The offices of the Insurance Ombudsman offices across 10 cities may finally get a chief. Insurance regulator IRDAI has invited applications for appointment of Insurance Ombudsman at Ahmedabad, Bengaluru, Bhopal, Chennai, Chandigarh, Guwahati, Hyderabad, Jaipur, Kochi and Mumbai.
The move comes amid a heavy backlog of cases due to vacancy of the posts for about 2-3 years at each of the Ombudsman offices.
Much like the Banking Ombudsman, the insurance watchdog looks into customer grievances that insurance companies fail to resolve. Unlike consumer courts where policyholders are required to pay a fee, the Insurance Ombudsman office will resolve cases free of cost.
Inviting candidates for selection, the Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India (IRDAI) has said that an applicant should have at least 25 years of experience in the insurance industry at senior level with last position held at most one level below Board.
They can also be retired civil servants or retired judges of district, sessions court or equivalent high courts.
An Ombudsman who has completed full three-year term and is not more than 64 years as on August 16 is also eligible to apply. The last date for receiving applications is August 16.
Currently, only seven Insurance Ombudsman offices across the country have a chief. The position is lying vacant at the remaining 10 centres.
How to file a complaint with an Insurance Ombudsman
— The complaint must be by an individual on a 'Personal Lines' insurance
— A representation should first be made to the insurance company and if they have received an unsatisfactory reply or no reply has been received for 30 days, they can go to the Ombudsman
— The complaint must be lodged within one year of the event
— The total relief sought must be within an amount of Rs.20 lakhs.
— The subject matter of the complaint should not currently be or have earlier been before a Court/Consumer Forum.