HYDERABAD: Buying an insurance policy will no longer be an onerous affair. Now, you will be able to buy any non-life insurance policy, such as health or motor cover, just with the help of a one-time password (OTP) received on your mobile number validated by the insurance company.
As per the latest circular issued by the insurance regulator, Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India (IRDAI), insurers are also “allowed to obtain the customer’s consent without requiring wet signature on the hard copy of the proposal form subject to following: a) The completed proposal form shall be sent to the prospect on his / her registered e-mail ID or mobile number by means of a message with a link, as the case may be. b) If the proposer wishes to give consent to the proposal, the same may be permitted by providing a link for confirmation or through one time password (OTP) duly validated.”
These exemptions are valid till March 31, 2021, and have been issued by the regulator after it received representations from insurance companies seeking exemption from the requirement to issue a physical policy document and hard copy of proposal form.
The regulator has stated that insurers shall send the policy document and a copy of the proposal form through digital mode to the registered e-mail id or mobile number provided by the customer following the policyholder’s specific consent.
Simultaneously, the policyholders shall be informed through SMS that the policy document or copy of the proposal form have been sent to their e-mail id or any other digital or electronic mode.
The policy document sent electronically shall contain all the schedules, terms and conditions, benefits etc that are otherwise available in the physical document.
However, the regulator has stated that wherever policy documents could not be sent through electronic means due to any reasons, the companies shall compulsorily forward the physical documents to the policyholders.
Commenting on the move, Gurdeep Singh Batra, head – retail underwriting, Bajaj Allianz General Insurance said allowing insurers to issue electronic policies is definitely a positive step considering the current pandemic situation and the challenges in issuing physical policy documents or proposal forms. “This not only improves the turnaround time for policy issuance, but also secures the policy documents electronically with the policyholder as well as the insurer. Since all the documents are transacted online and maintained, it also improves transparency between the insurer and insured,” he said.
Amit Chhabra, head-health insurance, Policybazaar.com, pointed out that the latest move will not only help the customers get insured in a shorter period of time but also, they won’t need to go through the drawn procedure of submitting physical documents required for getting an insurance policy issued.