IRDA to put vehicle insurance online

The Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority (IRDA) will roll out a web-based system to track vehicle insurance status in a month's time. ''We will be launching the system formally from 9 June,'' A Giridhar, executive director, IRDA, told Business Line in Hyderabad on Saturday.

The new system will have a database of all the insured vehicles from across the country. The data will also be shared with the transport and police authorities in different States, he added.

This implies that the Road Transport Authority (RTA) in every State will have access to the insurance status of different vehicles on the road. In turn, they can launch a drive to track down challan defaulters. The benefit for insurance companies is that the centralised data will help them avoid duplications or multiple claims.

The system will make a big difference for the vehicle owners as well as general insurers, he said. As all vehicles will now have to be insured, the premium per policy is likely to come down.

The third-party insurance procedure will also be efficient, especially for victims of hit-and-run cases. The system may help reduce insurers' losses as these claims will be settled from a 'solatium fund' now. At present, the insurers pay for losses caused by the uninsured vehicles.

''More importantly, several insurers are also complaining of multiple claims in damage and theft cases. This can be brought down,'' Giridhar, said.

As the system will also have a database of insurance claims made/honoured, cases of bad or negligent driving can be ascertained by the insurers before deciding on the premium to be charged, he added.