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Name similar to terrorist? You may not get insurance

india Updated: Nov 20, 2009 20:54 IST

If your name happens to be Abdur Razzaq or a Mohammad Selim, you may have a harrowing time buying an insurance policy.

Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority (IRDA) has issued a fresh circular to insurance companies to refrain from selling policies to individuals whose name resemble terrorists. The exhaustive list of names has been sent to all firms on November 17 with clear-cut guidelines that any names bearing semblance to the list should be reported immediately for further scrutiny.

IRDA has asked the firms to furnish information regularly to the Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU) about a customer who is a terrorist suspect. FIU is the central agency under Union finance ministry responsible for receiving, processing, analysing and disseminating information relating to suspect financial transactions.

J Hari Narayan, chairman, IRDA said, “There are suspicious individuals who have been identified and we have asked companies to keep a track of them.”

Another IRDA official said: “This is list that has been circulated globally as part of the UN Security Resolution. The resolution says that those identified as being terrorist should not get any form of finance. The Government has circulated the list to all the three regulators (RBI, Sebi and IRDA) asking them to ensure that the entities they regulate conform to this practice.”

According to HDFC Standard Life Insurance Company’s principal officer and executive director Paresh Parasnis, IRDA has clearly asked the companies to keep a tab on the policies it is selling.

It is common practice for terrorists to buy policies with high premiums and shorter tenure as a tool for money laundering. Terrorists use it as a ploy to convert their black money into white. While the premium is paid with money unaccounted for, it gets converted to “white” once the insurance company issues a cheque to the policy holder on completion of the term.