Electronic Insurance Account (eIA) in Insurance Repository
September 14 , 2013

Similar to demat account for shares and other securities, in an e-Insurance Account all insurance policies can be held in the electronic form. Insurance regulator IRDA introduced Insurance Repositories for maintaining electronic insurance accounts (eIA) in 2013. Read on to know more about eIA, how to open one, facilities and benefits in an electronic insurance account.

What is the new Electronic Insurance Account (eIA)?

For insurance policies, electronic insurance account is supposed to be what demat account is for shares and bonds. Just like certificate of securities like shares, bonds and mutual funds can be created in the electronic form and stored in one's demat account, it will be possible to create electronic version of insurance policies and keep them in one's eIA.

Once account is created, a unique Insurance Account number will be provided along with a unique login id and password. Insurance buyers having eIA can buy new policies in the electronic format as well as convert existing physical policies to the electronic form through a service request.

Unlike demat account all services in e-insurance account provided by insurance repositories will be free of charge to policyholders.

Benefits and facilities in eIA

IRDA has proposed several benefits that can be had by holding insurance policies in the electronic form.

  • All insurance policies stored online in one place

Though initially only life insurance policies will be allowed in eIA, over time all sorts of insurance policies- life, pension, health or general, would be permitted in the e-Insurance account. These can be accessed online any time by logging in to the account.

Electronic policy eliminates risk of loss or damage. When required you can download copy of your policies.

  • View policy details from one account

Account holders will be able to view policy level details like status, commencement and maturity, nomination, contact details, terms and conditions, etc.

At least once a quarter a common account statement for all policies will be generated and sent to the policyholder.

  • Pay premiums, buy new policies, get policy benefits from a single eIA

Premiums for policies in the electronic insurance account can be made online from the portal. It will be possible to buy new policies in the electronic format quoting e-Insurance account number. Buyers will be spared the trouble of complying with KYC requirement each time, as is the case presently.

Policy benefits can be paid online to registered bank account of the user.   

  • Nominate person to operate account

eIA will have the facility of appointing an Authorized Representative who would be allowed to operate your account on your demise. Unless designated as a nominee, the authorized representative is not entitled to get policy benefits.

  • Single point of service for common requests

The insurance repository with which you create e-Insurance account would work as the single point of service for requests falling under their direct scope. For instance, you can go to any office of the Repository, for change of address or contact details, which will be updated with all your insurers. Presently such requests need to be made personally with the insurers.

How to open an Electronic Insurance Account

To open an eIA one needs to fill the account opening form with any of the 5 insurance repositories and submit it along with supporting documents for address proof and identity proof. PAN or Aadhaar is necessary for opening an e-Insurance account.

Having insurance policy is not a requirement for creating this account. If you intend to buy policies, you can open an eIA while buying and submit application to the insurer himself. Those already having policies can open the account and submit request form for converting them to electronic format either to the repository or to the insurers.

Once applied with required documents, eIA will be created in 7 days and a notification will be sent via email and post. A person can have one and only one eIA, regardless of the number of insurance policies she has.

Launching soon

Electronic Insurance Account is expected to be up and running in September 2013, after the Finance Minister inaugurates Insurance Repositories in India. According to IRDA, eIA- the concept of demat insurance policies is first of its kind in the world.

eIA comes free of charge to policyholders, but insurers would bear the cost of services provided by the repository. Insurers would have to register with insurance repositories for their customers to avail this service.

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