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Government amends Insurance Ombudsman Rules

Government amends Insurance Ombudsman Rules for better resolution of policyholders’ complaints regarding insurance service deficiencies

The Government on 2nd March 2021 notified comprehensive amendments to the Insurance Ombudsman Rules, 2017, with a view to improving the working of the Insurance Ombudsman mechanism to facilitate the resolution of complaints regarding deficiencies in insurance services in a timely, cost-effective, and impartial manner.

The amended rules have enlarged the scope of complaints to Ombudsmen from only disputes earlier to deficiencies in service on the part of insurers, agents, brokers, and other intermediaries. Further, insurance brokers have been brought within the ambit of the Ombudsman mechanism, by empowering the Ombudsmen to pass awards against insurance brokers as well.

Under the amended rules, the timeliness and cost-effectiveness of the mechanism have been substantially strengthened. Policyholders will now be enabled for making complaints electronically to the Ombudsman and a complaints management system will be created to enable policyholders to track the status of their complaints online. Further, the Ombudsman may use video-conferencing for hearings. To enable access to relief through the Ombudsman mechanism even when there is a vacancy in the office of a particular Ombudsman, provision has been made for giving additional charge to another Ombudsman, pending the filing of the vacancy.

A number of amendments have been made for securing the independence and integrity of the Ombudsman selection process, while also building safeguards to secure the independence and impartiality of the appointed persons while serving as Ombudsmen. Further, the selection committee will now include an individual with a track record of promoting consumer rights or advancing the cause of consumer protection in the insurance sector.

The Ombudsman mechanism was administered by the Executive Council of Insurers, which has been renamed as the Council for Insurance Ombudsmen.

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TaxClue Team

Taxclue is an online news portal for reporting all news, articles, judgments, Circulars, orders, and notifications relating to various corporate and tax laws in India. We use the tagline ‘Simplifying Laws’. Our mission is to Simplify the Laws and make people aware of their rights and duties in relation to tax matters in order to equip them to participate in nation-building. TaxClue is a team of young professionals. We started in December 2016 with the mission of knowledge sharing. TaxClue would like to hear your valuable suggestion. Please write to our editorial team at info@taxclue.in

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