Title: TO CEOs of all General Insurance Co..
Reference No.: IRDA/NL/CIR/Misc/173/09/2015
Discharge Voucher in settlement of claim
The Insurance Companies are using ‘discharge voucher’ or “settlement intimation voucher” or in some other name, so that the claim is closed and does not remain outstanding in their books. However, of late, the Authority has been receiving complaints from aggrieved policyholders that the said instrument of discharge voucher is being used by the insurers in the judicial fora with the plea that the full and final discharge given by the policyholders extinguish their rights to contest the claim before the Courts.
While the Authority notes that the insurers need to keep their books of accounts in order, it is also necessary to note that insurers shall not use the instrument of discharge voucher as a means of estoppel against the aggrieved policy holders when such policy holder approaches judicial fora.
Accordingly insurers are hereby advised as under:
Where the liability and quantum of claim under a policy is established, the insurers shall not withhold claim amounts. However, it should be clearly understood that execution of such vouchers does not foreclose the rights of policy holder to seek higher compensation before any judicial fora or any other fora established by law.
All insurers are directed to comply with the above instructions.
Senior Joint Director