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What is an insurance complaint?

LiveMint logoLiveMint 24-07-2017 Deepti Bhaskaran

The 2017 notification on protection of policyholders’ interests has defined an ‘insurance complaint’. As per the notification, a ‘complaint’ or a ‘grievance’ means a written expression (even in electronic mode) of dissatisfaction made by the complainant against an entity—such as insurer, agent, broker—about an action or lack of action about the standard of service or deficiency of service. 

Till now the definition of a complaint also included verbal communication, but now that is no longer the case. The new definition makes it clear that in order to register a complaint, a person needs to give it in writing. We tell you how to register a complaint with the insurer, or directly with the regulator.

You can ask your agent or bank to help you file a complaint and you can also approach the insurer directly. Every insurer is now mandated to feature its grievance redressal policy on its website, which should have information on how to file complaints and contact details of the grievance redressal officer or office. Some of the websites we saw, had their grievance redressal policy under the ‘customer support’ section.

This policy will have email IDs, other contact details and addresses to which you need to send your complaint. You can also click this link (http://www.policyholder.gov.in/Report.aspx#) and find the email IDs of grievance redressal officers of all the insurers . You can also call their call centre to register your complaint. However, that will need to be followed up by a letter or an email.

Insurers need to acknowledge the complaint within 3 days of receiving it. 

You have the option of registering your complaint with Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India (Irdai) using the Integrated Grievance Management System (IGMS). IGMS is a central repository of all consumer complaints received by life insurance and non-life insurance companies. It is an online registration system created by Irdai to which all insurers have integrated their online complaint logging systems. So, when a complaint is logged into the insurer’s system, it automatically flows into the IGMS. With the help of IGMS, the regulator can ensure speedy disposal of complaints and also track the nature of complaints and timelines for resolution.

You can directly tap into this system too by going to www.igms.irda.gov.in or by calling its toll free number 155255 or 1800-4254-732. You can also email to complaints@irda.gov.in. This complaint then flows into the insurer’s system for resolution. Insurers need to resolve the complaint in 15 days. A complaint is considered closed if you don’t respond within 8 weeks of the insurer’s written response. Also, if the grievance is not resolved in your favour, the insurer needs to inform you about approaching an insurance ombudsman. 

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