The Motor Vehicle Act 1988 makes driving a motor vehicle without insurance in a public place a punishable offence. A Third Party Insurance is also mandatory. Motor insurance protects the interests of the vehicle owner as well as any third party in case of injury or damage during an accident in a public place. Carrying the insurance papers along while in a vehicle is also mandatory. However, now with the introduction of Electronic Motor Policies, known as the E-Vahan Bima, one no longer needs to carry the hard copy of the insurance. Insurance Regulatory Authority of India has launched the E-Vahan Bima, which is a digitally signed insurance contract issued in an electronic form. The Telangana Government has already implemented the E-Vahan Bima with effect from 2 January 2016 with other states to follow very soon.
Features of E-Vahan Bima
- This electronic motor policy has been launched by the Insurance Regulatory Authority of India.
- The insurance contract is either directly issued to the policyholder by the insurer or through the platform of registered insurance repository.
- If the insurers directly issue it then they are required to send a hard copy to the policyholder.
- The digital policy will be sent to the customer’s email with all the details of the motor insurance and a Quick Response Code.
- Quick Response Code (QR code) is a type of bar code that contains information about the vehicle and the Motor Insurance Policy details.
- The soft copy is sufficient as an evidence of insurance.
- An SMS is also sent to the policyholder which can be used if the customer does not have an email id.
- In due course, a mobile app will be provided with the facility to view the policy as well as the option of taking a print out and keeping a hard copy in hand, to be used in case the mobile discharges.
- In case the policyholder does not have a smart phone, the printout of the policy and a copy of the QR code will be sufficient.
- In case the vehicle has been borrowed, the copy of the QR code image is enough.
- Awareness initiatives of all stakeholders including IRDAI, Police and Transport department of the states to launch this digital programme will be taken up so that the law enforcement agencies are aware of this new initiative.
- A countrywide implementation of this initiative is being planned for ease of those who often travel between states in their vehicles.
- The insurers will be providing the existing Motor Insurance policyholders with a portal through which an electronic version along with a QR code can be obtained.
- Steps are being taken to safeguard the privacy of the data maintained through adequate systems with Insurance Repositories/Insurers/IIB.
- There are also adequate systems to prevent manipulation of records and transactions.
Advantages of E-Vahan Bima
- This kind of policy will ensure compliance with law as there will be lesser chances of fraud.
- It is cost effective as there is an elimination of revenue leakages.
- The delivery of insurance will also be much faster.
- The electronic insurance will come with a QR (quick response) code, making it easier for law enforcement agencies for verification. Through the QR code, the traffic police can find details about the insurance of any said vehicle from the Insurers’ database or a central database maintained by Insurance Information Bureau of India (IIB).
- The ease of availing this insurance will make compliance mandatory as it is literally delivered at the doorstep. This will see a marked decline in the number of uninsured vehicles plying on the streets.
- This initiative is also environment-friendly considering the number of trees that will be saved which would have otherwise been cut for the production of paper.
India has now stepped into the digital world along with the other developed nations. The ambitious programme of the Government of India to transform India into digital empowered society and knowledge economy is well on its way. E-Vahan Bima will further help in delivering prompt help and service to the citizens of India.