The insurance regulator in August had allowed insurers to send all life insurance policies electronically to the policyholder’s e-mail ID till the end of the financial year 2020-21
The Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India (Irdai) on Tuesday said life insurance companies can issue electronic policies for six more months till 30 September, in the wake of covid-19 pandemic.
The insurance regulator in August had allowed insurers to send all life insurance policies electronically to the policyholder’s e-mail ID till the end of the financial year 2020-21. Earlier, companies had to dispatch a hard copy of the document even if a policy was solicited through an electronic mode.
Given the covid-19 outbreak and the resultant lockdown to combat the virus, life insurers had expressed difficulty in printing and dispatching policy documents. Insurers can now continue to send all life insurance policies electronically to the policyholder’s e-mail ID till September end.
However, if a policyholder insists on a hard copy, the companies have to issue it without any charges.
Physical policies are not mandatory now if the insurer has obtained the consent of the policyholder. Insurers will now save on costs, which could be put to better use.
Insurers said the simplification of the purchase process may encourage more people to buy life insurance who had been procrastinating as the purchase until now was a relatively lengthy process.
Further, the free-look period will continue to be 30 days till the end of the revised deadline. This period was 15 days earlier.
The free-look period is the duration, which starts from the date of receipt of the electronic policy, during which a policyholder can terminate the policy without any penalty. This period gives policyholders an option to do research even after they have taken a policy, and cross-check if the conditions mentioned in the policy documents are the same or not from what they had assumed.
Meanwhile, in another circular, Irdai said that life insurers can obtain the customer’s consent through electronic means, i.e., without requiring a wet signature on the proposal form, for the business solicited by agents and insurance intermediaries, under all products, till 30 September 2021. The facility was earlier slated to expire this month.
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