All about BIMA Sugam, the unique e-shop for your insurance needs
This IRDAI-approved e-commerce platform will help you buy all kinds of insurance policies, pay premiums and settle claims. Along with a host of other benefits, it promises to be a “game changer”
Struggling to keep track of all your insurance premiums? Have you ever forgotten to pay a premium for your car or health insurance? If so, here is good news for you. Very soon, you will be able to use BIMA Sugam as your one stop shop for all your insurance needs. It will be an e-commerce platform, just like Amazon or Flipkart, but for insurance products.
The Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India (IRDAI) has already approved BIMA Sugam. IRDAI Chairman Debasish Panda told PTI that Bima Sugam should be “a UPI moment” for the insurance industry. “Bima Sugam will be a one stop shop for buying and selling insurance, for servicing policies and also for claims settlement,” he added.
In addition to IRDAI, the platform will be supported by the Conseil des Assurances Vie and the Conseil Général des Assurances.
How BIMA Sugam will help you
First, you can buy policies, pay premiums, and settle all claims in one platform. You don’t have to visit different insurers’ websites separately.
Second, you can choose from a multitude of policies and purchase them directly from insurance companies. Agents and intermediaries will also have access.
Third, it will no longer be necessary to maintain a multitude of physical documents. You can enjoy more privacy and renewals will be a breeze.
Fourth, the platform will significantly reduce the commissions paid to intermediaries. This means cheaper premiums and more of your money invested in cumulative investment programs.
Fifth, you can choose a repository to keep all your insurance policies. If you have all the links stored in one place, resolving claims will become easier for nominees and beneficiaries.
Sixth, the platform will meet all insurance requirements, including those for life, health, auto, travel, and more.
How will BIMA Sugam work?
BIMA Sugam will provide you with a Demat E-BIMA or e-insurance (E-IA) account. IRDAI, however, did not provide any details on the fees the platform will charge.
Panda said individual agents and web aggregators will also have access to the portal. “…many people may prefer the assisted mode and can get help from one of the intermediaries,” he explained.
Regarding KYC, he said, “…the moment you enter the portal, type in your Aadhaar number, (and) the data will autofill. The KYC will be done through your Aadhaar number, which will be hidden for security reasons.
Taking out a policy can be done in a few easy steps and in minutes, he said.
“We are trying to require all policies to be passed to insurance repositories, which will store the details permanently. This will help with paperless claims settlement based on policy number,” Panda added.
The future of insurance
By making it easier for customers to purchase and manage insurance, this portal is likely to help boost insurance penetration in the country.
Panda said that by promoting “ease of living” and expanding the “reach of insurance”, this platform “will be a game-changer”. He added: “It will be a huge enabler and I think with this platform you won’t have to go anywhere physically.”
BIMA Sugam could face stiff competition from insurance brokers and web aggregators that already provide similar services. However, that’s not a bad thing. Fierce competition can lead to better deals for insurance buyers in the future.