The introduction of the Insurance Repository System by the Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority (IRDA) has facilitated the propagation of paperless transactions in the insurance sector. The completely digital method of policy purchase, renewal and claim settlement is all set to give the insurance industry a much-needed boost. The convenience that the Insurance Repository offers is enhanced by the fact that e-Insurance is available to customers completely free of cost.
What is Insurance Repository?
The Insurance Repository System is a facility that helps policyholders in purchasing and storing various types of insurance policies in the electronic format, as opposed to the traditional paper document. When the IRDA introduced this facility in 2014, only life insurance policies were included in the first phase of digitisation. As paperless insurance gained traction, the facility was later extended to non-life policies, such as health and motor insurances. Paperless insurance is expected to make savings of more than Rs.100 crore annually for the insurance industry.
How does it work?
- The customer accesses an insurance repository web page and enters his/her details. Following this, an e-Insurance account will be created for the user. This is provided free of cost to the customer, as all charges for the same will be borne by the insurance company.
- The next step is the generation of a unique e-Account number for the user. It should be noted that a customer can only open one e-Account for all his insurance needs.
- Next, all KYC details are updated in the account. When the customer purchases a new insurance policy, he only needs to furnish the e-Insurance account number, and no separate documentation is required.
- The IR updates the policy details in the insurance repository, and some of these include the status of premiums, claims, loans, bonuses, net asset value, nominee assignment, annual statements, etc. Following this, all payments and renewal details can be viewed by the customer on this common platform.
- Insurance agents can also view details of policies that were issued through them on the insurance repository.
- The customer can opt to get reminders on premium due date through this common platform. Additionally, he/she can view details of discounts and accrued bonuses here.
- In case a policyholder intends to raise complaints or have some policy-related queries, he can use this platform to communicate with the insurance provider.
- The system also allows each policyholder to have an authorised representative/beneficiary who will have access to the account simultaneously. This is particularly useful when the beneficiary needs to access policy-related information from the account, in the event of grievous injury or death of the policyholder.
Paperless insurance has provided policyholders a better experience while purchasing and renewing their insurance policies. The e-Insurance account also lends a layer of automation and transparency to the entire insurance process. The convenience of being able to buy an insurance policy, make payments and avail the policy documents without the hassle of paperwork has made the whole process more streamlined.