Tuesday, Aug 16, 2022
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IRDAI advises consumers to be wary of unregistered entities selling insurance policies

Before buying a health insurance policy, always check whether it’s registered with IRDAI; advisory comes after reports of unregistered entity selling policy

IRDAI has warned the general public to be aware of unregistered and unrecognised entities posing as Insurance provider

The Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India (IRDAI) has advised the public at large to remain wary of any uregistered and unrecognised entity selling insurance.

The insurance regulator said the entity named Even Healthcare Pvt Ltd is not registered with it, and the plans offered by it are not health insurance plans.

It has said that the consumers subscribing to these plans of ‘Even Healthcare Pvt Ltd’ should note that they are dealing with it at their own risk. 

IRDAI has clarified that only insurance companies registered with it or their appointed insurance agents and insurance intermediaries can sell insurance products.

“So, it is essentially illegal for any entity not registered with IRDAI to market any insurance policy,” says Adhil Shetty, CEO, Bankbazaar.com. 

“In such circumstances, it is best not to opt for any such “policy” that is being sold by an unregistered entity. The list of registered insurance companies is easily available on the IRDAI site, and it is better to cross-check before you purchase insurance,” says Shetty. 

According to insurance industry experts, the concept of insurance works on the premise that paying regular premiums and having an active policy protects you in the time of need. 

“An unregistered entity may outright refuse to pay claims, or could set unreasonable terms and conditions for honouring the claim. As the product itself is not legal, you might have little to no legal recourse in such a situation. Moreover, if the company issuing such “policies” folds up, you will again be left high and dry as you may not be able to port your policy to another insurer. This is especially critical in case of health insurance, as a new policy would come with its own waiting period,” adds Shetty. 

Therefore, it is advisable that before buying a health insurance policy, one should first check whether the company is registered with IRDAI or not. Second, one should read up as much as possible about the company. That way, it is unlikely that you could get duped by a fraud entity. 

Here are three ways to avoid getting snared while buying an insurance policy.

Verify your insurance policy offer: You must always be proactive about verifying the authenticity of an insurance policy offer. While you must check whether the company is a registered entity or not, you must also be wary of advice to let go your current insurance policy for another attractive one. Don’t allow the insurer to pressurise you into buying a policy. 

Avoid sharing confidential data: You must be very careful about sharing your confidential data, such as Aadhar number, PAN card detaile, passport or policy number with an unknown insurer. A genuine insurance company will not ask you to submit the original documents. Do not sign any blank cheque. Do not give out any OTP to an unknown insurance agent. 

Check the QR code: You should also verify the authenticity of the insurance policy with the QR code. These days, most insurance policies come with QR codes. You could scan the image of the QR code using QR reading apps on smartphones. 
 

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