Insurance policies

IRDAI advises consumers to beware of unregistered entities selling insurance policies

The Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India (IRDAI) has advised the general public to beware of any unregistered and unrecognized entity selling insurance.

The insurance regulator said the entity named Even Healthcare Pvt Ltd is not registered there and the plans it offers are not health insurance plans.

He said consumers subscribing to these plans from “Even Healthcare Pvt Ltd” should note that they face them at their own risk.

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

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

“In such circumstances, it is better not to opt for such a ‘policy’ which is sold by an unregistered entity. The list of registered insurance companies is readily available on the IRDAI website, and it is best to check before you buy insurance,” says Shetty.

According to experts in the insurance industry, the concept of insurance is based on the principle that paying regular premiums and having an active policy protects you when needed.

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

Therefore, it is advised that before buying a health insurance policy, one should first check whether the company is registered with IRDAI or not. Second, read as much as possible about the company. This way, you are unlikely to be tricked by a fraudulent entity.

Here are three ways to avoid getting caught out when buying an insurance policy.

Check your insurance policy offer: You should always be proactive in verifying the authenticity of an insurance policy offer. While you need to check whether the company is a registered entity or not, you should also be wary of advice to ditch your current insurance policy for an attractive one. Don’t let the insurer force you to buy a policy.

Avoid sharing confidential data: You should be very careful when sharing your confidential data like Aadhar number, PAN card details, passport or police number with unknown insurer. A real insurance company will not ask you to submit the original documents. Do not sign any blank checks. Do not give any OTP to an unknown insurance agent.

Check the QR code: You also need to verify the authenticity of the insurance policy with the QR code. Most insurance policies these days come with QR codes. You can scan the QR code image using QR reader apps on smartphones.