The Authority is in receiptof feedback from various life insurers that the situation arising in the wakeof COVID-19 outbreak has impacted the traditional manner of canvassing lifeinsurance policies by agents and intermediaries. In particular, the filling-inof the physical proposal forms, obtaining wet signatures on them and subsequentmovement of such physical papers, etc., are severely affected. In thisbackdrop, the life insurers have represented to the Authority to allow theoption of authenticating the proposals for life insurance through electronicmeans, in place of physical signature, for the sales made by insurance agentsand intermediaries, in addition to the methods presently allowed.
After examining thesuggestions received from life insurers, the Competent Authority issues the followinginstructions under Regulation 18, read together with Regulation 8 (1), of IRDAI(Protection of Policyholders’ Interests) Regulations, 2017:
1. Life Insurers are allowed to obtain thecustomer’s consent without requiring wet signature on the hard copy of theproposal form, for the business solicited by insurance agents / intermediariessubject to following:
a. The completed proposal form shall be sent tothe prospect on his/ her registered e-mail ID or mobile number in the form ofan e-mail or a message with a link as the case may be.
b. The prospect, if he / she wishes to consentto the proposal, may do so by clicking the confirmation link or by validatingthe OTP shared. The Insurer shall maintain verifiable, legally valid evidencefor the proposer’s consent received for the fully completed proposal form.Further, the insurer shall not accept any payment of moneys towards proposaldeposit till the receipt of consent of the proposer.
c. In all such cases, the agent / intermediaryshall confirm that only the approved sales material has been used during thesolicitation process. They shall also certify the authenticity of the e-mailID and/or mobile number of the prospect.
2. The Insurers shall be responsible for:
a. Providing to the insurance agents /intermediaries approved digital sales material and ensuring that only suchmaterial is used while soliciting the business;
b. Authenticating the e-mail IDs / mobilenumbers of the prospects by conducting de-duplication of such data and othersuch means;
c. Ensuring the suitability of the product beingpurchased;
d. Carrying out pre-issuance verification callsin respect of all such proposals.
3. The above facilitation is allowed on anexperimental basis with immediate effect till 31st December, 2020,and is limited to pure risk products, i.e., products that do not involve anysavings element. Grievances pertaining to sales logged in through the abovemethod shall be separately maintained by the Life Insurers and a monthlystatement shall be submitted to the Authority in Annexure I. Further, theAuthority reserves the right to revoke the above facilitation in respect of anyindividual Insurer or for all Insurers any time.