Insurance ombudsman offices across India settled 40,527 complaints related to grievances of policyholders in FY22, up 32% from a year before.
As many as 3,830 cases were settled by the Bima Lokpal’s (ombudsman’s) Delhi office alone in the last fiscal.
The Bima Lokpal, an alternative grievance redress mechanism set up by the Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India (Irdai), offers a platform for expeditious and cost-effective disposal of customer complaints. It’s constituted under the Insurance Ombudsman Rules, 2017 for individual policyholders to have their complaints settled out-of-the-courts system.
At present, there are 17 insurance ombudsmen in different locations. Any person who has a grievance against an insurer can himself, or through his legal representative, make a complaint in writing to the Insurance ombudsman.
Sudhir Krishna, insurance ombudsman, said the Delhi centre strives to resolve complaints within 30 days of registration. Over a half of the complaints at this centre were resolved by conciliation/settlement.
Consumers can approach the Bima Lokpal within one year from the decision of the insurer or after the expiry of one month from the date of complaining to the insurer if it fails to address the complaint. The Bima Lokpal usually takes up cases where the amount of relief sought does not cross Rs 30 lakh.
The Bima Lokpal also encourages online hearings and complaint filing and most of the complaints are now being made through this mode only.