On a plea from harassed complainant, Consumer Organization compels public sector insurer to pay full claim
Consumer Education & Research Society’s (CERS) continuous efforts to protect interest of the consumers have once again produced desired result, since the Consumer Disputes Redressal Forum, Ahmedabad in a recent order has accepted its plea objecting to unfair trade practice adopted by one of India’s leading firm, Oriental Insurance and ordered the insurer to settle the claim made by an Ahmedabad resident, which was dismissed earlier on the pretext of some conditions of the contract.
Pravinchandra Soni, a resident of Ahmedabad, had purchased a healthcare insurance for him and his wife since 2004 and the policy was renewed every year thereafter. A few years down the line, Soni got operated for hernia at a private hospital on 10 February 2009 and claimed the entire cost of the surgery i.e. Rs24,010 under the policy. However, the insurance company—Oriental Insurance Company, a public sector undertaking, partially settled the claim and limited the amount to Rs9,300 only, saying that the insurance cover was given under the Universal Health Plan in 2004 and it was converted into Medicliam policy at a later stage.
As per the conditions of the new plan, the treatment for hernia was excluded for the period of two years. As the operation was performed within the first year of the new plan, the company is not liable to pay the entire cost of the operation and offered Rs 9,300 as per old plan.
The reason for reduction in payment was explained only after Soni sought explanation in writing after repeated non cooperation from concerned authorities. Sensing that the insurance company is totally at fault and not willing to cooperate, Soni approached CERS.
CERS, on his behalf, filed a complaint in the consumer forum on7 September 2011 seeking payment of total cost incurred for the surgery along with the litigation charges and compensation for the agony faced by Pravinchandra Soni.
After hearing both the parties, the forum headed by the president AK Aswani, ruled in the favour of the complainants and asked the insurance company to pay Rs24,776 (Rs5,000 limit for hernia as per the old plan and Rs9,776 (extra amount charged for premium of two years) with 9% interest from 7 October 2009, Rs2,000 towards litigation cost and Rs3,000 as a compensation for agony faced by Soni.
To help consumers understand health insurance, Moneylife Foundation held a seminar recently. Read about Moneylife Mediclaim seminar: Cheapest options, claims rejections and fine print.
As per the latest list of SEBI-registered mutual funds in the country as on 31 October 2012, there are a total of 50 such entities after PPFAS Mutual Fund was granted registration last month
New Delhi: The number of registered mutual funds in the country has reached 50, with the latest addition of PPFAS Mutual Fund of Parag Parikh Financial Advisory Services group among the SEBI-registered fund houses, reports PTI.
As per the latest list of SEBI-registered mutual funds in the country as on 31 October 2012, there are a total of 50 such entities after PPFAS Mutual Fund was granted registration last month.
This is the only entity to get SEBI registration so far in 2012, while a total of three fund houses (IIFL Mutual Fund, Indiabulls Mutual Fund and Union KBC Mutual Fund) were registered with SEBI last year and two others (IDBI and Pramerica MFs) got their SEBI registrations in 2010.
Out of 50 MFs registered with SEBI, the registration of CRB Mutual Fund stood suspended as on 31 October 2012, SEBI data shows.
The mutual fund industry in India started in 1963 with the formation of Unit Trust of India, at the initiative of the Government of India and Reserve Bank of India (RBI).
Later in 1987, SBI MF became the second mutual fund of the country, followed by funds set up by public sector banks and Life Insurance Corporation of India (LIC) and General Insurance Corporation of India (GIC) in subsequent years.
The private sector entry into the mutual fund space took place in 1993 with the setting up of the erstwhile Kothari Pioneer (which later merged with Franklin Templeton) Fund.
This was followed by various foreign mutual funds setting shop in the country, as also several mergers and acquisitions.
In 2003, UTI was bifurcated into two entities—one being the Specified Undertaking of Unit Trust of India (SUUTI) and the second the UTI Mutual Fund.
The size of mutual fund industry has also seen phenomenal growth from about Rs25 crore worth assets under management in its early days in 1964-65 to close to Rs1.2 lakh crore by early 2003 and to about Rs7 lakh crore now.
Market regulator SEBI’s chairman UK Sinha recently said there could be a case for consolidation in mutual fund industry currently due to presence of some non-serious players, but clarity on this course will emerge only after a national mutual fund policy is put in place.
“My view on that is that asset management industry has also got some non-serious players, and one of the reasons for that is that there is a very easy entry situation here,” Mr Sinha had said.
Asked whether it is time for consolidation in the mutual fund industry as some of the funds were very small, Mr Sinha said: “Right now, if you look at the scenario as a static situation, then perhaps there is a case for consolidation.”
SEBI recently announced a slew of reform measures for mutual fund industry to expand their reach across the country and also to safeguard the interest of investors.
NBFCs accept post-dated cheques from their customers for future monthly instalment payments. For the purpose of standardisation and enhanced security features, the banks have been told by RBI to migrate to the “CTS 2010” standard by 31 December 2012
Mumbai: The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) asked non- banking financial companies (NBFCs) to replace post-dated cheques issued to them by customers with new standardised cheques with improved security features, reports PTI.
NBFCs accept post-dated cheques from their customers for future monthly instalment payments. For the purpose of standardisation and enhanced security features, the banks have been told by RBI to migrate to the “CTS 2010” standard by 31 December 2012.
The non-CTS cheques would be out of circulation from 31 December 2012 and will not be acceptable at clearing system of the banks as well.
“NBFCs are, therefore, required to ensure the replacement of NonCTS-2010 standard compliant cheques with CTS-2010 standard compliant cheques before 31 December 2012,” RBI said in a notification.
“CTS 2010” standard is a set of benchmarks towards achieving standardisation of cheques issued by banks across the country.
These include provision of mandatory minimum security features on cheque forms like quality of paper, watermark, bank’s logo in invisible ink, void pantograph and standardisation of field placements on cheques.
RBI further asked NBFCs to confirm to the regional office of the bank that a plan has been put in place for implementing the CTS 2010 standard within the prescribed timeline.