Settling a claim is easy when you have all the original documents. Here’s what you must do if you misplace or lose your original policy document
When I was a kid, my elder brother lost ₹100. He went out to buy milk and chocolates. He returned home crying—the wet napkin pinned to his chest complementing the terror on his innocent face—and narrated the entire story to my parents.
Thankfully, the shop was nearby, and he found the money on a second vigilant stroll on the street. But we are rarely this lucky! It’s one thing to lose a rupee note but losing your original policy document is a nightmare.
You lost your original health insurance policy document; what now?
Settling a claim is easy when you have all the original documents. Firstly, make sure you keep a digital copy of the original documents. But there’s more you can (and must) do.
According to the IRDAI, Policy Document means and includes the proposal form for insurance submitted by the Policyholder, the Policy Schedule, the first premium receipt, any attached endorsements or supplements together with all the addendums provided by the Company from time to time, the medical examiner’s report and any other document/s called for by the Company and submitted by the Policyholder to enable the Company to process the proposal.
Here’s what you can do in case you misplaced your original health insurance policy documents:
Call your insurer first, the police next.
If you lose your original policy document, inform the insurer ASAP. You can visit the nearest brand office or call the agent or the customer care number. Next, you can raise a request for a duplicate policy document. For this, you will need to submit the FIR copy, advertisement and indemnity bond.
Sometimes, insurance companies ask you to file an FIR with the police. You will have to submit a copy of the complaint.
Should you advertise the fact that you lost your original health insurance policy document?
As absurd as it may sound, some insurers may ask you to advertise it. I will let you decide the reward amount for the one who finds it first. Advertising the loss of a policy document just adds a layer of authenticity to your request.
The advertisement must mention the location where you lost the policy document. Once published, make a copy and hand it over to the insurer.
Sign an indemnity bond
Indemnity means security or protection against loss or any financial burden. Signing the indemnity bond secures the insurer against any fraudulent use of your original policy document.
The bond also states that you will return the original document to the insurer if you find it.
The indemnity bond is mostly signed on a non-judicial stamp paper. It is beneficial for both you and your insurer.
Once this is done, your insurer will hand over a duplicate copy of the policy document. The word ‘DUPLICATE’ will be clearly embellished on it, so double-check every detail. If you find any discrepancies, inform your insurer immediately.
In the end, you will get a policy document as good as new. For all I know, it won’t be soiled, unlike the note my brother found lying in the street.