What does Insurance Repository offer to me?

Insurance Repository offers a facility to digitize all your insurance policies and store them in a secure and online location.

You can access these policies any time from your computer, mobile and tablet and track the policy details, renewal payments and initiate service requests.

My Insurers offer all these facilities. Why do I need a separate system now?

Good question. Although many of these services are available with respective insurers, you still need to approach individual insurance companies for specific requests.

Insurance Repository is a place where you can aggregate all these policies and get a single click view and single click service.

Insurance companies are not authorized to convert the physical policies in to a true digital policy. IRDA has authorized only insurance repositories to do the same.

Therefore, even if you have bought an online policy from an insurer, you still need to insist on the physical copy of the policy and preserve the same for its lifetime. So, the safety of your policy is still your responsibility.

With the insurance repository, you no longer need to worry about the safety of your policy.

When you wish to buy a new policy, your insurer will insist on the KYC and does not accept your existing policy details as a proof of KYC.

With the insurance repository, your KYC is done once. When you opt for e-Insurance, one unique e-Insurance Account number is issued to you. This E-Insurance account is like a passport / super customer Id across all insurance companies and it is valid for all insurance products under the ambit of IRDA.

Sounds interesting. How much does the e-Insurance account cost?

It is FREE.

OK. So, you must be charging me for every policy conversion.

No. You still need not pay anything. Neither for your policy conversions nor for your ongoing transactions.

Does it mean that IR account is FREE for some period and huge costs will be levied later on?

No. It is a lifetime FREE account (in fact beyond life time also).

It is neither like your credit card nor like any other similar account. It comes without any riders, fine prints and hidden charges.

Then where is the catch? Why should you offer all of this free to me perpetually?

Since insurance companies save substantial amount by digitizing the policies, they pay insurance repositories on your behalf. So, it is your right to claim for what you have already paid!

Then what if I don’t opt for conversion?

Well, you are not exercising your right and you are not claiming what is due for you. You will also be missing out on several benefits that IR offers and lose the convenience of transacting from your device. When IRDA makes this mandatory, you might become part of the mad rush.

Can I insist on buying an e-policy right at the outset?

Yes. Once you open your e-Insurance Account, you can quote the same number and you will not be asked to submit any KYC proofs for your new policies.

To convert all your existing policies anytime, you can simply quote their policy number and e-Insurance Account number. You are not required to submit the physical policy document also.

How do I convert my policies in to electronic form?

Before converting the first policy, you need to open the e-Insurance Account. Thereafter, you simply need to quote your policy number to convert the new / existing policies.

Apart from maintaining policies in an electronic form, what are the other services I can avail?

You can avail the unified view of all policies, get single window service for all transactions and get renewal reminders / other important notifications. These services are available across all devices and platforms.

In addition to this, you can appoint a caretaker (Called as Authorized representative). This caretaker can be different from the nominee / beneficiary of the policy to avoid any conflict of interest.

Repositories will be of immense help during the claim/post claim stages because the only objective of the insurance repository is to protect the interest of the policyholder and the beneficiaries.

You can avail all transactions applicable for insurance throughout the life cycle of the policy without visiting the branch of any insurance company.

Can both life and health insurance policies be converted into electronic form?

Currently, this is applicable only for individual life insurance policies. However, by the end of this financial year, we can expect to get the coverage for all policies / products.

I have many life insurance policies but my insurer and agent not yet started the IR process. Will my insurer or agent accept request for policy conversion?

Yes. This is applicable across all life insurance companies. To drive the awareness, IRDA has launched a pilot phase on 1st July for 2 months.

During the pilot period, policyholders can insist on mandatory conversion of all life insurance policies, which any life insurer should oblige. This is applicable for both new and existing policies. Soon after the pilot period, IRDA is expected to release the guidelines to make the conversion of both life, general and health policies. This rollout will be in a phased manner over 3 to 6 months period.

I heard that it was launched during September 2013. How many people opened their accounts so far? I hope I am not the guinea pig.

Since inception repositories have created about a lakh policies on a trial basis. As with any other transformational change, several change management issues need to be addressed before every one accepts the concept. Insurance repositories are in the process of explaining the benefits of repository to various stakeholders and clarifying their initial apprehensions. The regulator has truly played the developmental role in this aspect and provided clarifications / solutions for all queries of insurers.

The regulatory authority felt that a pilot project will provide a chance for the insurers to experience the benefits of the repository and also gives an opportunity for the repositories to find solutions to various practical implementation challenges.

To create a congenial atmosphere for the change, the regulator rightfully took an evangelist approach instead of a bulldozer method. This is really helping the cause now and more and more insurers are coming forward to embrace the change.

What other benefits does IR bring?

More than a 1,50,000 trees are cut every year to send the insurance policy holder communication. You can now make a difference by digitizing your insurance policies.

Where can I get more information?

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