Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority (IRDA) that oversees all Insurance activities in India has issued new guidelines for grievance (complaints) redressals. Although all life insurance companies have dedicated systems to resolved customer’s complaints, these new guidelines specify the time frame in which the complaint should be resolved and also its process. These guidelines are to be followed by the companies with effective from August 1 2010.
The process starts like this:
1.Every Insurance company must have a dedicated department in their offices to deal with customers complaints (if they are already not available).
2.Once any customer registers a complaint regarding the service, the company must send a written acknowledgement to the complainant with in 3 working days. This acknowledgement will contain the details of the person who will look into this issue and also the approximate time frame that it may take to solve the problem, maximum of which is 2 weeks.
3.If the complaint is not solved with in 15 days, the company should again send a written response to the complainant offering redress (rectify) or rejection of the complaint citing the reasons.
4.The written response should also contain sufficient information on how the complainant can move forward should the company’s response be not satisfying.
5.On the complainant’s part, the complaint will be deemed solved and closed, if the complainant did not respond to the company’s written response with in 8 weeks.
These are the guidelines specified by IRDA that will come into effect from 1 August.
Moving further, IRDA also plans to introduce and hence advised Insurance companies to introduce a complete online system to register complaints, track the status of it at any time and close the complaint, if resolved (Update: This is now live, read below).
IRDA IGMS portal
For the benefit of policy holders, IRDA has launched Integrated Grievance Management System (IGMS) which can be used by users to register their complaints. But, as said before, policy holders must first try to solve the issue by talking to the insurer itself (this is mandatory). If only they are dissatisfied with reply of insurer (after 15 days), they should register their complaint at IRDA IGMS. You can visit the igms portal by going here. New users should first register themselves. Once you register your complaint, IRDA will escalate your complaint with the insurance company and you can know the live status from time to time by visiting the IGMS portal.
Note: The IGMS portal can also be user to register complaints against Non Life (General) Insurance companies too.
Also see: A website to register complaints on telecom operators.