The Telegraph
Monday , March 25 , 2013
Since 1st March, 1999
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Mobile tech prop for motor insurance

Calcutta, March 24: Private motor insurance firms are betting big on mobile technology for quicker settlement of claims.

General insurance firms ICICI Lombard and Bajaj Allianz, which together garner one-third of the net premium earned by private motor insurers, have launched applications that enable policyholders to register their claims through mobile handsets.

ICICI Lombard has developed an application, called Insure, which will allow customers to take a photo of the damaged vehicle and communicate their version of the accident through voice recording and send the claim intimation.

Besides instant claim registration, the application will also allow customers to track their claim status, find the nearest motor garage or hospital through geo-tagging and browse and renew insurance policies.

ICICI’s customers can download the application on their smartphones and tablets running on Google’s Android platform.

Bajaj Allianz will distribute its Android-based application Ezee Tab among its authorised agents, who can use it to collect premiums paid through customer’s credit or debit cards.

“A majority of the people today use their mobile phones to connect to the Internet and the application would help the user to register a claim on a short notice,” said Amitabh Jain, head (motor underwriting and claims) of ICICI Lombard. He, however, said the registered claim would have to be verified by the agents before settlement.

“The technology would help to lower the turnaround time in claim settlement,” Vijay Kumar, head (motor insurance) of Bajaj Allianz General Insurance, said.

Turnaround time is the number of days taken to settle the claim after its submission by the policyholder.

According to the Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority (IRDA), the maximum turnaround time for settlement or rejection of claim is 30 days after receiving the first intimation in case of own damage.

Industry observers said the technology was expected to simplify procedures and reduce paperwork.

“The turnaround time varies on a case-to-case basis. Now the time required for settlement of low intensity cases is expected to reduce to less than a couple of days while that of severe cases is likely to be dealt with within a week,” an analyst said.