Insurance frauds have been prevalent over the years, and fact is that it cannot be completely eliminated. Various estimates claim that the Indian general insurance industry would be losing between Rs. 2,500-3,500 crore in a year due to such frauds.
Evidently, it would be disappointing for a customer to discover that the motor insurance policy purchased by them is not a genuine one. Unfortunately, this could come to his notice only at the time of making a claim, and not otherwise. What makes it more disheartening is that the customer has also been paying a premium for the same over a period of several years, expecting to benefit from it, in case of any mishap. Some may realize it after the theft of the vehicle that they had been paying for over a number of years, while for others it could be a claim rising from an accident. However, such incidences can be reduced with just a little bit of caution.
Let’s take a look at some ways & means of tackling such frauds in motor policies of 2-wheeler, 4-wheeler or Commercial vehicles.
1) Contact your insurer: This is the easiest & simplest way to check whether the policy handed over to you is correct or not. You can contact the insurer by sending an email to the customer care or calling their toll free numbers, which would be mentioned on the policy document. In case the toll free number is not available, you can visit the nearest branch office.
2) Ask for a Receipt: Always insist on premium payment receipt. Some companies mention the same on the policy document (under premium payment details) but also provide a separate premium receipt, if asked for. It is always advisable to ask for premium payment receipt in case you pay by cash. Verify whether the details mentioned on the receipt are correct, such as details of cheque provided by you (Cheque No., Date, amount, Payee Bank). Please note that the validity of the policy will depend on the validity and clearance of the cheque.
3) Check IDV, NCB & Deductibles: On receiving the policy, you should check the IDV (Insured’s Declared Value), NCB (No claim Bonus) & the deductibles (like voluntary excess, compulsory deductible & Additional Compulsory Deductible); to confirm that the policy received is genuine. Although it may appear as minor checks at the time of receiving policies, this can create havoc at the time of claims. For example, your current policy might have been issued on the basis of wrong declaration of a claims made on the previous policy. This may appear economical at the time of taking the policy, but prove to be really costly when your existing insurer would discover this at the time of claim. Sometimes, your agent could also lure you in order to give a best economic deal. However, it is your duty to correctly reveal the same while providing details in Proposal form. In case the NCB is mentioned wrong, immediately take it up with your Insurance Company to have a hassle free claim settlement later on.
4) Signature on Proposal Form / Cover Note: Never allow anyone else to sign the proposal form on your behalf. Always insist for self signature. This is required as you know what you want and can cross check the features of your vehicle. For example, if your vehicle is fitted with CNG which the agent is not aware of and he mentions that the car runs on Petrol / Diesel, then you would have a problem during a claim. Similarly, you know better whether your vehicle is registered under private / commercial than the agent through whom you get this product. Hence, it is always advisable to fill the proposal form/cover note and sign the same on your own.
Most private Insurance Companies have centralized the dispatch of policies, in order to check fraudulent practices. They are also coming up with bar code printing on the face of policy to verify against the proposal form. To sum up, it is the choice of an individual to have peace of mind by not just paying the premium but checking the validity of your motor insurance policy too.