Is Your Car Insurance Policy Genuine? How to Check
Buying an insurance policy can sometimes be more confusing and in some cases can land you in some trouble too. Numerous reports have observed that there has been a rise in insurance frauds in India and how a lot of agents sell fake policies in person or via phone calls.
Here are the best tips to check if your car insurance policy is genuine or not
- Get in touch with the insurance company: Do this step before you purchase the policy. Contact the company through the toll-free number or customer care number available on the official website. You may even visit the nearest branch of the insurance company to check the veracity of the terms and conditions of the car insurance policy. Just like what Nisha did when she had a doubt about the genuineness of her car insurance policy which she was going to buy. She called on the customer care number many times but got no response hence she decided to visit the office of the company. Once she reached the place, it was closed and nobody knew about the company. Thus, on investigating the locals and nearby places, Nisha came to know that the company was a fraud. However, it was a relief for Nisha because she did not pay the premiums yet hence was happy that she knew about this fraud earlier.
- Do not pay by cash: Resort to making payments online via cheque, credit card, or net banking as you will be able to trace the details of the beneficiary, which may help recover the amounts if the transaction is found to be fraudulent.
- Make sure you get all the receipts of your premiums: Irrespective of whether the payment of the premium is made online or offline, ensure that you keep copies of all the premium receipts for future reference. Do so till the policy is no longer valid.
- Check policy verification links: Check policy verification links to ensure that the policy that is on paper is no different from the policy that the insurance company has to offer.
- Check the validity and existence of the policy: Do not be in a hurry while signing the policy papers – take your time. Insurance policies often have different hidden terms and conditions. Check all of these and also authenticate the validity of the policy.
- Check essential details: Important details such as premium rates, insured declared value (IDV), deductible, No Claim Bonus, etc. must be checked before finalising a policy. Peruse the terms and conditions with utmost care and ensure that if anything is amiss, you bring it to the notice of the insurer.
- Do not let the insurance agent sign the papers on your behalf: Many people buy policies from insurance agents. But it is advisable to be cautious and validate his or her identity before purchasing the policy. Avoid letting the insurance agent sign on your behalf on the policy document at all costs.
- Verify through the QR code: The IRDAI mandates that all insurance policy documents must have a QR code for authentication purposes. Verify the genuineness of the policy using this.
Why should you double-check before buying a car insurance policy?
- To verify if the terms of the policy are what you signed up for.
- To check if the policy is from an authorised agent or company.
- To ensure that there are no omissions or errors in the facts represented in the policy document.
Online vs offline – How should you buy your insurance?
While purchasing insurance policies online or offline has its own pros and cons, in this day and age where most processes are going digital, one must pay attention to the additional benefits that an online policy has to offer. They are as follows –
- The car owner can peruse different policies offered by different insurance companies on neutral websites to learn about the various policies offered, their terms and conditions, and other details. One may even access reviews, the popularity of the policy, premiums, claim settlement ratio of the insurance company, etc. to get more clarity about each individual insurance product.
- Digital-first insurance companies generally charge lower premiums as they have lower operational costs and little or no dependency on intermediaries. There are no commission or brokerage costs that need to be paid, so the cost of the premium is significantly reduced.
- The process has no paperwork and filling in details online is not time-consuming. There is no requirement to submit a host of documents either. The process is simple, efficient, and hassle-free when done online.
- You can toggle between the various policies, add-ons, and the like to find out which suits your needs the best. Also, if you are well versed with insurance terms and policies and have enough time to conduct thorough research and come up with the best policy, you can purchase a policy online and save on some premium. With the availability of more information, you can customise your policy better.
- The renewal process is even easier with the online buying process as your data will be available with the insurer. The policy will be renewed almost instantaneously.
- Online customer service is available 24/7 whether it is to rectify an error or make some additions to your insurance portfolio. The turnaround time is very less and the customer’s needs are given due priority.
- The hassles of a claim settlement process seen in earlier offline policies have been reduced to the minimum with the online claim settlement process. There is no more requirement of heavy documentation, problems of money transfer, and difficulty in coordination between the insured and the insurer.
Many fake policies in the market are masquerading as genuine ones and the responsibility lies on you to ensure that you are vigilant while purchasing the insurance policy.
Avoid using intermediaries to purchase these policies - with digital policies making their entry into the car insurance market it becomes easier to contact and purchase the policy directly from the authorised insurance company itself. Exercise caution at all times.