Soon, when a traffic policeman asks for your car or bike insurance, you won't have to worry if you do not have the papers with you. A simple text message from your mobile phone will retrieve the details instantly, thanks to an IRDA initiative.
"We will be providing vehicle insurance information to all the stakeholders through Short Messaging Service (SMS) and web-based applications of the Insurance Information Bureau,'' said M. Ramaprasad, Member (Non-Life), Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority (IRDA), speaking to Business Line on Wednesday.
The beta version of the service has already been launched while the web-based application can be accessed anytime on the portal of the Insurance Information Bureau.
The database of all insured vehicles across the country is now available in digitised form and regularly updated. Until now, verification was done only by checking a hard copy of the insurance policy.
The digital service is beneficial to all the stakeholders. . "In case of an accident, victims can get to know the insurance company details if they know the number of the vehicle,'' said the IRDA official.
"We are talking to Road Transport Authorities and police in different States to share data so it will be easy to track down uninsured vehicles,'' he said. Some components of motor insurance, such as third-party insurance, are mandatory.
It would also help insurers, which sometimes have to grapple with multiple claims in damage and theft cases. This can be brought down if data on claims are available.
As the system will have a database of insurance claims made/honoured, cases of bad or negligent driving can be ascertained by the insurers before deciding on the premium to be charged.
IRDA is monitoring the submission of data by each underwriting office on a daily basis to ensure the smooth functioning of the system.