The Telegraph
Monday , June 4 , 2012
Since 1st March, 1999
CIMA Gallary

Get online help on insurance

Are you angry with your insurance agent for deliberately misrepresenting facts and selling you an insurance product unsuitable to your needs and you don't know what to do? Are you frustrated with the inordinate delay on part of your insurer in processing your claim on your householder’s policy? Are you taken aback by your insurer’s refusal to renew your health policy? Are you upset with your insurance company for not even bothering to acknowledge your complaint?

Well, I would suggest that you visit the newly uploaded website of the Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority (IRDA). You will not only find solution for all your problems, but would also be in a better position to deal with your insurers. The website not only tells you about your rights as a policyholder, but also about the various regulations being enforced by the insurance regulator to protect your interests.

The website tells you how to buy an insurance product, what precautions need to be taken at the time of sale and your right to return the policy within 15 days of receiving the policy document (in case of life insurance and health insurance policies that have a minimum of three-year term). It also tells you how to fill up an insurance form and precautions to be taken while doing so (always ensure that the information provided is true and accurate as otherwise it will affect your claim), how to make your claim, the papers required (here, I think the website needs to provide more details) and in case of a problem, how to get your grievance redressed. The website also tells you how you can compare unit linked insurance policies (ulips) of different insurance companies by accessing the site with any mobile device.

The website gives statistics for 2010-11 on the number of complaints resolved by each insurer in the life and the non-life sectors and the number of complaints still pending with them. This is a highly useful information for consumers and it would help them choose their insurer wisely if some additional information such as the average time taken for processing a claim and resolution of complaints by each insurer is also given. In fact, a comparative data on all insurers based on a set of quality parameters would be highly welcome.

Similarly, the website should simplify the various policy terms and conditions and the exemption clauses which are usually couched in highly legal terms and are not easily understood by consumers.