on form
- Where proposal forms are collected, insurers are also permitted to obtain customer consent without a wet signature on the paper version of the proposal form, subject to the following:
- The completed quote form is sent to the prospect on his / her registered email ID or mobile phone number by means of a message with a link, as appropriate.
- If the proposer wishes to consent to the proposal, the same can be allowed by providing a confirmation link or through a duly validated One Time Password (OTP).
- Insurers keep verifiable, legally valid evidence for the submitter’s consent to the fully completed application form.
- Insurers are responsible for 1. Providing approved digital sales materials to insurance agents / intermediaries and ensuring that only those materials are used in recruiting the business. 2. Authentication of the email IDs / mobile numbers of the submitters, including through data de-duplication and similar other means. 3 Ensuring the fitness of the product being sold.
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