General insurance council to be activated in six months time

Chennai: Now that the life insurance industry's self regulatory body, the Life Insurance Council of India, has started functioning with a bang (See: ), the process is on to activate a similar general insurance council within six months.

According to industry sources, a group representing the general insurers has started the process of head hunting for the position of secretary general. The council would act through an executive committee. It is reliably learnt, another group is framing the rules and consultative committees are being formed. The council's headquarters will be in Mumbai.

The Insurance Act 1938 provides for the formation of life and general insurance councils to deal with issues like standards of conduct and practice, customer service, controlling management expenses and bring to the regulator's notice about errant insurers.

Accordingly, IRDA had set up two councils — life and general couple of years ago. The life insurance council is chaired by T K Banerjee, member (life) IRDA and the general is by Mathew Verghese, member (non-life) IRDA. According to sources the council meets once in three months.

Interestingly, the issues faced by general insurers are crucial for their profitability and survival like detariffing. In addition, the sector has to deal with several agencies like surveyors, third party claims administrators apart from individual agents. It may be noted complaints were made about the insurers and the intermediaries operating in this sector.