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Earlier, the insurance policy documents were available in paper form which made the policyholders concerned about the safety of the papers. On September 16, 2013 the IRDA launched the insurance repository system. Now, insurance policies can be converted into electronic form and stored with an insurance repository. This eliminates the risk of loss or alteration of the policy documents and also offers convenience to the policyholder. Let’s know more about insurance repositories and the benefits.
An insurance repository is a database that maintains and holds the insurance policies in electronic form on behalf of insurers. Insurance repositories are not authorized to sell insurance policies, they are only permitted to maintain the policies in electronic form and provide a record of them. E-policies provide customers with safety and convenience. Along with offering safety and convenience to the customers, an insurance repository is also bound to maintain transparency with the policyholders under the rules set by the IRDA.
The IRDA had licensed five insurance repositories. But one of them (SHCIL Projects Limited) surrendered its license in 2015. The remaining four entities are:
Insurance repositories hold the insurance policies in e-insurance accounts. Even if the insurance policies are from different insurers, they can be held and easily accessed with one account. A policyholder can open an e-IA (e-Insurance Account) with any one of the IRDA-approved insurance repositories. The IRDA only allows one e-Insurance Account per person. There is no cost for opening an e-Insurance Account. Even the services provided by the repositories are free. The policies issued before the launch of insurance repositories can also be easily converted into the electronic form by making a request to the insurer or repository.
Holding policies in the electronic form have various benefits such as:
The biggest benefit of storing e-policies is that there is no risk of loss or damage. Holding a policy in its electronic form ensures that the policy is in safe custody. It also allows for easy access, as the policy can be viewed or downloaded at any time by accessing the e-Insurance account.
As all the insurance policies are stored in one place, changing and updating details such as address, contact number or nomination becomes easy. It also becomes easier to track your policies.
The insurance repository system allows for efficient and faster services. Therefore, availing the policy benefits also become easier and faster, as the proceeds are electronically deposited in the registered bank account.
Keeping your insurance policy with an insurance repository will mean that your KYC formalities are already completed. This way, you won’t have to go through the KYC process every time you buy a new policy.
Insurance policies are important financial assets hence they need to be handled properly. Storing policies with an insurance repository makes a lot of tasks easy along with ensuring safety and security. Therefore, it is advisable to open an e-insurance account for your own convenience.
Frequently asked questions about insurance repositories
You can choose from the following insurance repositories:
Yes, The account holder will have the ability to shift from one repository to another. For example, a CAMS account holder can shift to NSDL and vice versa.
16th September, 2013.