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Insurance Basics

Taylor & Francis Group

E-insurance account: All you need to know

An e-insurance account helps you convert your paper policies into electronic format, and helps you access them conveniently online as needed, at a click of a button. Here’s how it works.
 

Rajesh was confused. Having multiple insurance policies and safekeeping them was a pain. One day, over a cup of morning coffee, he read in the newspaper that policyholders can now get their policies dematted as they’ve been doing for shares and mutual funds. While this sounded great as a concept, Rajesh wanted to know more about the finer aspects of how this works.

So, what is an e-insurance account?

E-Insurance Account is a short form of “Electronic Insurance Account”. The underlying objective of such an account is to safeguard the insurance policy documents of the policyholder by converting them into an electronic format. This e-Insurance account thus helps the policyholder access his/her entire insurance portfolio at a click of a button.

To ensure best practices, the IRDA created guidelines for Insurance Repositories to follow and granted a Certificate of Registration to the following five entities, allowing them to act as ‘Insurance repositories’ who have been authorized to open e-Insurance Accounts:

  • M/s NSDL Database Management Limited
  • M/s Central Insurance Repository Limited
  • M/s SHCIL Projects Limited
  • M/s Karvy Insurance Repository Limited
  • M/s CAMS Repository Services Limited

Benefits of an e-insurance account

Following are a list of reasons why you should open an e-insurance account:

  • Convenience: All categories of insurance policies (life, pension, health or general) can be electronically held under a single account and policy details can be accessed at a click of a button by logging into the account. Thus, it allows policyholder as well as the authorised representative get a single view of all policies which can reduce a lot of hassle especially at the claims stage.

Related: Insurance policies to protect what’s important to you [Infographic]

  • Safety: Unlike paper policies where there is a loss of damage or policy getting lost, electronic policies do not suffer from these risks & can be easily accessed whenever and wherever needed.
  • Time saving: In addition to insurers, service requests can now be submitted at any of Insurance Repository’s service points. A single request, such as the one for a change of address, can be made to the Insurance Repository, who can update it across all policies.
  • Seamless pay-outs: Policy benefits will be paid through electronic facility to the registered bank account, thus ensuring speedier and more convenient claim settlement, thereby negating any chances of fraud.

Related: 5 signs your agent is lying to you (and what to do if they are)

How to open an e-insurance account

A policyholder has to fill the e-Insurance account form and attach the following documents:

  • Photo ID proof (as per acceptable documents list)
  • Recent passport size photograph,
  • Cancelled Cheque (In case of ECS/NEFT services for  insurance premium payment transaction)
  • Address proof (as per acceptable documents list)

Thereafter, one has to submit the account opening docket to the Insurance Repository or Insurance Company. It generally takes upto 7 working days for the account to be opened. Policyholders receive a welcome kit with the details of how to operate the account. Each account has a unique Account number and the account holder will be granted a unique Login ID and Password to access his/her electronic policies online.

Other points one must note regarding e-insurance account:

  • One individual can only maintain one e-insurance account at a time.
  • There are no charges for opening or maintaining this account.
  • Even if a person does not have an insurance policy, he/she can open an e-insurance account & add the policies later in the account as and when they are purchased. 
  • Policyholder can convert existing paper polices into electronic policies after opening of the account by providing a service request to the Insurance Repository/ Insurer.
  • In case one purchases a new policy and wants to have it auto-added to the e-insurance account, he/she has to just state the e-insurance account number on the proposal/application form & make a request to add it to your e-insurance account.

Conclusion:

An e-insurance account is a great way to save families from the hassle of running around trying to locate the policy copy in the event of a claim etc., or even approaching each insurer separately for minor things like change of address or phone number. Policyholders would do well to embrace this initiative wholeheartedly & organise their insurance portfolio to get the convenience that comes with this account.

 
 
 

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