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Insurers may offer discounts to customers via e-commerce sale

Insurance companies may offer discounts to customers if their policies are sold through e-commerce websites, Irdai said on Thursday.

Releasing guidelines on insurance e-commerce, the Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India (Irdai) said "insurers may offer discounted pricing on the product when sold through its ISNP".

ISNP or Insurance Self-Network Platform is an electronic platform that will be required to be set up by insurers after getting permission from Irdai to give e-commerce services.

The objective of e-commerce in insurance is to increase insurance penetration in a cost effective manner, Irdai said.

"Irdai issues these guidelines to promote e-commerce in insurance space which is expected to lower the cost of transacting insurance business and bring higher efficiencies and greater reach."

No discounts, incentives or payments are to be made in whatever name called, other than those approved by Irdai, it added.

Neither they can give any cashback, promotional incentives or payments by payment gateway companies or other entities, the guidelines said.

Also, no insurance agent will be permitted to set up a separate insurance ISNP and will have to use insurer's platform.

The guidelines gives an insurer the permission to decide a policy price, though the differential price for products offered on ISNP of any of the insurer shall be the same.

Companies who want to sell polices online will have to clearly define the type of consumers for whom a product is intended, main features, options and coverage, total premium and other charges a consumer need to pay as well as the prospects' right to cancel a policy.
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