IRDAI-Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India founded in 1999 in india . It is an autonomous , statutory body focusing on regulating and promoting insurance and re-insurance industries in india.
The main motive of IRDA is to protect the policyholders in terms of their rights and making sure they get best service possible from the insurance companies. IRDA Also focuses on creating awareness regarding insurance importance through designed programs.
Not only that IRDA monitors the claims processes and disputes between policyholders and insurance companies, the ombudsman that works closely with IRDA will help policyholders in settlement of matters related to claims and customer service with insurance companies.
Operations or tasks of IRDA
As per section 14 of the IRDA act 1999 below are the key functions that IRDA is engaged with
- Issuing, renewing ,modifying ,withdrawing , suspending or cancelling registration of insurance companies
- Policy holders interests are always protected by IRDA
- IRDA defines the code of conduct for insurance agents and intermediaries such as insurance aggregators
- IRDA defines the terms how the books should be kept
- IRDA promotes the efficiency in conduct of insurance business
- As the name specifies the IRDA regulates all the activities that are taking place in Insurance industry in india
- Also IRDA educates people about insurance importance through their specially designed programs
In my recent post I have written main reasons why the insurance is important , you probably be interested in reading that.. <Link >
More detailed list of duties that IRDA is responsible are specified In this link https://www.irdai.gov.in/ADMINCMS/cms/NormalData_Layout.aspx?page=PageNo101&mid=1.2
Unclaimed money policy
It is estimated that there is 15000 crore rupees are with insurance companies. This amount is unclaimed amount i.e. the insurance holders who paid all their premiums and forgot to claim their money after the fulfilment of their policies.
IRDA asked the insurance companies to pay this unclaimed amount to the legal nominees of the policy holders. IRDA asked the life insurers to pay this amount in lumpsum to the beneficiaries of the policy.
IRDAI-Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India made it mandatory for the insurance companies to provide a web page on their websites to allow the policy holders or the beneficiaries to search for the unclaimed policy money.
By entering basic data like name , aadhar number and Date of birth one can find out if there is any unclaimed policy money on their name or their elders name. below is an example from LIC website where it allows the search for unclaimed money.
Timely payments of claims
As per IRDA norms the death claims should be settled in 30 days of receipt of documents. If any documents are pending the insurance company should inform the insurer in 15 days.
The claim applications are processed in two steps One, all the required documents need to be in place. The next steps is screening of the documents by the insurance company.
“Ainsuranceplace.com” suggest that when taking the insurance itself be honest with the insurance company, make sure all the documents you provide are correct, make sure all the information you provide is correct. If we do that when we apply for claims there will not be any issues. If insurance companies still makes it hard to make you the payment then the IRDA is there to help you.
Here are couple of companies who are promising very quick claim payments
- Reliance Life in 12 days
- IDBI federal Life 8 days
IRDA Claim settlement ratio
Every three months IRDA publishes the claim settlement ration by insurance company. This will help the insurance buyers which company to select.
The report generally contains the company name , Total claims received and Claims paid section. Each section has detailed columns like how much money is paid as part of claim settlements.
Since this report is from IRDA it is a legitimate and insurers can rely on this when buying insurance policies.
An example of this report how it looks is below
Also here is the link to download latest IRDA claim settlement ration report https://www.irdai.gov.in/ADMINCMS/cms/frmGeneral_NoYearList.aspx?DF=AR&mid=11.1
IRDA Warnings and Penalties
If the insurance companies breach the rules and regulations that are framed by IRDA then the IRDA has the right to issue warnings to the Insurance companies also impose penalties to those companies.
These penalties can be enormous based on the insurance company’s mistake. The IRDA conducts inspections randomly and checks whether the insurance companies are always adhered to the industry policies. If they find out any violations, then they take action by penalising the company.
Here is an example of an order given by IRDA to one of the companies when they violated rules.
The reason for showing this order is to give insurance takers confidence that they are not alone when they have issues with Insurance companies and IRDA will help them.
IRDA Consumer Education program
IRDA has dedicated website to educate insurance buyers. This website provides all the required information starting from why we need to buy insurance till where to complain if we have a problem with insurance company.
In order to raise awareness for importance of insurance and other insurance related information IRDA consumer education program developed the handbooks in different regional languages. This will help rural population in India who are still away from taking insurance and lack of insurance education.
Fraud awareness by IRDA
These days the online digital fraud increased a lot. The fraudsters using all sorts of opportunities to chat people, so they are using insurance sector as well to do this.
IRDA trying to create awareness among people to save them from this type of frauds.
The types of tricks that fraudsters use is they call some random people and ask them to deposit some amount into IRDA bank account to get bonus. IRDA never call any individual and ask them for money.
Here is a video from IRDA to create awareness for the same kind of fraud on their name.
Senior Citizens health insurance IRDA instructions
IRDA issued some instructions to insurance companies regarding health insurance for senior citizens
- Senior citizens should be allowed to buy health insurance policy till the age of 65
- If insurance company rejects the senior citizens application for insurance policy the company should give the reason in writing
- Senior citizens can change their TPA Third Party Administrator the insurance company should not deny this.
insurance company should not refuse the renewal of a health insurance policy
for a senior citizen except the application is
- moral hazard/
IRDA & Insurance Institute of India
Insurance Institute of India provides training and online courses for insurance agents, Corporate Agents, Insurance marketing firms and Web aggregators
They also conduct examinations and give certifications which will help job seekers in insurance industry.