Eight things to know about Insurance Repositories
Eight things to know about Insurance Repositories

With IRDA formally launching the Insurance Repository System (IRS) last week, you can now demat your Insurance policies. Here's what you should know about this new concept.

1) What is an insurance repository?

It is a facility that allows you to hold insurance plans in the demat form. As is the case with shares and bonds, which can be held in a demat account with a depository, you can keep your insurance policies in an e-insurance account with an insurance repository.

2) How can you open an e-insurance account?

A policyholder can open an e-insurance account with any of the five repositories approved by IRDA. These include the NSDL Database Management, Central Insurance Repository, SHCIL Projects, CAMS Repository Services and Karvy Insurance Repository. IRDA has also stipulated that an individual can have only one e-insurance account.

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(Posted date - 24 Sept 2013)
3) What if you have policies from different insurers?

Even if you have policies from multiple insurance companies, they can be stored in the same account. Right now, only life insurance policies and pension plans are being allowed to be held in e-insurance accounts. However, the facility will eventually be extended to health, car, home and other forms of general insurance.

4) What are the advantages?

If your policies are stored in the electronic form, you don't run the risk of losing the physical documents.

It will become easier to track your policies as the details will be available at one place. You won't have to go to different offices anymore.

Your paperwork will reduce. With the repository as the single point of service, updating details like change of address or nomination will become easier, faster and more reliable.

It will reduce misselling because the agent will not be able to keep the new insurance policy till the expiry of the 15-day free-look period.
5) What does it cost?

The policyholder has to pay nothing to open an e-insurance account or hold the policies in the demat form. All the services provided by insurance repositories are also free. You don't need to pay anything for converting the existing policies into electronic form. The insurance companies will recoup their costs from the savings in policy issuance and delivery.

6) What to do when you buy a new policy?

If you have an e-insurance account, buying a new policy in the electronic form becomes easier. Just quote your account number in the application and opt for a policy in the electronic form. Since the KYC documents would already have been submitted and verified, the insurance firm won't have to repeat the process. The policy will reflect in your account after it is issued.

7) How do you make changes in a policy

The insurance repository is the single point of service for all your requirements, so you will need to submit your request to it. If the change is at the account level (address or contact details), the repository will execute it after due verification and then intimate the insurance company. If the change is at the policy level (nomination, sum assured or account details), the repository will forward the request to the insurance company.

8) How can the existing policies be converted to the demat form?

All the existing life insurance and pension plans (and other policies when it is extended to all) will need to be converted into the demat form if you want them stored in the e-insurance account. You will need to fill up a request form for conversion and submit your policy documents to the insurer.