Anticipates COVID-19 related complaints in days to come

The insurance ombudsman for Tamil Nadu and Puducherry has resumed hearings online from June 18 and expects to receive COVID-19 related complaints in the days to come.

“The last hearing in our office was held on March 17, after which hearings were suspended due to lockdown. From June 18, we have been regularly conducting online hearings of complaints,” M. Vasantha Krishna, insurance ombudsman said.

In March, Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India had told insurance firms to handle COVID-19 related claims expeditiously, wherever the hospitalisation is covered in the product and settle the costs incurred as per the terms and conditions of the policy.

“The issue is there is a lack of clarity and transparency around what is covered and what is not covered under COVID-19 related insurance claims. The onus is on the part of the insurance firms to provide information to the customers about this aspect, which is lacking,” T. Sadagopan, a consumer activist said.

Meanwhile, the insurance ombudsman for Tamil Nadu and Puducherry has achieved a complaints disposal ratio of 94% in April-March 2020 and issued a record number of 671 awards during the year. There was no complaint pending for more than 3 months, as of March 31, 2020.

As per norms, an insurance-related complaint filed with all necessary documents should be disposed of in three months.

The insurance ombudsman had achieved a complaints disposal ratio of 91% in April-March 2019.