The Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India (IRDAI) has approved BIMA Sugam, an insurance exchange e-commerce platform similar to the concept of Amazon. Sugam will serve as a one-stop destination for all insurance needs, from policy purchase to claim settlement and everything in between.
The platform would provide buyers with a host of policies to choose from. Individuals will be able to purchase policies directly from the insurance firms of their choice through the digital platform, which is supported by the regulatory body, the Life Insurance Council, and the General Insurance Council. Insurers, Agents & Intermediaries, and Customers will have access to the platform.
BIMA Sugam will provide policyholders with a Demat E-BIMA or e-insurance account (E-IA account). As there is no demand for storing and safeguarding the physical document, it will facilitate more privacy and make it easier for the policyholders to renew their insurance without any hassle of physical paperwork.
Although the IRDAI has not provided specifics regarding the fee that the platform will charge, industry officials and reports indicate that the commissions paid to intermediaries will be dramatically reduced, resulting in cheaper policyholder premiums and more money invested in insurance-cumulative investment programmes.
The insurance policies of the policyholder and his family can be maintained by selecting a repository of their choice. The links of information stored in one place will make claim settlement easier for nominees/beneficiaries. Individuals who are apprehensive about sharing their contact details with aggregator portals to receive policy premium quotations can log on to this regulator-approved platform to purchase policies in one place instead of visiting different insurers’ websites separately.
All insurance requirements, including those for life, health, and general insurance (including motor, travel, etc.), will be met by BIMA Sugam. A few modifications must be made to the existing structure to accommodate the new platform. There will be several options for policyholders under BIMA Sugam that centre around providing life and health insurance to everyone at a reduced rate. BIMA Sugam is likely to face severe competition from established insurance brokers and web aggregators that already provide such services. With the fierce competition, insurance buyers can expect better deals in the future.