The Government has notified comprehensive amendments to the Insurance Ombudsman Rules, 2017, to strengthen the timeliness and cost-effectiveness of the mechanism.
As per the amended rules, policyholders will now be enabled for making complaints electronically to the mediator and a complaints management system will be created to enable policyholders to track the status of their complaints online.
The Ombudsman may use video-conferencing for hearings. To enable access to relief through the Ombudsman mechanism even when there is vacancy in the office of a particular Ombudsman, provision has been made for giving additional charge to another Ombudsman, pending the filling of the vacancy.
Further, a number of amendments have been made for securing the independence and integrity of the Ombudsman selection process, while also building in safeguards to secure the independence and impartiality of the appointed persons while serving as Ombudsman.
Additionally, the selection committee will now include an individual with a track record of promoting consumer rights or advancing the cause of consumer protection in the insurance sector.