IRDAI keen to see ₹15,000-cr unclaimed amounts returned to policy holders
With over ₹15,000 crore of unclaimed deposits lying idle with insurers, the insurance regulator is working on a mechanism to return them to policy holders or their beneficiaries.
For amounts stuck in pension schemes, the Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India (IRDAI) has asked life insurers to repay them as lumpsum payments to policyholders or their beneficiaries.
“There are many reasons why the insurance money is lying unclaimed. The policyholder may have died or there may be other reasons. In pension schemes, it was often the case that the accumulated amount was insufficient to buy annuity from the life insurer,” noted a person familiar with the development.
Sources said that in respect of other schemes where money is lying unclaimed with life insurers, the IRDAI is in discussion to figure out what can be done.
“The issue has been discussed at length, and the IRDAI is keen that the unclaimed amount should be returned to policy holders or their nominees at the earliest,” said the person, adding that the regulator is likely to come out with more measures soon. Earlier, the IRDAI had asked life insurance companies to provide a search facility on their website so that policyholders or their nominees could find out about the unclaimed amount by citing their Aadhaar or PAN.
Life insurers are expected to update details and inform the IRDAI about unclaimed amounts lying with them at least twice a year.
According to official data, ₹15,166.47 crore was lying unclaimed with 23 life insurers as on March 31. Of this, ₹10,509 crore was with Life Insurance Corporation of India, and ₹4,657.45 crore with private insurers.