Our Bureau

Hyderabad, Nov. 23

Chairman of National Consumers Disputes Redressal Commission, Mr Justice M. B. Shah, has asked the IRDA (Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority) to implement the "regulations ruthlessly" to protect the interests of the insured.

Delivering a keynote address on `Grievance redressal in insurance sector' here on Thursday, Mr Justice Shah spoke at length on the need for insurance companies to ensure satisfactory services to the consumers. The seminar was organised by the Institute of Insurance and Risk Management (IIRM).

Giving manyexamples, he said that the phrase `good faith' is equally binding on both the insurance companies and consumers. While stating that there were some instances of suppression of facts and false methods, he wanted the companies not to delay inordinately the settlement of the policies or try to avoid settling policies on unreasonable grounds.

He underscored the need for making the fine print visible and legible by the insured in a language they understood well.

Youth and insurance

Talking to reporters later, Mr C. S. Rao, Chairman of IRDA, felt that the youth should take to health insurance. Stating medical costs were not very high at one time, he said the Government hospitals were able to cope with the rush. But increasingly pressure was mounting on these hospitals.

The availability of sophisticated services and the number of people who could afford to access them was more now. "When it is available one would like to get access," he said.

Asking young people to take to insurance for their medical needs, he felt that once they had it they could continue with that cover. In this regard, he pointed out that the insurance companies should give them confidence that they (the youth) would be able to continue. "Ensure that the cover continues. Then only they will have confidence," he told the companies.

(This article was published in the Business Line print edition dated November 24, 2006)
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