Wearable devices may soon win insurers’ nod

IRDAI panel to study utility to pare risk

December 07, 2017 09:07 pm | Updated 10:56 pm IST - HYDERABAD

Insurance regulator IRDAI has constituted a working group to examine the use of wearable and portable devices in the insurance framework.

The 10-member group will evaluate how technological advancements, particularly in wearable and portable devices, may be treated from a “point of view of risk improvement, risk assessment and use/distribution of such devices as part of policy design.”

This apart, it would examine various aspects that are bound to impact the pricing as well as suggest a policy framework keeping in view the interests of policyholders.

‘Insurance implications’

Indeed, “it is important to understand technology trends and their implications for insurance even while seeking to harness the potential and advantages they seem to offer,” said P.J.Joseph, Member (Non-Life) of the Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India (IRDAI).

“While encouraging innovation, the regulator must run alongside it keeping in view the interests of policyholders,” he said.

The working group has to submit its report within eight weeks. “IRDAI’s health insurance regulations recognise the role of ‘wellness’ in risk assessment and product design. In the context of both health and life insurance, wearable devices could be used to measure personal fitness, incorporate a healthy lifestyle,” Mr. Joseph said.

On motor insurance, the regulator had already put up a discussion paper on ‘telematics’ in motor insurance, the communication said.

Besides, IRDAI CGM Yegnapriya Bharath who has been designated as its Chair, the working group members comprise four more officials from the regulator, including one as the convenor and officials of LIC, New India Assurance Company, Bajaj Allianz General Insurance Company, Max Bupa Health Insurance Co. and ICICI Pru Life Insurance.

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