Insurance companies will now have to store old policy information for a period of 10 years. This will be applicable for policies issued in physical form as well as electronic format.
In its guidelines on minimum information required for investigation and inspection, IRDAI said that detailed information with respect to the commencement of the policy and expiry (surrender, withdrawal, death) will have to maintained for up to 10 years.
This information could be used for any future reference and also to cross-check for any discrepancies or fraud-related incidents. The name of the agent who sold the policy and their background would also need to be maintained for this period.
Right now, the information is stored only till the time of claims settlement. Once the claim is settled, the policy -related information could be tough to retrieve.
This will be applicable for individual policies as well as group policies. In respect of group insurance business, additional record of items including size of cover, premium collected and claims information will also have to be maintained.
At the time of claims settlement, if there is a large claim or if an insurer wants to re-verify the claim details, they can appoint investigators or surveyors/loss assessors.
Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India (IRDAI) has said that all insurers will have to retain documents relating to claims settled, including copies of any survey, investigation or loss assessment reports connected.
Here, documents have to retained for three years for every loss or damage on which a claim of less than Rs 1 lakh has been made. For claims between Rs 1 lakh to 10 lakh, the document has to be retained for five years.
For claims between Rs 10 lakh-20 lakh, the document has to be retained for seven years and above Rs 20 lakh it has to be retained for 12 years.
If required, IRDAI may also call for information from the insurance companies about these policies.