There has been a 6% rise in number of complaints reported against life insurers in FY19. The finding was part of an annual report released by Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India (Irdai) on Monday. As many as 102,127 complaints were filed against the public insurer (LIC) and private insurers attracted 61,137 complaints.
“I think the premium growth in the life insurance space in the past year has been over 6% which in a way shows that the number of policies has gone up. So it’s likely that the number of complaints will go up too,” said Abhishek Bondia, principal officer and managing director, SecureNow.in.
The first year premium for life insurers registered 11.39% growth in FY19 as compared to 10.75% in FY18. Private life insurers, specifically, reported a growth of 11.46%.
“In life insurance the complaints are primarily about people not knowing the kind of returns that a plan will give. They buy insurance assuming that they will not have to pay multi-year premiums, then there are, of course, many instances of mis-selling,” said Bondia.
General insurers on the other hand witnessed a drop of 3% in the number of complaints. Bondia said, on the general insurance side, companies are moving towards a more digital infrastructure. “Insurers are allowing policyholders to conduct a self-survey through the e-claims facility. This is true even on the health side. This has a substantial impact on customer experience and hence, reduces complaints,” Bondia added.
General insurers registered a growth of 12.47% in FY19 as against 17.59% in the previous year. The industry underwrote total direct premium worth ₹1,96,448 crore as against ₹1,50,662 crore in FY18. Motor insurance business contributed the most to the segment with a share of 38.08% and grew at 8.91% from the previous year, thanks to amendments made to the Motor Vehicles Act, which pushed more and more people to buy a third-party motor insurance cover.