Insurance regulator IRDAI has permitted general and health insurers to issue policy documents in electronic format.
The regulator also allowed them to dispense with the requirement of getting customer’s wet signature on the proposal form.
Valid through March 31, 2021, the exemption from issuing policy document and copy of the proposal in physical form will, however, be subject to insurers complying with certain requirements.
Like life insurers, who got these exemptions last month, general and health insurers had also approached IRDAI highlighting the need for the exemptions in view of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The regulator said the exemptions will apply to all health, motor, fire insurance (covering dwellings and/or contents issued to individuals), package insurance (issued to individuals) and all miscellaneous policies issued to individuals where the sum insured does not exceed ₹5 crore.
The requirements insurers need to take, while using the exemptions, include informing customers through text message about issue of policy document electronically, having in place mechanisms to verify receipt of the document and preserving all e-records. “Wherever policyholders demand physical version of the policy document/copy of the proposal, the same shall be made available,” the regulator said.
“It is definitely a positive step considering the current pandemic situation and the challenges in issuing physical policy documents or proposal forms,” said Gurdeep Singh Batra, Head — Retail Underwriting, Bajaj Allianz General Insurance.
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.