According to an IRDAI circular dated March 31, 2022, “It has now been decided by the Authority to further extend the facilitation dispensing with the physical signature on the proposal forms and allowing validation by OTP, until 30/09/ 2022. All the other provisions, relating to this derogation, of the aforementioned circulars remain unchanged.
In the case of health insurance policies, the deadlines for removing physical papers and handwritten signatures on the application form have been extended.
“This refers to IRDAI circulars Ref: No. IRDA/NL/CIR/MISC/237/09/2020 of September 10, 2020 and a new empty granted extension Ref: IRDAI/NL/CIR/MISC/064/03/2021 of March 24, 2021 and Ref: IRDAI/NL/CIR/MISC/247/09/2021 of September 13, 2021 on the subject above It has now been decided by the Authority to further extend the exemption permitted for the proposal in the form physical and the handwritten signature on the proposal form until the period 30/09/2022”, indicates an IRDAI circular sent on March 31, 2022 to general insurers.
Due to lockdown restrictions, many people have struggled to get new health insurance coverage during the pandemic. On September 10, 2020, insurance regulations allowed health and casualty insurance companies to obtain agreement from policyholders electronically or digitally, removing this barrier to obtaining new policies.
The handwritten signature exemption on a hard copy of an insurance policy was initially valid until March 31, 2021, but IRDAI extended it until September 30, 2021 following the second wave of the pandemic. However, with the outbreak still affecting many parts of the country, the exemption has been extended from March 31, 2022 to September 30, 2022.
The insurance regulator issued guidelines for granting health insurance plans that did not require handwritten signatures on the hard copy of the application form. It required insurers to forward the policy document and application form to the customer’s registered email address or mobile phone number in a digital/electronic format.
The insurance regulator has allowed insurers to obtain consent from potential customers in digital or electronic form. If the proposer accepted, he had to confirm his agreement by clicking on a link or by entering a one-time password (OTP).