IRDA issues new guidelines on telemarketing

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Indian employees
Hyderabad, Apr 7: Tele-callers of insurance products should be trained according to the syllabus prescribed by the Insurance Regulation and Development Authority (IRDA) and they should inform clients that the call is being recorded and that the client is entitled to a voice copy, according to the new guidelines issued by the insurance watchdog.

"The training shall be for duration of not less than 25 hours as per syllabus to be prescribed by the IRDA in matters related to regulations, disclosures, ethical conduct of business and specific instructions to be complied with while making the calls," the IRDA said.

The new guidelines on telemarketing and distance mode marketing shall come into force from October 1.

The hours during which calls are made shall be in accordance with orders issued by TRAI/DoT from time to time.

In all, instances where a policy is issued without obtaining a proposal in physical form, insurers should provide a verbal transcript of the voice/electronic record of the queries raised and answers on the basis of which the policy has been underwritten, along with the policy bond, the IRDA order further said.

"No inconvenience, nuisance or harm shall be caused to the clients in the course of solicitation or thereafter. Full disclosures shall be made to the clients under all modes of distance marketing and the requirements of confidentiality, privacy and non-disclosure shall be complied with," it said.

Also, insurers shall not solicit ULIPs of non-single premium type for annualised premiums exceeding Rs 50,000 over telephonic mode (voice as well as SMS). Single premium ULIPs shall not be solicited for a premium of more than Rs 1, 00,000 over telephonic mode..

The IRDA also banned selling or soliciting variable insurance product over distance marketing mode.

The records pertaining to every call made and SMS sent by a Telemarketer/Corporate Agent/Broker that materialises into a policy shall be transferred to the insurer's location within 30 days of conclusion of sale. In case of telephone calls the records transferred shall be the recordings of the entire conversation.

Insurers/Brokers shall monitor the calls live by arranging for listening to at least 1 per cent of the calls as they happen.

Insurers shall verify at least 3 per cent of calls leading to sales for compliance with the guidelines, by engaging a team of dedicated employees to listen to the call recordings.

The observations made in the course of verification should be preserved in a retrievable form for a period of not less than three years, IRDA added.

PTI

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