Insurance Ombudsman to protect policyholders' interests

Last Updated: Jan 07, 2022 | 561 Views

Did you know that there is an Insurance Ombudsman for protecting the interests of policyholders? The Ombudsman was set up in 1998 by the Government of India. The offices of the insurance ombudsman are located across 12 cities (1) Bhopal, (2) Bhubaneswar, (3) Cochin, (4) Chennai, (5) Chandigarh, (6) New Delhi, (7) Guwahati, (8) Kolkata, (9) Ahmedabad, (10) Lucknow, (11) Mumbai and (12) Hyderabad. Refer to the list below for the contact details.

There is a dedicated committee comprising chairman of IRDA, LIC, GIC and a representative of the Central Government. This committee recommends appointment of the insurance ombudsman to the governing body of insurance council. The Ombudsman has a secretarial staff to assist him; and their expenses are incurred by member insurance companies of the insurance council. The purpose of the Ombudsman is to address the policyholders’ grievances and to mitigate their problems quickly and fairly. This council is of great importance as it has helped to generate the confidence and faith amongst policyholders and insurance companies.

The Ombudsman performs two main functions. One is conciliation by way of bringing the disputing parties to an agreement. The other function is award-making. The awards passed by the ombudsman must be honored by the insurance companies within three months. Consumers can make complaints regarding (1) dispute with regard to premium paid or payable, (2) dispute on the legal construction of the policy wordings in case such dispute relates to claims, (3) delay in settlement of claims, (4) non-issuance of any insurance document to customers after receipt of premium, (5) partial or total denial of claims by the insurance companies, etc.

The complaint should be made in writing and addressed to insurance ombudsman only after he has already:
1) Made a representation to the insurer named in the complaint and, the insurer has either rejected the complaint or the complainant has not received any reply within a period of one month; or he is not satisfied with the reply of the insurer.

2) The complaint is not made later than one year after the insurer had replied.

3) The same complaint should not be pending in any court, consumer forum or arbitrator.

If the policyholder is not satisfied with the order passed by the ombudsman, he can further approach other venues like consumer forums and courts of law for redressal of his grievances.

The insurance ombudsman can be approached for both Life Insurance and Non-Life Insurance related issues

List of Insurance Ombudsman offices and jurisdiction: 

Location Contact Details of Ombudsman Areas of Jurisdiction
Ahmedabad Insurance Ombudsman, Gujarat, UT of Dadra & Nagar Haveli, Daman and Diu
2nd Floor, Ambica House,
Nr. C.U. Shah College, Ashram Road,
Ahmedabad - 380 014.
Tel.:- 079-27546840
Fax : 079-27546142
Bhopal Insurance Ombudsman, Madhya Pradesh & Chhattisgarh
Janak Vihar Complex,
2nd Floor,  6, Malviya Nagar,
Opp. Airtel, Near New Market,
Bhopal (M.P.) - 462 023.
Tel.:- 0755-2569201 
Fax : 0755-2769203
Bhubaneshwar Insurance Ombudsman, Orissa
62, Forest Park,
Bhubaneshwar-751 009.
Tel.:- 0674-2596455
Fax : 0674-2596429 
Chandigarh Insurance Ombudsman, Punjab, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Jammu & Kashmir, UT of Chandigarh
S.C.O. No.101-103,
2nd Floor, Batra Building.
Sector 17-D,
Chandigarh - 160 017.
Tel.:- 0172-2706468
Fax : 0172-2708274 
Chennai Shri V. Ramasaamy, Tamil Nadu, UT - Pondicherry Town and Karaikal (which are part of UT of Pondicherry)
Insurance Ombudsman,
Fathima Akhtar Court,
4th Floor, 453 (old 312),
Anna Salai, Teynampet,
Chennai - 600 018.
Tel.:- 044-24333668 /5284
Fax : 044-24333664
New Delhi Shri Surendra Pal Singh Delhi & Rajashthan
Insurance Ombudsman,
2/2 A, Universal Insurance Bldg.,
Asaf Ali Road,
New Delhi - 110 002.
Tel.:- 011-23239633
Fax : 011-23230858
Guwahati Shri Sarat Chandra Sarma, Assam, Meghalaya, Manipur, Mizoram, Arunachal Pradesh, Nagaland and Tripura
Insurance Ombudsman,
“Jeevan Nivesh”, 5th Floor,
Near Panbazar Overbridge, S.S. Road,
Guwahati - 781 001 (Assam).
Fax : 0361-2732937
Hyderabad Shri K Chandrahas Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka and UT of Yanam - a part of the UT of Pondicherry
Insurance Ombudsman,
6-2-46,  1st Floor, Moin Court,
A.C. Guards, Lakdi-Ka-Pool,
Hyderabad - 500 004.
Tel : 040-65504123
Fax: 040-23376599
Ernakulam Insurance Ombudsman, Kerala, UT of               (a) Lakshadweep,       (b) Mahe - a part of UT of Pondicherry
2nd Floor, CC 27/2603, Pulinat Bldg.,
Opp. Cochin Shipyard, M.G. Road,
Ernakulam - 682 015.
Tel : 0484-2358759
Fax : 0484-2359336
Kolkata Ms. Manika Datta West Bengal, Bihar, Jharkhand and UT of Andaman & Nicobar Islands, Sikkim
Insurance Ombudsman,
North British Bldg.,
29, N.S. Road, 4th Floor,
Kolkata - 700 001.
Tel : 033-22134866
Fax : 033-22134868
Lucknow Insurance Ombudsman, Uttar Pradesh and Uttaranchal
Jeevan Bhawan, Phase-2,
6th Floor, Nawal Kishore Road,
Lucknow - 226 001.
Tel : 0522 -2231331
Fax : 0522-2231310
Mumbai Shri S Viswanathan Maharashtra 
Insurance Ombudsman,
3rd Floor, Jeevan Seva Annexe,
S.V. Road, Santacruz(W),
Mumbai - 400 054.
Tel : 022-26106928
Fax : 022-26106052

Sameera Bootwala
Sameera Bootwala aggregates news on anything related to insurance in India. Keeps you updated.