- Insurance is a complex product that reflects the commitment to compensate the insured or third party according to the terms and conditions specified in the event of the contingency covered. Most insurance deals (transactions) often involve an arbitrator – an insurance agent (person or corporate) or insurance broker.
- Insurance mediator works like a bridge between consumers (those wishing to buy insurance policies) and insurance companies (those wishing to sell those policies).
- Insurance brokers are licensed by IRDA and are governed by the Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority (Insurance Broker) Regulation 2002. Individual insurance agents and corporate agents are also licensed by the IRDA and they are governed by Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority (Licensing of Personal Insurance Agents) Regulations 2002 and Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority (Licensing of Corporate Agents) Regulations 2002. These regulations determine the conduct code for the respective arbitrators.
- The mediator plays a special role in the entire lifecycle of the product, from the sale of the product to the policy and the settlement of the claim. In order to enable prospective clients to choose the best cover for them, the mediator provides all the information about the proposed cover. The intermediary is expected to consult the prospective client with complete disclosures and transparency. After the sale, the arbitrator effectively coordinates the service of the policy and the claim settlement between the customer and the insurer.
- IRDA has specified regulations for the protection of policyholders’ interests. Determining the obligation not only on the insurers, but also the arbitrators, these specific liabilities, in addition to the time of sale, also apply to the policy service and at the time of settlement of the claim.
Tips on dealing with insurance mediators
- When dealing with insurance mediators, keep the following things in mind:
- Insist and check whether the person has a valid license and whether he is authorized for that particular business. For example, the arbitrator is licensed to sell life insurance or general insurance or both (overall license holder). Anyone’s context always helps.
- Check if he has a good knowledge of diverse insurance products / policies.
- She should understand your needs and know what you want. Always make sure to consider only those products that are suitable for you. Be cautious with long-term promises, and high sales tips. Consider only those who are in your capacity.
- The mediator is trying to explain the terms and conditions of the policy, ask questions about them and understand them.
- You must be satisfied in this matter that you understand your commitments well. Knowing which policies you have to bear while not only taking the policy, but also when dedicating it or making a claim.
- Demand for brochures and sales literature related to the product you are considering, or the middleman is trying to sell. Urge the arbitrator to explain the entire facts of the product, the extent of the cover and the exclusion as applicable.
- Emphasize on providing quality and timely service. When dealing with you by an intermediary, you can estimate the turnaround time taken during the pre-sale period.
- Fill the proposal form yourself. Never sign blank proposal form. If you do not understand the terms of the proposal form, ask the arbitrator to make it clear to you.
- When you pay the premium by an arbitrator, check that he is authorized to do so on behalf of the insurance company and at the same time ask for a proper signature receipt.
- After getting your policy, fully study it and if some conditions do not understand you then contact your arbitrator and ask him to explain it. Remember that there is a free-look period for life insurance policies and health insurance policies of 3 years or more, during which you can return the policy. If you do not agree with the terms and conditions given to them.
- Ask questions from the arbitrator about the documents and procedures related to the claim, and understand them well. In the event of a claim, there may be other agencies which you have to be informed in addition to the insurance company. Obtain full details about which actions will be required on your behalf.