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India: Complaints mount at 'headless' Insurance Ombudsman offices

Source: Asia Insurance Review | May 2018

Asia India

About 6,000-7,000 complaints have piled up at all 17 Insurance Ombudsman offices in India because the post of Ombudsman has been vacant in these offices for months.
 
   Despite the numerous applications received from those who aspire to be an ombudsman, the positions have not been filled, say local media reports.
 
   The IRDAI has invited applications for the position of insurance ombudsman in Ahmedabad, Bengaluru, Bhopal, Chennai, Chandigarh, Guwahati, Hyderabad, Jaipur, Kochi, Mumbai, Bhubaneshwar, Delhi, Kolkata, Lucknow, Noida, Patna and Pune.
 
   Previously, there were only 12 Insurance Ombudsman offices. However, the number was later increased to 17 to handle an increasing number of grievances filed by policyholders. But on an average, the ombudsman posts at these offices have been vacant for two to three years.
 
   The Insurance Ombudsman was created through a November 1998 notification to deal promptly with the grievances of insurance customers. According to this notification, the ombudsman is required to pass a decision within three months from the receipt of a complaint. The awards are binding upon insurance companies. A 
 
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