Title: To all CEOs of General Insurance Cos including Stand-alone Health Insurance Cos and Specialised insurance Cos
Reference No.: IRDA/NL/CIR/MISC/113/06/2016
Discharge Voucher issue
This refers to the circular no –IRDA/NL/cir/Misc/173/09/2015 dated 24th September, 2015 on the captioned subject. Since then insurers, on various occasions, have submitted that the above circular is not in the line with the IRDA (protection of policyholders interests) Regulations, 2002 (PPI Regulations) and the Indian Contract Act.
The Authority has reviewed the matter taking in to consideration the provisions of the Contract Act, PPI Regulations and Apex Court Judgements. Taking equal cognisance of the legal rights of the policy holders and insurers, the Authority hereby further directs that-
(i) Wherever there are no disputes by the insured/s or claimant/s to the amount offered by the insurer towards settlement of a claim, the present system of obtaining the discharge voucher may be continued. However, the insurers must ensure that the vouchers collected must be dated and complete in all respects while obtaining the signature/s of the insured/s or claimant/s.
(ii) If the amount offered is disputed by the insured/s or claimant/s, insurers would take steps to pay the amount assessed without waiting for the voucher discharged by the insured/s or claimant/s.
(iii)Under no circumstances the Discharge vouchers shall be collected under duress, by coercion, by force or compulsion
Since there is no uniformity in the format / wordings of the Discharge vouchers in use, Authority would suggest that the insurers may consider adopting a standardised format/wording/s of the Discharge voucher.
Insurers are directed to comply with the above with immediate effect.
P J Joseph