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Know the right way to file insurance-related complaints

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What do insurance policyholders do when they have a grievance? Many of them just take to social media, be it Twitter or Facebook, to complain. They also tag insurers on such posts. But, experts say this may not be the right way to resolve grievances even if the insurer does not act on time.

Mahavir Chopra, CEO of Beshak.com, says, “Most customers vent out their frustration on Twitter, especially when they haven’t found the right channel to communicate with the insurer or received a proper response. Insurers do have call centres, but the responses are mostly system-generated and may not help resolve grievances. Even, response given by customer care executives may not always satisfy the complainant.”

Yet, it is only right that people should use various grievance mechanisms available to them before using a public forum. When insurers fail to resolve grievances, it is better for policyholders to reach out to the insurance ombudsman. TM Shyam Sunder, CIO of Royal Sundaram General Insurance, said, “The Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India (Irdai) has a grievance redressal mechanism which is very responsive and focused on customers’ interests. If the insured has any dispute with the insurer, they can approach the regulator or the ombudsman’s office in their city for resolution.”

What you should do: You should write to the insurer’s grievance redressal cell if you have any complaints about the insurer. You must register this complaint with the grievance redressal officer (GRO) or the ombudsman’s office. You can check GRO’s email IDs of all insurance companies at policyholder.gov.in. Give your complaint in writing along with supporting documents and obtain an acknowledgement slip for the same.

Note that the grievance cell never entertains complaints written on behalf of policyholders by advocates or agents or by any third party. It has to be written by the insured only.

The insurer will have to resolve your complaint within 15 days of receipt of the complaint. Further, if you are unsatisfied with the insurer’s resolution, you can approach the grievance redressal cell of the Consumer Affairs Department of Irdao. You can dial 155255 (or) 18004254732 or send an email to complaints@irdai.gov.in. You can also use Irdai’s online portal – Integrated Grievance Management System (IGMS)—the Bima Bharosa portal (bimabharosa.irdai.gov.in)—to register and monitor your complaints.

You can send a complaint to Irdai by post. For that, you need to download the complaint registration form, fill it up and send it along with your letter of complaint and copies of relevant documents. The complaints should be addressed to the General manager, Consumer Affairs Department- Grievance Redressal Cell, Irdai.

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