NEW DELHI: The Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India (Irdai) has advised car insurers to cease advertisements unrelated to insurance claims, such as those which may be provided by car garages/workshops.
Typically, general insurance companies enter into service agreements with car workshops/garages for the purpose of providing car insurance claim services for the repair of damaged vehicles. It has been noted that service contracts, in addition to claims services, extend certain support services unrelated to insurance claims, such as free vehicle pick-up and return, body wash, interior cleaning, vehicle inspection, etc.
Irdai said that while the bundling of the above facilities with insurance is left to car service providers, general insurers running advertisements about said services, projecting them as benefits provided under insurance coverage are unacceptable. “The primary purpose of service agreements with automotive garages/workshops must only be to provide insurance services for accident vehicle claims and it cannot be arbitrarily extended to include the scope of services which are not not relevant to insurance claims,” Irdai said.
He added that a review of the advertisements published by a few general insurers showing discounts of up to a certain percentage, premium savings, etc., and the illustrations provided therein, reveals that the features or benefits are applicable in extreme or exceptional scenarios. The discounts for certain advertisements are not presented objectively on the tariffs filed but expressed in relation to the tariffs of the tariff of yesteryear. It is not to be done. “Since the quotation of auto premium rates depends on multiple factors and a variety of risks, the content of said advertisements which may be applicable in extreme or exceptional scenarios would make a large number of potential customers vulnerable to misunderstanding” , Irdai said. .
Therefore, the regulator advised insurers to do the following:
To discontinue advertisements regarding non-insurance claims related services that may be provided by car garages/workshops.
To stop displaying discounts with reference or comparison with the rates of the tariff of the past.
Ensure that premium discounts and savings that may only apply in extreme or exceptional scenarios are not presented as an example.