The LIC magic: Zero pending complaints and best claims settlement

A cursory glance at the annual report of the Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India (IRDAI) brings a similar set of data to the forefront each year. Among all life insurance companies, Life Insurance Corporation of India (LIC) has once again topped the list in terms of zero pending complaints and best death claims settlement, according to the IRDAI Annual Report released on Friday.

It is often said that the real test of an insurance company is at the time of claims. Apart from the brand that is used as a parameter to decide which insurance policy to go for, claims settlement is a metric that is often referred to for choosing an insurer. In this space, LIC with a 98.31 percent claims settlement ratio tops the list with only 0.97 percent individual death claims getting rejected.

This means that of every 100 death claims filed, 98.31 percent pass muster. In a country having a higher share of unorganised workforce with seasonal incomes, an insurance can be a blessing in disguise for families. Especially when the deceased was the sole breadwinner.

Every single year since the regulator started announcing the annual data on claims settlement and grievances, the state-owned insurer has remained on the top of the list. This is despite competition from 23 other players. While premiums for a basic term policy are higher than that of private players, claims settlement ratios are much better.

Despite being a public sector entity that gets maximum of its business from the agency channel, the insurer had no pending grievances at close of business on March 31, 2017. LIC received 30,784 complaints in FY17 while private insurers received 90,063.

During 2016-17, the insurance companies resolved 99.80 percent of the complaints handled. The private life insurers resolved 99.73 percent of the complaints reported, while LIC resolved 100 percent of the complaints as a result of which there were no pending complaints for them at end of FY17. Several other private companies including Max Life, Tata AIA, Reliance Nippon and IDBI Federal etc. had also had zero complaints but the quantum was much lower than that of LIC.

While there are often comments made on the low trust factor in the insurance sector and low penetration, data shows that a slow beginning has been made even by the private sector, with only 247 complaints pending at the end of FY17. With a regulatory thrust as well as laws penalizing frivolous denial of claims, there is a chance that the private sector would also be able to emulate public sector figures.source : moneycontrol

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