In this digital era where everything is largely automated and digitized, opting for paper insurance is becoming a thing of the past. Today, you no longer need to keep a physical copy of your insurance policy documents but can store them in a digital form instead.
Just as you keep a record of all your investments like stocks and mutual funds in your demat account, you can store your insurance plans in an insurance repository. If you have opted for any insurance plan after April 2014, you may already have e-insurance. If you have an older insurance plan, an e‐insurance account (EIA) can help you go digital.
Decoding insurance repository and e-insurance
The Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India (IRDA) has granted select companies the right to maintain data of insurance policies in electronic form on behalf of various insurers. Each of these companies is registered under the Companies Act, 1956, and is certified as an insurance repository.
Insurance repositories allow insurance policyholders to keep their insurance policies in an e-insurance account. Each individual can have only one e-insurance account but you can link all your multiples policies with the same account. To open an EIA, all you need to have is either a PAN card or Aadhaar number, and the required residence and identity proofs.
What's more, opening of an e-insurance account is free and you have the right to migrate from one insurance repository to another based on your preference.
Features and benefits of having electronic insurance
As an e‐insurance account (EIA) holder, you not only have all your insurance policies digitized but also you can avail many more features and benefits, including the below:
1: Say goodbye to cumbersome paperwork
With electronic insurance, you get all your insurance policies digitized. You do not have to keep physical policy documentation for each of your insurance policy and keep worrying about the cumbersome paperwork. There is no risk of damage to the e-insurance, unlike physical policies. With an e-insurance repository, your policies are in safe custody, giving you round-the-clock access as and when required.
2: Easy tracking with EIA
Most insurance buyers have multiple insurance policies including life plans, health plans, and other insurance plans. With electronic insurance, tracking all your insurance plans becomes easy with a single account tracking. To check the details of any of your insurance plans, all you need to go is login to your e-insurance account and access the insurance policy of your choice. This is also helpful from another perspective. Insurance policies are primarily to protect the family when the policyholder/life insured is not around. Having all policies stored digitally under the responsibility of a repository would help in processing claim and disbursing the same in time. There have been numerous instances where due to lack of knowledge and non-availability of physical policy bonds, policy number, etc., the legal heirs or family members are in a lurch and clueless about lodging a claim.
3: Easy to update and no more missed premiums
With all insurance policies in the same place, an electronic insurance repository makes checking premium due dates is easy. You can make changes to any insurance plan or check for insurance premium due dates instantly. So, say goodbye to missed premiums and lack of protective cover as a result of missed premiums, all due to e-insurance.
4: KYC made easy for new policies
Having an e-insurance account in place makes it easy to buy any new policy in the future. All you need to do is to quote your e-insurance account number in the application form while opting for policy in electronic form. Since your KYC documentations are already verified with the e-insurance repository, the KYC process need not be repeated. This means your policy is reflected in your e-insurance account almost instantly.
5: Policy changes made easy with dedicated service request
Should you ever need to make any changes in your insurance policy, all you need to do is submit your service request with the insurance repository.
The service request is divided into two segments: account level and policy level. All changes in address or contact information service are managed under account level service, while service requests like nomination, sum assured, account details, etc., are managed under the policy level service. The dedicated sections make it easy to update any changes in your insurance policies.
E-insurance at a glance
- All life, heath, and general insurance, as well as annuity policies issued by registered insurance companies with IRDA can be held in electronic form.
- Insurance repositories are free of charge.
- Multiple policies can be linked to a single e-insurance account.
- An e-insurance account holder can appoint an authorized representative who can operate the account in case of demise or incapability of account operation by policyholder.
- As a policyholder, you can change your insurance repository.
This article is authored by Parag Mathur, General Counsel and Head of Compliance, BankBazaar.com