Driving a motor vehicle without insurance in a public place is a punishable offence under Motor Vehicle Act 1988 and Third Party Insurance is a statutory requirement. Motor insurance gives protection to the vehicle owner against damage to his/her vehicle and pays for legal liability in case of any injury or damage to any Third party life or property caused by the use of vehicle in a public place.
A recent study by Insurance Information Bureau of India (IIB) and the insurance industry indicates that 45-55% of vehicles are uninsured. In fact, close to 50% of private cars are uninsured after the first year. Insurance policies are sometimes fabricated and traffic authorities have no way to verify policy details.
Also, sometimes we do tend to forget to carry a copy of the motor insurance policy along with us. An electronic motor insurance policy (e-motor insurance policy) will remove these difficulties and can also improve better compliance.
The Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India (IRDA) launched its digital motor insurance policy for all vehicles called e-Vahan Bima. Through this you don’t have to carry physical documents of your car insurance policy, you can just store the policy in your mobile and show it to the police when asked for policy papers.
All motor policies issued on or after 1st of December, 2015 shall essentially contain a Quick Response Code. This QR Code would be used to verify the authenticity of the electronic policy. Based on this data an Insurance repository will be maintained. An insurance repository maintains data of policies electronically for insurers and opens e-insurance accounts for policyholders.
What is eVahan Bima Policy?
e-Vahan Bima is an electronic motor insurance policy. It is a policy issued in digital form. Once you buy a motor or vehicle insurance, an electronic motor insurance policy (a digital policy) will be sent to your email. The said policy will have all details of motor insurance. (The physical policy certificate will also be sent to your communication address)
The e-Motor insurance policy has a QR code issued by the Insurer. When traffic police scans the QR code (Quick Response Code), all details of the motor insurance policy are fetched from the database of the Insurer or from the central database of Insurance Information Bureau of India (IIB).
A mobile app will also be soon provided which can be downloaded with ease on your windows, android and apple phones wherein too, the policy details are available along with a QR Code.
(How to read the QR code on your Smartphone?
Step 1: Download the application named ‘QR Code Scanner’ from the Play Store or App Store onto your Smart Phone.
Step 2: Scan the image of the QR Code present on the Policy Copy using QR code scanner App.
Step 3: Click on the Scan button to see the details of the policy.)
- In case if you do not have internet connectivity or if someone else wants to borrow your vehicle, you can download the QR code once, print it and paste a copy of the QR image on the vehicle.
- Once a digital policy is issued, an SMS containing unique code is sent to the policyholder. You may just provide this code to the traffic police and they can fetch your motor vehicle insurance details based on the unique code.
- As of now, eVahan Bima initiative has been implemented w.e.f 2nd January, 2016 in Telangana state only. It is expected that country-wide implementation will be done in the next 6 to 12 months.
- Kindly note that there is no extra cost involved for electronic motor insurance policy.
- All insurers may soon provide a portal wherein the existing Motor Insurance policies can also be obtained in an electronic version along with a QR code.
- An e-IA (e-Insurance Account) will be provided if your policy is issued by the Insurer through Insurance Repository. You can also create an eIA with any of the registered Insurance Repository, even if the policy is directly issued by the Insurer.
I believe that this new initiative will be beneficial to all the stakeholders i.e., the vehicle owner, police department, transport department & insurance industry.
(Image courtesy of Stuart Miles at FreeDigitalPhotos.net) (Reference : IRDA handbook on e-vahan bhima)