'Need to widen the ambit of ombudsman's powers'

  • PTI, Chandigarh
  • Updated: Nov 11, 2014 20:22 IST

There is a need to widen the ambit of ombudsman's powers to allow him to deal with grievances of consumers involving claims up to Rs 50 lakh, Chandigarh Insurance Ombudsman Manik Sonawane said on Tuesday.

Currently, ombudsman's powers are restricted to insurance contracts of value not exceeding Rs 20 lakh for life insurance and general insurance.

"I have raised the issue with the Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority (IRDA) for raising Ombudsman's powers to handle insurance cases involving value of up to Rs 50 lakh," he said here.

An official of Chandigarh Insurance Ombudsman pointed out that currently, many of complaints in connection with insurance could not be taken up by ombudsman because of value being more than Rs 20 lakh.

"We could not entertain several complaints in connection with life insurance or general insurance because of Rs 20 lakh restriction... If the powers are increased, more number of complaints will be redressed quickly," he added.

Chandigarh Insurance Ombudsman has jurisdiction over Punjab, Union Territory Chandigarh, Jammu and Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh and Haryana.

In the last two years, Chandigarh office of Ombudsman has settled 9,132 cases which is a record number of complaints.

"In current financial year, 1,784 cases have been decided till date," he said, adding that about 60 per cent of total complaints originated from Punjab.

Maximum number of complaints against insurance companies which are filed with Insurance Ombudsman, is related to mis-selling of insurance policies," official said.

The institution of Insurance Ombudsman was established by Centre on November 11, 1998 with the purpose of quick disposal of the grievances of the insured customers. It is a quasi judicial grievance redressal mechanism to redress complaints.

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