IRDAI grievance redressal mechanism to be launched in a new avatar – ‘BIMA BHAROSA’

Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India

The Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India (IRDAI) is upgrading its Integrated Grievance Redressal System (IGMS) and will soon launch a revamped version of the grievance redressal mechanism and will rename it Bima Bharosa in all likelihood.

Launched in 2011, the IGMS is now being made more user-friendly with an aim to make complaint redressal more efficient with the option of customers filing their complaints in regional languages.

According to the sources, the revamped portal ‘Bima Bharosa’ will serve as an industry-wide grievance repository for the IRDAI as well as a portal that will aid in the registration of complaints online and tracking the status of registered complaints.

As per sources, all transactions, including the registration of complaints against various entities to the final closure of complaints after processing through various stages will happen on the revamped portal. Thereby, allowing policyholders to file complaints in 13 regional languages for grievance redressal against insurance companies.

Moreover, the features of the portal are kept relatively simple and easy. To register a grievance, the complainant must fill in eight mandatory fields. Besides, two key actions—’ register a new complaint’ and ‘track status of complaint raised’—will be highlighted on the portal.

Following the filing of the complaint and the insurance company’s compliance, an SMS will be sent to the complainant’s registered mobile number and email address.

Reports further state that the portal will take care of customers’ needs in a more time-bound manner.

In a recently held board meeting, the insurance regulatory body made a number of significant decisions in order to benefit both the customers and the industry. The revamp of the portal is in line with IRDAI’s reformation process.

Reports suggest IRDAI in the recently conducted meeting, has decided to remove the requirement for prior authorisation for raising capital through preference shares and subordinate debts by insurers.

The decision also mentions the issue of Other Forms of Capital (OFC) which should not exceed 50% of the paid-up share capital or net worth of the insurance company.

Further, the board also waived the need for prior approval to exercise the call option under OFC, provided that the solvency ratio is not less than 180 per cent.

Also Read | IRDAI sets up two task forces on issues of reinsurance support

The Grievance Redressal Cell in the Consumer Affairs Department of the IRDAI looks into complaints/grievances from policyholders. This Cell brings up the complaints with the respective insurers for remedy.

Policyholders must initially approach the Complaints/Grievance Redressal Cell of the concerned insurer for filing complaints. In case, they fail to get any response from the insurer within a reasonable period of time or are dissatisfied with the response of the company, they may approach the Grievance Redressal Cell in the Consumer Affairs Department of the IRDAI.

The Cell will not consider complaints submitted by advocates, agents, or other third parties on behalf of policyholders. The grievance redressal authority will consider only complaints from claimants or insured parties.

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