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Bima Sugam

 

Source: The Economic Times

 Context: The Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India (IRDAI) has approved the establishment of Bima Sugam, an online insurance marketplace, aimed at simplifying the process of buying, selling, and servicing insurance policies, as well as settling claims.

 

Features of Bima Sugam:

  • Bima Sugam functions as an e-commerce platform where insurance companies can offer their products, providing customers with an end-to-end digital journey.
  • It eliminates paperwork by offering policies in electronic format and allows customers to access all their policies – life, health, and non-life insurance – in one application or window.
  • Bima Sugam is expected to make insurance policies more affordable by reducing commissions paid to intermediaries, potentially leading to lower premiums for policyholders.
  • Additionally, it offers a unified platform for policy issuance, claim settlement, and service requests, contributing to transparency and collaboration in the insurance sector.

 About IRDAI:

IRDAI (HQ: Hyderabad; est 1999), safeguards insurance customers’ interests as a statutory body under the IRDA Act 1999. It operates under the Ministry of Finance, overseeing and developing the insurance industry. Its powers and functions are defined by the IRDAI Act, 1999 and the Insurance Act, 1938

IRDAI’s “Vision Insurance for All” initiative aims for comprehensive coverage by 2047, allocating states and union territories to insurers for increased penetration. In 2023, IRDAI launched “Bima Trinity” – Bima Sugam, Bima Vistar, Bima Vaahaks – with insurers to streamline insurance activities.

About the Insurance Sector in India:

India has a low insurance penetration at 4.2% and an insurance density of $91 in 2021 (from USD 11 in 2001). India’s insurance market is forecasted to become one of the fastest-growing globally in the next decade, as per the Economic Survey. In 2023, India ranked as the 10th largest insurance market globally and is projected to climb to the 6th position by 2032