The Supreme Court in its September 26 verdict on the constitutional validity of Aadhaar struck down Section 57, which enables corporate bodies and private entities to seek Aadhaar details.
Vinaya Bhaskar, a 34-year old corporate professional was hospitalised about six months ago. When her family filed a health insurance claim with a standalone health company, they were told that it will not be passed due to absence of Aadhaar number, which was not compulsory. After a lot of heated debate, the insurer agreed to pay the claim.
Like Bhaskar, several others can breathe easy as insurance companies can no longer seek Aadhaar details of customers to settle claims.
The Supreme Court in its September 26 verdict on the constitutional validity of Aadhaar struck down Section 57, which enables corporate bodies and private entities to seek Aadhaar details. This effectively means that only the government can seek authentication.
After the SC extended the deadline for linking Aadhaar to bank accounts and other documents indefinitely in March 2018, the IRDAI had allowed insurers to push the deadline as until the judgement was delivered.
Sources told Moneycontrol that the insurance regulator was reviewing the SC judgement and will issue directions to insurers over the next two-three days.
Insurance companies had earlier sought Aadhaar details during sale of a policy and while settling claims.
Nonetheless, lawyers told Moneycontrol that Aadhaar will be required for enrolling in the Pradhan Mantri Jeevan Jyoti Bima Yojana and Pradhan Mantri Suraksha Bima Yojana, but claims will not be denied for non-submission of Aadhaar.
The SC has not given a list of schemes where Aadhaar will be made mandatory.Moneycontrol spoke to insurers, who said that they will wait for an IRDAI statement for further clarification. A senior life insurance underwriting official said that the sector "preferred" Aadhaar because it was easier to authenticate the know-your-customer (KYC) process.