Insurance products: Disentangling the web

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All web aggregators will now have to ensure security of a prospect’s confidential documents and put in place a system for recording and monitoring complaints. All web aggregators will now have to ensure security of a prospect’s confidential documents and put in place a system for recording and monitoring complaints.
SummaryNew norms on web aggregators will bring uniformity in display of prices and key features of insurance products.

of visitors and their preferences.

Aggregators will also have to put in place a system for recording and monitoring complaints and accept them either by phone or in writing, and acknowledge them promptly.

All electronic records, books, documents, statements and contract notes will have to be maintained by the aggregator and retained for at least 10 years. The aggregator will have to ensure that a response letter is sent to the complainant on the resolution of the grievance and the latter is informed of further redressal procedures.

Analysts say the notification will bring uniformity in display of prices and key features of insurance products. It will also protect the interests of customers and rationalise the approach adopted by insurers and brokers in dealing with various websites that offer price comparisons and display key features of products.

The notification has also underlined that web aggregators cannot exclusively promote any particular product of an insurer. The price comparison chart of similar products will have to be displayed on the website so that customers can take informed decisions. The aggregators will have to display product features like the scope of cover, exclusions, deductibles, co-payments, loading or discount on premiums, add-on covers, etc. They also have to disclose the commission on the product if the prospect wants to know.

Most importantly, insurers cannot solicit non-single premium type of policies for an annualised premium over R50,000 over the telemarketing mode, which includes voice calls or SMSes. Even a single premium of over R50,000 cannot be solicited over the telemarketing mode. No insurer can sell a unit-linked insurance policy via the telemarketing mode.

If the policy is issued to a customer without the proposal in physical form, insurers will have to forward a verbal transcript of the voice/electronic record of the queries raised and answers given on the basis of which the policy has been underwritten along with the policy bond. The records of every call made which materialises into a policy will have to be transferred to the insurer within a month of conclusion of the sale.

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