E-insurance, as the name suggests, is electronic insurance. The e-insurance account is an electronic insurance account that you can use to store all your insurance policies. This account has been in existence since 2013 in India (as per press release by Insurance Regulatory Authority of India (IRDA) dated 16th September 2013). However, it gained prominence after the IRDA made it mandatory for insurance policies of a certain ticket size to be issued electronically. This was announced in October 2016. Here’s all that you need to know about how it will make your life easier.
What is it?
Just like you hold your shares in demat format instead of having physical certificates, an e-insurance account allows you to hold your insurance policies in the digital form. All insurance policies issued in electronic form are known as e-insurance policies and the account that is used to store them is called an e-insurance account.
What are the ticket sizes for which e-insurance is mandatory?
IRDA has said that if insurance firms issue policies of a certain ticket size, they need to compulsorily issue them electronically. The below table will give you the details.
|Sum Insured/Cover (= or >)
|Single/Annual Premium(= or >)
|Pure term (excluding term with return of premium)**
|Rs. 10 lakhs
|Other than pure term (including term with return of premium)**
|Rs. 1 lakh
|Motor Insurance (Retail)
|Rs. 5 lakhs
|Rs. 10 lakhs
|Overseas travel insurance
*Source: IRDA (NOTIFICATION F.NO.IRDAI/REG/16/128/2016)
** Micro-insurance policies are exempted
Note that even if one criterion is met, the policy needs to be issued in the electronic form. This means that if your sum insured needs you to get e-insurance but the premium doesn’t meet the criterion, the policy will still be issued in the digital form. For term plans, the sum assured needs to be over Rs. 10 lakhs or the premium needs to be more than Rs. 10,000 for e-insurance to be mandatory. Here, the sum assured requires that you get an e-insurance policy but the premium is less than Rs. 10,000. However, the policy will be issued in the electronic format even if the premium criterion is not met.
How does it work?
Just like you have depositories for demat services, you have repositories for e-insurance. These repositories include National Securities Depository Limited (NSDL), Central Depository Services Limited (CDSL), CAMS and Karvy, among others. Each insurance firm will have repository partners. The repository will help the firm issue policies in the electronic form. You can choose to open the e-insurance account with the insurance firm or with the repository itself.
Is it mandatory to have an e-insurance account?
No. However, since many policies do meet the criterion for issuing e-insurance, you might have to open an e-insurance account. Besides, it has several advantages.
How will an e-insurance account be useful?
- You don’t need to pay to open an e-insurance account.
- All your policies can be viewed in a single place.
- Since the policy is digital, you don’t need to worry about losing the policy document. (Imagine a situation like flash floods where the policy could get washed away. E-insurance is helpful in such cases. You can use the digital policy to make claims.)
- You can convert your old physical policies to electronic form and keep them in your e-insurance account.
- Running from pillar to post to make address or phone number changes to all your policies? With an e-insurance account, you don’t need to. Just change the address or phone number for your account and you are done.
- What about those painful Know Your Customer (KYC) procedures? You need to do it for every policy without an e-insurance account. The account helps you have a single KYC for all your insurance policies.
Is it easy to open an e-insurance account?
Yes. But note that opening an account with your insurance firm might be easier than opening it with a repository. You need to download any repository’s e-insurance form, fill it and submit it along with a self-attested copy of documents such as ID and address proof to the nearest insurer’s branch. The account gets created within a week of submitting the form and the documents.
Need we say more? An e-insurance account can make your life a lot easier. With several types of insurance such as Life Insurance, Health Insurance, and Car Insurance; having all your policies in one place makes perfect sense.
Sponsored by ICICI Prudential Life Insurance Co. Ltd