Insurance repository services have been launched in India. Union minister P Chidambaram announced this launch on September 16’2013. As per IRDA these services are first of its kind in the world. These services will provide insurance policy holders a facility to keep the insurance policies in electronic format. Just like keeping shares in D’mat form with the depository participant, same way one can keep the insurance policies in electronic form with Repository. IRDA has licensed 5 companies to act as repositories. These 5 companies which can offer insurance repository services are NSDL Data base management Services Ltd (NDML), Central Insurance Repository Limited (CIRL), SHCIL Projects Limited, CAMS Repository services Ltd and KARVY Insurance Repository Ltd. Right now this facility is available only for Life insurance policies but very soon Non-life insurance policies will also come into its ambit.
Let’s understand how Insurance repository services will benefit you as an Insurance policy holder.
What is Insurance Repository Services?
Insurance repository is a facility to help policyholders buy and keep insurance policies in electronic form rather than as a paper document. Under this system if opted, policy holder will get one “e- insurance account” opened with repository participant and while buying any new policy will quote the account number on the proposal form. Then when the policy gets issued it will reflect in the statement of e Insurance account. One can also convert the existing paper policies in electronic form. Keeping the policy in electronic form provides with a single point of service through repository besides the benefit of convenience and less paper work
What’s the process of opening E Insurance account?
As mentioned above that IRDA has licensed 5 companies under Insurance repository system. To open e Insurance account, one has to approach the respective company and fill up the account opening form and submit the KYC documents. KYC documents include Pan card/Aadhar card, address proof, date of Birth proof and a passport size photo. Please note having a pan car or aadhar card is compulsory. After submitting all documents account opening will take 7 working days. There’s no fee for opening of E Insurance account. Neither you have to pay anything while digitising your existing policies. As this Insurance repository system will prove to be cost effective mechanism for insurance companies, so they will directly compensate the respective repository for their services.
Under Insurance repository services one person can open only one E insurance account and can’t have multiple accounts with different repositories. But yes, one can transfer the holdings of one account to other account after closing the earlier one. Also one can Re materialise the policy document if someone is not happy with this repository system. Right now only life insurance policies are eligible to be held in E Insurance account but going forward this facility will be extended to general insurance policies also.
After digitising all policies, policy holder need not communicate with different insurance companies regarding the changes in the policies. He just need to submit his request to the Insurance repository in the respective format, then rest will be taken care by Repository and will ensure that the same is executed and reflect in the policy held in electronic form. To view your policy details you will be provided with online login and password and timely statement of account will be sent to you on email and physically.
How to buy Insurance policy in electronic form?
While buying any new policy, you just need to quote the E insurance account number on the proposal form requesting to issue the policy in electronic form. As your KYC has already been done while account opening so insurer will not ask for KYC documents again unless there’s any changes in the address or other details.
How to convert existing policy in electronic form?
You need to write out a request to the respective insurance company to convert the paper policy in electronic form and submit this request along with the original policy document to the repository office or the insurer. You may also submit this request with the respository which further will communicate with respective insurer. The request forms will be provided by insurer or by repository. Separate request is required for different policies.
Other terms associated with EIA under Insurance repository services:
Authorised Representatives (AR): Authorised representative will be the person appointed by E insurance account holder who shall be entitled to access the account in the event of demise or disability of the policy holder. AR will have limited access to the e account just to know the portfolio and the name of nominees in the policies. Please note that Authorised Representative is different from the Nominee of the policy.
Approved person: These are the entities approved under IRDA regulation to service the policy holders regarding Insurance Repository services. These are the brokers and corporate agents licenced under IRDA for this purpose. There services will be restricted to those policies only which are procured by them.
Should you go for Insurance repository services E Insurance account?
Well, my answer is yes. This is the future. Though I am of the opinion that one should not be having too much insurance policies, one or 2 policies can take care of insurance coverage need. (Read : Review your insurance Portfolio) But still as going forward this account will include all non- life policies, including group policies too then one can reap the actual benefit of such account. Moreover carrying the documents in electronic forms are easy to manage and will remain safe from theft, forgery, misuse or getting lost or destroyed.
Do share your views on Insurance Repository Services?