IRDAI allows life insurers to get consent of policyholders electronically

In view of the disruption of normal business activity following outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic, the regulator on Wednesday permitted life insurers to obtain consent of prospective policy holders electronically.

This facility, to be allowed on an experimental basis with immediate effect till December 31, 2020, will remain limited to pure risk products, meaning those policies which do not involve any savings element, the Development and Regulatory Authority of India (IRDAI) said in a circular.

“Life insurers are allowed to obtain the customer’s consent without requiring wet signature on the hard copy of the proposal form, for the business solicited by agents/intermediaries subject to (certain conditions),” said.

One of the conditions is that the completed proposal form should be sent to the prospect on his/her registered e-mail ID or mobile number in the form of an e-mail or a message with a link.

The prospect, if he/she wishes to consent to the proposal, may do so by clicking the confirmation link or by validating the one-time password (OTP) shared.

“The insurer shall maintain verifiable, legally valid evidence for the proposer’s consent received for the fully completed proposal form. Further, the insurer shall not accept any payment of moneys towards proposal deposit till the receipt of consent of the proposer,” it added.

In all such cases, the agent/intermediary will have to confirm that only the approved sales material has been used during the solicitation process. They shall also have to certify the authenticity of the e-mail ID and/or mobile number of the prospect.

further said that the insurers will be responsible for providing to the agents/intermediaries approved digital sales material and ensuring that only such material is used while soliciting the business.

They will also be required to authenticate the e-mail IDs/mobile numbers of the prospects by conducting de-duplication of such data and other such means, ensure the suitability of the product being purchased and carrying out pre-issuance verification calls in respect of all proposals.