General insurance fraud is an illegal act by either the buyer or seller of a general insurance contract. For instance, a seller may sell policies from a non-existent company, which is a case of exploiting an insurance contract.
It is important for policyholders to know about the various tactics that fraudsters use to con unsuspecting people. The fraud can be for a loan, payment, insurance, OTP, KYC or even cyber frauds such as phishing and vishing, among others. Financial products and services companies try to help consumers remain vigilant at all times, in order to keep their information, money and insurance policies safe, through campaigns and awareness initiatives.
Insurance frauds saw an increase during the pandemic and investigations have largely moved to digital channels, according to a recent survey by Insurance Institute of India with Lancers Network in collaboration with Association of Private Detectives and Investigators India and International Fraud Trading group. “There is an overall increase in insurance fraud investigations after the onset of Covid-19, with 55 per cent of respondents confirming that their professional activities related to fraud-fighting have either increased overall or increased under a specific area of operation during the pandemic,” the report stated.
You can follow some safety tips and guidelines in order to stay safe and protected against any kind of financial fraud. Here are some tips for the policyholders to beat the fraudsters:
Verify All Offers: You must always verify the authenticity of an insurance caller. Be wary of advice that required you to forgo your insurance policy for a seemingly more attractive one. Stay away from promises of bonuses, incentives or benefits offered by unknown people or if they seem too attractive to be true. Contact the insurer directly to get the insurance policy information confirmed, either via email or by calling its customer care number or by verifying the policy at the insurer’s official website.
If the premium offered is lower than usual, verify with the insurer. Never sign blank claim forms or allow an agent to fill policy forms. Don’t let offers bound by an urgency or a tight deadline pressurise you.
Pay Premiums The Right Way: If you are paying the premium in cash, don’t pay directly to the insurance agent or agency; pay to the insurance company at a branch. Pay the premiums online or through cheques or credit cards to ensure that the premium is deposited with the insurance company itself. Always request for valid receipts for all the premiums paid.
Avoid Sharing Documents And Confidential Data: Avoid sharing documents such as PAN card, Aadhaar card, passport and policy number with a third party or an unknown person. A genuine general insurance company would not ask you to submit original documents. Don’t sign any blank cheques or share confidential personal or policy details. Remember, no OTP, account login or password is to be shared with the insurance company’s representative or your insurance agent.
Check The QR Code: These days insurance policies come with QR codes. You can verify the authenticity of the insurance policy using them. All that has to be done is to scan the image of the QR code using QR reading apps on smartphones.
Go Through All Policy Details Carefully: Always read the insurance policy details carefully to check the credentials and policy coverage details. Verify the policy details before filling the form. Never sign an incomplete proposal form. Buy insurance policies directly from the insurance company or from authorised intermediaries to avoid falling into the trap of fake insurance policies.