Proposed new portal to be ready by year end
Insurance regulator IRDAI is building a comprehensive portal for complaints redressal of policyholders. This portal is expected to be ready by end of December this year, said Bejon Kumar Misra, Consumer Policy Expert and Member of Advisory Committee, IRDAI, on Friday.
The portal will address a big pain point of policyholders in not being able to upload. — due to existing technology glitches—their documents online to support their complaints and grievances against insurers.
“This portal will be ready mostly by December-end and will be a new year gift for citizens and policyholders from the IRDAI,” said Misra when asked about the timeline for launch of the comprehensive dedicated portal.
Misra was in the National Capital at the office of insurance ombudsman of Delhi as part of new initiative of IRDAI requiring its advisory committee members to visit all 17 Insurance ombudsman offices across the country and come up with suggestions to improve the ombudsman scheme rolled out by the Finance Ministry in 2017.
Sudhir Krishna, Insurance Ombudsman, Delhi, highlighted the measures taken by ombudsmen offices to facilitate the general public in resolution of grievances against insurance companies.
The Bima Lokpal (Insurance Ombudsman) Scheme is an Alternate Grievance Redress platform set up by the IRDAI, through the Council for Insurance Ombudsmen, Mumbai, aiming at resolving the grievances of the aggrieved insurance policyholders and claimants against Insurance companies and their intermediaries, speedily and cost-effectively
There are 17 IO Centers in the country, which cover all States and UTs. All offices of the Insurance ombudsmen put together disposed of 40,527 complaints during 2021-22. Of these, the Delhi Centre disposed 3,830 complaints, which is 9.4 per cent of the all India figure. Of the complaints disposed in Delhi, almost 30 per cent, or 1129 complaints, were related to health insurance. The Delhi centre gets complaints around Covid-related grievances and this has been on the rise, said Krishna.
The Delhi Centre strives to dispose of the complaints within 30 days of registration, he said.
Over 50 percent of the complaints registered in the Delhi Centre have been resolved by way of conciliation/settlement.
With the amendments to Insurance Ombudsman rules in 2021, the hearings can be conducted online. Now majority of the hearings are being conducted online, as it has turned out to be convenient to all concerned, Krishna said.
However, the complainants or insurers who face difficulty in accessing the connectivity, are facilitated by providing a terminal free of cost at the IO Office.
The amended rules have also allowed online filing of complaints. This mode has achieved some popularity, but majority of complainants prefer to file their complaint in physical mode. Complaints submitted in either mode get the same attention from the IO Office, he added.