IRDAI , the Insurance Regulator has allowed life insurers to obtain the customer’s consent without requiring wet signature on the hard copy of the proposal form. They can send the completed proposal form to the customer’s registered e-mail ID or mobile number in the form of an e-mail or a message with a link. Once the electronic form is received, the customer can give his or her consent by clicking the confirmation link or by validating the OTP shared.
Earlier this week on Tuesday, IRDA allowed life insurance companies to issue electronic or e-policies to the customers on their e-mail IDs during FY2020-21 . This was done to address difficulties faced by life insurers in printing and dispatch of policy documents.
IRDAI announced these new measures in response to feedback from several life insurance companies facing troubles due to the outbreak of Covid19.
"The Authority is in receipt of feedback from various life insurers that the situation arising in the wake of COVID-19 outbreak has impacted the traditional manner of canvassing life insurance policies by agents and intermediaries. In particular, the filling-in of the physical proposal forms, obtaining wet signatures on them and subsequent movement of such physical papers, are severely affected. In this backdrop, the life insurers have represented to the Authority to allow the option of authenticating the proposals for life insurance through electronic means, in place of physical signature, for the sales made by insurance agents and intermediaries, in addition to the methods presently allowed," said IRDAI.
IRDAI has asked the insurer to maintain verifiable, legally valid evidence for the proposer’s consent received for the fully completed proposal form. Further, the insurer cannot accept any payment towards proposal deposit till the receipt of consent of the proposer.
According to IRDAI, it will be the duty of life insurer to provide approved digital sales material to the insurance agents / intermediaries. The life insurer should also make sure that the agents use only that material while soliciting the business.
Also, the insurer should authenticate the e-mail IDs and mobile numbers of the customers by conducting de-duplication of such data.
The insurer will be responsible for ensuring the suitability of the plan purchased for the customer. Insurer will also be responsible to carry out pre-issuance verification calls in respect of all such proposals.
IRDAI has put out this e-verification and e-purchase of life insurance policy on an experimental basis with immediate effect till the end of this calendar year. The electronic facility is limited to pure risk products, i.e., products that do not involve any savings element.
"Grievances pertaining to sales logged in through the above method shall be separately maintained by the life insurers and a monthly statement shall be submitted to the Authority in predefined format. Further, the Authority reserves the right to revoke the above facilitation in respect of any individual Insurer or for all Insurers any time," said IRDAI.