Is your insurance claim –general, motor vehicle or medical — denied or delayed by the insurance company? Then approach the office of the Insurance Ombudsman for quick redressal of your grievances.

Lack of awareness about the existence of the Insurance Ombudsman for grievance redressal has resulted in very few complaints received by the Ombudsman from Karnataka.

The Hyderabad-based Insurance Ombudsman, who receives grievances from Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka, is one of the 12 appointed across the country to deal with complaints arising in insurance sector.

“The number of complaints from Karnataka is very small. It is because the awareness level is low since the office is located in Hyderabad,” Insurance Ombudsman K. Chandrahas told The Hindu on Tuesday.

In life insurance, the Ombudsman's office received 305 complaints in 2009-2010 while it had received 221 complaints in 2008-2009 and 151 complaints in 2007-2008. Though there has been a steady increase in the complaints, it is far less, an official said. The Insurance Ombudsman, who presently hears cases in Hyderabad and Bangalore, also said though he wished to go to different parts of Karnataka including Hubli and Mangalore to conduct hearings, he was not getting enough number of cases to do so. “To travel to such places to hear one or two cases will not be viable,” he said.

He said that at present a case was being disposed off within one and a half month itself.

“The time period can be further brought down to less than a month if the insurance companies cooperate,” he added.

Earlier, addressing a grievance redressal workshop here, Mr. Chandrahas acknowledged that distance can deter people from approaching the Ombudsman's office.

The office of the ombudsman is located at 6-2-47, Yeturu Towers Lane, opposite Saleem Function Palace, A.C. Guards, Lakdi-ka-pool, Hyderabad 500 004 (ph: 040-23312122).

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