Six insures including CMD of National Insurance Company (NIC), K Sanath Kumar have been appointed as the Insurance Ombudsmen.

K Sanath Kumar, CMD, National Insurance Company 

Last week a panel headed by the TS Vijayan, chairman, IRDAI had completed the interviews of 34 serving senior and retired officials to fill 10 posts of Insurance Ombudsmen in different locations across the country..


While four serving/retired officials of the public sector general insurance companies- K Sanath Kumar for Kochi, Sujoy Banerjee, retired director, Oriental Insurance Company for Hydeabad, Vasantha Krishna, director, NIC for Chennai, Milind Kharat, retired CMD of United India Insurance for Maharashtra and Goa and two retired officials of Life Insurance Corporation(LIC)- RG Shinde for Ahmedabad and Kirti Saha for Kolkata- have been selected from the insurance industry another four, belonging to judiciary and bureaucracy, have been picked up with a three tenure to fill up 10 vacant posts.All of these officials have received their official intination on Wednesday.


While for Saha, this is the second term as the Insurance Ombudsman, Sanath Kumar and Vasnta Krishna will be retiring in March and Feb 2018 respectively. Sanath Kumar is also likely candidate for the member(Distribution), IRDAI for which interviews, by high powered committee headed by Cabinet Secretary PK Snha, were completed in November. 


A total of 34 candidates having experience of the insurance industry, civil service, administrative service or judicial service,had appeared for the interview of insurance ombudsman, which was held in Mumbai after four years and the panel which had other members like VK Sharma, chairman, LIC,G Srinivasan, CMD, New India Assurance and Sriniva Rao, joint secretary, Ministry of Finance had chosen a total 14 candidates where four have been kept as standbys in case some selected officials don’t join..


There are still seven posts of Ombudmen are lying vacant for which interviews are expected to happen soon.

According to the new rules, an Insurance Ombudsman selected from among persons having experience of the insurance industry, civil service, administrative service or judicial service,can serve upto 70 years and can have two terms with each tenure of three years. 

The Ombudsman receives a fixed pay of two lakh twenty-five thousand rupees per month and any pension to which he is entitled from the Central Government or a State Government shall be deducted from his salary.Effectively all the selected retired insurers will receive both the salary of Insurance Ombudsman and any pension fron their earlier services. 


An Insurance Ombudsman can adjudicate complains about personal lines of insurance only  and can award compensation not exceeding Rs 30 lakhs  (including relevant expenses, if any)

There are at present 17 Insurance Ombudsman in different locations and any person who has a grievance against an insurer, may himself or through his legal heirs, nominee or assignee, make a complaint in writing to the Insurance ombudsman within whose territorial jurisdiction the branch or office of the insurer  


According to the IRDAI annual report, during 2016-17,the 17, Ombudsmen centers spread across India have received a total of 27627 complaints. While 16744 complaints (about 60 percent) pertained to life insurers, the remaining
10883 complaints (about 40 percent) related to general insurers. 


This was in addition to 2693 complaints pending with various offices of Ombudsmen as at the end of March 2016.


During 2016-17, Ombudsmen disposed of 27990 complaints. Out of these complaints,Ombudsmen declared 57.12 percent of the complaints as non-acceptable/not-entertainable.Awards/recommendations were issued for 26.87 percent of total complaints.


Other than this, 7.01 percent of the complaints were withdrawn/settled,while nearly 9 percent of the complaints were dismissed. 2330 complaints were pending as on 31st March, 2017.