The Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India has permitted health and general insurance firms to continue the electronic issuance of insurance policies and receiving customer consent without their wet signatures until next year.
WHY IT MATTERS
As social distancing protocols made it difficult for people to purchase insurance policies, the government granted insurers the permission to process and issue policies digitally. This week, the insurance regulator posted a circular extending said permission as India continues to face challenging COVID-19 outbreaks.
THE LARGER CONTEXT
The IRDAI allowed the issuance of health insurance policies via digital or electronic means in September last year. It tasked insurers to send policy documents to their customers’ email addresses. They were also told to secure consent through digital facilities – by clicking a confirmation link or through a One-Time Password.
This permission was supposed to lapse this year by end-March but was extended to 30 September following an overwhelming second wave of COVID-19 infections that started in April.
According to a news report, there are calls now to make this regulation permanent. “Physical documents are a thing of the past… I hope to see this decision becoming a permanent rule,” Edelweiss General Insurance CEO Shanai Ghosh told Economic Times.
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