IRDAI dispenses with physical signatures of life insurers’ customers till Dec.

A day after it permitted life insurers to issue policy documents in electronic format, insurance regulator IRDAI on Wednesday allowed them to dispense with the requirement of getting customers’ physical signature on proposal forms.

Life insurers are allowed to obtain the consent without customers physically signing on the proposal form, for the business solicited by insurance agents/intermediaries, subject to certain other conditions being complied with, the regulator said.

Detailing the alternative process for obtaining consent, IRDAI said the completed proposal form should be sent to the registered e-mail ID or mobile number of the prospective customer, in the form of an e-mail or a message with a link. The customer, if agreeing to the proposal, may provide consent by clicking on the confirmation link or by validating the OTP shared.

The insurers need to “maintain verifiable, legally valid evidence for the proposer’s consent received for the fully completed proposal form. They shall not accept any payment towards proposal deposit till receipt of consent.”

The regulator said the life insurance companies will be responsible for authenticating the e-mail IDs / mobile numbers by conducting de-duplication of such data. They also need to conduct pre-issuance verification calls in respect of all such proposals.

On their part, the agent/intermediary needs to confirm that only approved sales material has been used during the solicitation process. They also need to certify the authenticity of the e-mail ID and/or mobile number of the prospect.

The decision to dispense with physical signature on proposal forms is being allowed on an experimental basis with immediate effect till December 31, 2020, and is limited to pure risk products or products that do not involve any savings element, V. Jayanth Kumar, Chief General Manager (Life Insurance) of IRDAI said in a circular.

The latest move follows representations from the insurers to IRDAI to allow the option of authenticating proposals for life cover through electronic means. In support, they had referred to the situation arising from COVID-19 outbreak and the impact on conventional form of canvassing life insurance policies by agents and intermediaries. In particular, filling-in of physical proposal forms, obtaining wet signatures on them and subsequent movement of such physical papers are severely affected, they had said.

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Printable version | Sep 19, 2020 8:03:34 PM |

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