(Photo: iStock)
(Photo: iStock)

In group plans, employers have nominee list

  • In case you have a written acknowledgement of the nomination registered in your mother’s name, then you can approach the insurance company directly and make the claim
  • OCIs are allowed to buy life and health insurance policies in India

My brother was working for a multinational company and was covered under group term life and group personal accident insurance from the company. He has nominated my mother as the nominee. After his death, the company is not willing to hand over the money and is asking for legal heirs. How should we proceed on this? My brother was married but had no children.

—Preethi

Parents are considered as “beneficial nominees". Once the sum assured is paid to a beneficial nominee, legal heirs do not have any claim on the proceeds. That is why insurers, typically, do not ask for a legal heir certificate if the claim is made by a beneficial nominee.

The administration of a group policy vests with the employer and the employee has limited direct interaction with the insurer. Employers maintain the record of nominees at their end. Often this is not shared with the insurer until a claim is made.

In case you have a written acknowledgement of the nomination registered in your mother’s name, then you can approach the insurance company directly and make the claim. The insurer would pay the claim to the nominee. If the insurer refuses, you can approach the grievance redressal cell or the insurance ombudsman to get your problem solved.

If you do not have a record of the nomination made by your deceased brother, then a legal heir certificate would be required to make the claim.

I am an overseas citizen of India (OCI) visa holder residing in India permanently. What are my options if I want to buy a medical or life insurance policy? Are OCI residents eligible to apply for regular policies?

—Ajay

Yes, OCIs are allowed to buy life and health insurance policies in India. You can approach any life and health insurer, compare the premiums and buy the policy you want. Also, the premium applicable for you will be the same as other Indian residents. The policy would be issued in Indian currency. The claim would also be paid in Indian currency.

You might be required to fill an additional questionnaire giving the details of your residential status.

Abhishek Bondia is principal officer and managing director, SecureNow.in. Queries and views at mintmoney@livemint.com

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