Role of intermediates in insurance sector

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Intermediates are those who act as middlemen between the insurance company and the customers.  They play important role right from purchase of policy, premium payment, renewal, and claim.  There are intermediates like insurance agent, broker or financial expert to understand and explain the complexities that are integral part of insurance policies.

·         IRDA issues separate licenses to insurance brokers.  Generally IRDA issues licenses to insurance agents and corporate insurance agents.  There is a separate protocol for them designed by IRDA.

·         Agent should put before the customer different types of policies, and other related aspects clearly and should encourage the policy buyer to take the right one by explaining them fully.

Responsibilities of insurance intermediates…

·         To have license from IRDA.

·         To aid in choosing the correct insurance policy.

·         To explain the drawbacks of a particular policy.

·         To explain the covered and noncovered aspects of the policy.

·         To remind timely the premium payment and renewal to the customer.

·         To help at claim.

While interacting with insurance intermediates….

Do they have license?

·         You have to understand that the license issued by IRDA permits the person to do insurance business.  Check whether the person has licenses for general insurance, life insurance or both.  Find out whether the person has complete knowledge of different types of policies.

·         Clarify all your doubts form the agent always.

·         Fill in the insurance form personally only and never sign on a blank application.  Clarify any aspect that you didn’t understand after taking the policy from the agent.  Generally, there is provision to cancel life or health insurance within 3 years if you don’t like it.

What should be the premium amount?

·         The agent should b able to understand your needs.  Always choose that is within your bearable limit.  Be careful not to choose a policy that will over burden you.  Check whether the agent you are paying premium has the rights to collect premium before paying him.  don’t forget to take receipt from the agent if you pay premium to him.  check whether the amount or the cheque has reached the insurance company.

·         Take the brochure of the policy from agent to know the non-covered items if any and any other exemptions.

·         While taking a policy, know the payments to be made while surrendering, claiming, etc.

Timely claim settlement

Know the documents and the procedure to be followed while claiming from the agent.  You may have to inform about the claim an agency other than insurance company sometimes.  Ask the agent the procedure to be followed in such cases.  Know whether the services are available in a timely manner.