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Buying a new life, health or auto insurance policy? Find out if the physical certificate is compulsory or not in 2021

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Rules of Insurance Certificate in India 2021: In response to a question on whether the government is considering providing electronic insurance certificates instead of issuing insurance bonds, Union Minister of State for Finance Anurag Thakur recently said informed Rajya Sabha that the insurer should issue physical and electronic insurance certificates to policyholders in accordance with IRDAI. rules. However, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, insurers were only allowed to issue electronic police documents until March 31, 2021, on an interim basis.

From April 1, insurance companies will have to send insurance policies in physical form to policyholders, based on their consent.

“The Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India (IRDAI) has informed that Regulation 4 of IRDAI (Electronic Insurance Policy Issuance) Regulation 2016 states that each insurer must issue an electronic insurance policy. based on a specified premium or sum insured. However, these electronic policies must also be issued in physical form, unless they are issued through registered insurance repositories, ”Thakur said.

“Recently, considering the COVID-19 pandemic as a special case, the IRDAI allowed insurers to issue only electronic policy documents and exempted them from the obligation to send insurance policies in physical form until ” as of March 31, 2021, subject to the consent of the insured. The exemption provided by IRDAI is an interim measure due to the COVID-19 pandemic, ”he added.

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In the context of Thakur’s statement in the Rajya Sabha on issuing insurance certificates to policyholders, here is a deep dive into the exact IRDAI rules in this regard.

What is the insurance certificate?

A Certificate of Insurance (COI) is issued by an insurance company and verifies the existence of an insurance policy. It is essential that the client verify the policy coverage dates and policy limits. Insurance certificates contain separate sections for different types of liability coverage.

What are the IRDAI rules for issuing insurance certificates to the insured?

Neeraj Prakash, Managing Director of Shriram General Insurance, told FE Online: “Regulation No. 4 (iii) of IRDAI (Electronic Insurance Policy Issuance) Regulation, 2016 provides that all policies issued in electronic form by the The insurer directly to the policyholder must also be issued in physical form. In all these cases, copies of the proposal form, etc. must also be sent in physical form. “

Casparus Kromhout, Managing Director and CEO, Shriram Life Insurance, says the Certificate of Insurance is required in group insurance cases.

“Group insurance is an insurance policy taken out by a predefined group of people who have come together with a common goal and a common economic activity. In these cases, the insurance contract is concluded between the insurance company and the group; and a master policy is issued to the group manager and will be on behalf of the group. Thus, individual policy documents are not issued to group members; but instead, IRDAI specifies that the insurer must issue Certificates of Insurance or Certificates of Insurance (CoI) to group members in case of non-employer-employee group policy, ”CEO said from Shriram Life Insurance to FE Online.

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“These certificates contain the benefits of the insurance coverage provided as well as the general conditions. The certificates must also contain the procedure for filing a claim if necessary and the contact details of the insurer, ”he added.

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Can a certificate of insurance only be issued online?

The insurance certificate can be issued in physical or online format. They must be provided to the main policy holder (the group manager) and are distributed by him to the group member, Casparus Kromhout said.

Neeraj Prakash said most policies / certificates are issued online to assist the insured in an emergency, with the convenience of providing a hard copy of the document. However, electronic insurance policies are issued with a digital signature in accordance with the applicable provisions prescribed by law. “Wherever policyholders request the physical version of the policy document, the same is made available. And wherever it is not possible to send the policy documents electronically for whatever reason, insurers necessarily transmit the physical documents to policyholders, ”he said.

Is it mandatory for businesses to issue physical and online insurance certificates?

The physical form of the electronic insurance policy is a replica of the electronic form. According to Prakash, the physical version of electronic insurance policies does not need to be issued when electronic insurance policies are issued through the registered insurance repositories platform. Likewise, copies of the proposal form, etc. are also sent electronically to the insured with electronic insurance policies. The electronic insurance policy is issued by insurers either directly to policyholders or through registered insurance repositories.

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Recently, following the Covid-19 pandemic, the regulator granted exemption to insurers from the obligation to (a) publish policy documents and (b) a copy of the proposal in physical form in some cases . However, according to rule 141 of the Central Motor Vehicle Rules 1989, a certificate of insurance should only be issued on Form 51. Only in the field of motor vehicle insurance, outside of the police. , that a separate insurance certificate must be issued by the insurers. This document must always be carried in the vehicle.

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