Irda May Use Uid Number for Policyholders


The database could help customers move from one health insurer to another, said Amarnath Ananthanarayanan, chief executive of Bharti Axa General Insurance Co. Ltd. It could also help insurers price motor insurance policies according to the record of customers in terms of accidents and previous claims.


New Delhi, June 27 -- India's insurance regulator is considering creating a database of all insurance policy holders using the Aadhaar, or Unique Identification (UID) number, in a move that experts say will help insurers assess risk and price their offerings better.

Currently there is no such database that could help insurers assess the exact needs of a customer and also the capacity to pay premia; insurers simply go by the information provided to them by customers on the other policies they have taken out.

Insurers have long desired a database such as the one being planned because they believe it will help them curb instances of frauds. "A single policy holder may have different policies from different companies and may not have the financial capacity to service all of them," said an Information Regulatory and Development Authority (Irda) official. If these details are available on a database, insurers can take a call on whether the policy buyer will be able to service the policy or not, added this person, who did not want to be identified.

In a separate development, the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) and Irda are discussing using the UID number to satisfy the "know your customer" (KYC) requirements of insurance companies.

KYC requirements include customer details and have become mandatory for all financial transactions, including the opening of a bank account. The ministry of finance in December decided that customers would only require to have an Aadhaar number to satisfy KYC requirements to open a bank account.

Two officials at UIDAI said the authority and Irda met earlier in June to discuss this. "A major chunk of India's population can be brought under the ambit of insurance, who currently do not have the access to it for the want of proper identification," said the first official. The second official said talks between the two were at a very preliminary stage.

The database could help...

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