The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Smart cards for Mediclaim holders likely

New Delhi, Oct. 3: Insurance majors like New India Assurance, Royal Sundaram Alliance, Tata-AIG Non-Life and Bajaj Allianz General Insurance plan to issue smart cards to motor vehicle and Mediclaim insurance policy holders. The companies are already in talks with smart card companies.

Once this happens, policyholders will be spared the rigour of going through cumbersome paperwork before getting their claims.

“Although smart card business models can be extremely complex, we see development in this field in the next few years. We will look forward to evaluate application of smart cards in our customer management programme,” Royal Sundaram deputy managing director Antony Jacob said.

The smart cards have a microchip that stores both personal and policy information about the policyholder on a single card. The card is being initially targeted at non-life insurance policyholders, especially those who go in for motor insurance and Mediclaim insurance.

This is how the technology will work: when a policyholder purchases a policy in case of motor insurance or Mediclaim, the insurer will give him a smart card. This will carry all the details of the policy as well as personal information of the policyholder. In the event of the policyholder’s vehicle meeting with an accident, he can take it to the service station and get his vehicle repaired.

A smart card terminal present in the service station will not only read and cross-check the existing information about the policy, but will simultaneously update the microchip by feeding in the service charges against the service used by the policyholder. Nonetheless, like the traditional system works, the claim amount is debated between the assessor and the car service provider before an electronic record is fed in the terminal.

When updated, a similar record will get upgraded on the smart card terminal present with the insurance companies. After the entire servicing process is completed to the satisfaction of the policyholder, he will insert his card in the terminal to confirm details like service charges, date, upgraded accident records, surveyor’s identification number and expiry date of the policy.

Sanjay Dharwarkar, head-marketing, Smart Chip Ltd, a system integrator said, “The entire system will be electronic. It will save both the insurer and the insured of all the tedious paperwork being used in the traditional system. Also, mishandling of vital information including claim amount and accident records will be minimised.”

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