THE INSURANCE Regulatory and Development Authority of India (IRDAI) claims the proposed Bima Sugam is a “game changer” and an “UPI moment” for the insurance segment with ambitions of becoming the largest online market for insurance products and services which has not been practiced anywhere in the world. The proposed platform is expected to help customers to identify the night scheme from a maze of hundreds of products and services with reduced paperwork.
It is an online platform where cus tomers can choose their suitable schemes offered by various companies. All insurance requirements. including those for life, health, and general insurance (including motor and travel) will be met by Bima Sugam. This platformwill help in the settlement of claims, whether it’s health cover or death claim, in a paperless manner on the basis of policy numbers.
What is Bima
Details about insurance schemes are expected to be stored in the platform through the insurance repos itory initially. This will be followed by listing of policies The overall budget for Bima Sugam has been hiked to Rs 200 crore from around Rs 85 crore. IRDAI has ap- pointed a committee for the creation of the platform and now plans to go for requests for proposals (RFPs) soon to appoint a service provider for the platform. The service providers will be the technological partner for creating and running a platform to provide all the services in one place.
What is its role and utility for customers?
The proposed platform would act as a single window for the policyholder to man- age his/her insurance cover- age. It will provide end-to- end solutions for customers’ insurance needs Le., purchase, service, and settlement in a seamless manner. It will facilitate insurance companies to access the validated and authentic data from various touch points on a real-time basis. The platformwill interface for the intermediaries and agents to sell policies and provide serv- ices to policyholders, among others, and reduce paper- work.
Commissions on policies are expected to come down, benefiting the customers. The cost of buying poli- cies will come down, insurers say. Currently, there are hundreds of insurance schemes in life and non-life sectors. Customers have no idea who is offering the best deal and the pros and cons of different schemes. Bima Sugam will enable them to identify the suitable scheme for the customers in a single platform. They have to spend time talk- ing to agents and visiting websites of different insurers to select a suitable scheme.
Will the physical mode go?
Customers will open an insurance account and the policies will be stored in this account, thus obviating the need for physical documents. Further, the paperwork in- volved in buying a policy will also come down. Settlement of claims and renewal of poli- cies will also become faster as paperwork is reduced drastically, making it easier for the customers.