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Indian Insurance Regulatory Authority urges use of DigiLocker

The Insurance Regulatory Authority of India (IRADI) had advised all insurance companies to issue Digital Insurance Policies through the government’s DigiLocker platform.

The organisation, in a recent circular, noted that to promote the adoption of DigiLocker in the insurance sector, the government advises all insurers to enable their IT systems to interact with the DigiLocker facility for policyholders to use the service to preserve their policy documents.

DigiLocker is an initiative under the Digital India programme and was officially launched in July 2015. It provides a dedicated cloud storage space to Indian citizens who sign up for an account. It provides a platform for digital issuance and verification of documents and certificates, such as driving licenses, voter identification, or school certificates.

According to a press release, the circular also mentioned that the insurers should inform their retail policyholders about DigiLocker and how to use it. Insurers are also advised to enable the process by which the policyholders can place their policies on the platform. The DigiLocker Team in NeGD (National e-Governance Division) under the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY) will provide the necessary technical guidance and logistic support needed to facilitate the adoption of the government’s service.

DigiLocker allows users to get authentic documents or certificates in a digital format from the original issuers of the certificates. It aims at eliminating or minimising the use of physical documents and will enhance the effectiveness of service delivery, making them hassle-free and friendly for citizens, the report noted.

For the insurance sector, the service will reduce costs, eliminate customer complaints relating to the non-delivery of a policy copy, improve the turnaround time of insurance services, boost claims processing and settlement, reduce disputes and fraud, and improve customer contractability. On the whole, it is expected to lead to better customer experiences.

The decision of IRDAI comes with the backdrop of a letter written by Sanjay Dhotre, the Minister of State for Electronics and IT, Communications and Human Resource Development to Anurag Singh Thakur, the Minister of State for Finance and Corporate Affairs with regards to the issuance of digital insurance policies to citizen’s DigiLocker accounts.

In the letter, Dhotre requested Thakur to advise the IRDAI to urge all insurance companies to accept user digital insurance policy documents, through DigiLocker, as valid documents. This will provide an alternate channel to access and manage insurance policies safely and authentically, and will be of great value to the customers, the Minister said.

An insurance certificate is an important document for a citizen and their family. The timely access to insurance certificates can be of critical importance. Thus, providing digital insurance certificates through DigiLocker would be of significant convenience to citizens, the report stated.

As per a news report, customised insurance covers for drones might be available as the IRDAI is unveiling a product structure for such policies. Currently, only a few general insurers in India offer insurance cover for Remotely Piloted Aircraft System (RPAS)/drones through existing products under Aviation insurance.

A circular on the product structure for insurance of RPAS/drones from IRDAI said all general insurers (other than standalone health and specialised insurers) are encouraged to file the product as per filing guidelines. Alternatively, the insurers may design and develop their own product, in tune with the minimum coverage specified under the product structure.

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