IRDAI permits health, general insurers to obtain consent of policy holders through OTP

Dispensing with the practice of getting wet signature in view of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India (IRDAI) has permitted health and general insurers to obtain consent of prospective policy holders through a duly validated One Time Password (OTP). The regulator has also exempted the insurers from mandatorily sending hard copy of the document to policy holders. However, the policies will have to be sent through electronic mode on the registered e-mail. These relaxations will continue till March 31, 2021.

The regulator has issued these instructions in wake of the representations received from insurance companies for exemption for all individual/retail health insurance policies issued by general and health insurance companies from the requirement of issuing physical document and hard copy of the proposal form. It said insurers can obtain customer's consent, without requiring wet signature on the hard copy, through OTP, through registered e-mail or mobile.

If the proposer wishes to give consent to the proposal, the same may be permitted by providing a link for confirmation or through OTP duly validated. In such cases, the insurers will be required to maintain verifiable, legally valid evidence for the proposer's consent received for the fully completed proposal form. As regards the issuance of policy, the regulator said insurers can send policy document and a copy of proposal form through digital/electronic mode to the registered e-mail id or mobile number provided by the customer. Simultaneously the policyholders shall be informed through SMS that policy document/copy of the proposal form have been sent to their e-mail id or any other digital/electronic mode (as may be the case).