I recently bought car insurance from a friend. I have heard of insurance frauds and want to make sure I don’t buy into one. How can I check if my policy is genuine and whether my friend is an authorized agent?
—Name withheld on request
Fraudulent policy issuance is a growing problem for the industry. So cross-checking the validity of a policy is a good idea. Most credible intermediaries and insurers send a welcome email and messages after the policy is issued. If you do not receive these alerts, it should raise an alarm.
To check whether your friend is an authorized agent, you can ask for his agent licence. The Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India (Irdai) issues licences to insurance agents who are authorized to sell insurance. However, if this is embarrassing for you to ask, you could write to the insurer asking them to provide details of the intermediary in your insurance policy. Also, check the list of terminated and suspended agents that all insurers have on their website. Finally, the insurance policy itself should have the contact details of your agent.
If you have bought the policy from a broker, you can check the validity of the broker’s licence on Irdai’s website as well. It publishes the list of active brokers along with the validity date of their licences.
To check a policy’s authenticity, you can take either of the following actions: Some insurers offer policy servicing option via their website. You can visit the company’s website, enter in your policy number and check the policy details. Alternatively, you can, call the insurance company’s customer care number and find out if the policy is genuine and issued in your name.
Aside from fraud, issued policies can be rife with errors. Some of the common errors include misspelled name and address of the insured, wrong sum assured or declared value in case of motor insurance, and omission of an add-on you opted for. At the time of payment, you should have a written record of the terms and conditions, so that if an error is identified in the policy, the insurer is obliged to fix it.
Abhishek Bondia is principal officer and managing director, SecureNow.in. Queries and views at firstname.lastname@example.org