"We are working on the roadmap to encourage new and existing policy holders to hold their policies in electronic dematerialized form. We will educate our customer base about the benefits of holding all policies electronically and help them convert their insurance policies in demat form," Reliance Life Insurance CEO Anup Rau.

Reliance Life Insurance, part of Anil Ambani-led financial services major Reliance Capital, is amongst the first few private insurers to offer policy holders the option of holding their insurance policies in electronic demat form.

Finance Minister P Chidambaram had recently inaugurated an Insurance Repository System (IRS), under which the industry regulator Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority (IRDA) seeks to push for dematerialization of policy papers.

IRDA has approved five companies - Database Management Limited, Central Insurance Repository Limited, SHCIL Projects Limited, CAMS Repository Services Limited and Karvy Insurance Limited - as Insurance Repositories (IR).

These companies, to be linked to all insurance companies, will maintain data of policies electronically for insurers and will open e-Insurance accounts for policy holders.

To store all policies online, a customer has to create an e-Insurance account with a repository free of cost either directly or through an insurer.

"Our initiative to offer policies in electronic form is aimed at complementing the regulator's efforts to save hundreds of crores spent on printing, dispatching and storing insurance policies by the industry. This initiative will make it easier for the customers to buy and monitor multiple life insurance policies in a single demat account," Rau said.

All life insurers are in the process of tying up with insurance repositories to launch their policies in demat form. IndiaFirst Life Insurance has already launched its all policies in demat format.

"Dematerialization of policies will bring greater transparency and convenience to customers and it will also help reduce cost in issuing and maintaining life insurance policies. It will also ease the problem of customer- contactability, which is a huge challenge faced by the industry," Rau said.

(Agencies)                       

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