Cases of fraudulent companies selling insurance products in India without a licence from the sector regulator, Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority (Irda), are on the rise. Several such incidents have come to Irda’s attention in the last eight to ten months.

All these companies were found to be involved in selling life insurance, healthcare insurance policies and related products to the public in certain pockets of Delhi, Mumbai and Bengaluru. They used to project themselves as part of global insurance companies and are said to have collected large amounts of money from the public.

Irda came to know of at least two such incidents over the last few days. Bengaluru-based Aetna Healthcare Networks (India), claiming to be a unit of Aetna of the US, was found to be involved in selling health insurance products and collecting money from applicants subscribing to the same. Similarly, Mumbai-based Darwin Platform Life Insurance and Finance Company and DP Life Insurance Finance, claiming to be units of Darwin Platform Group of the Netherlands, were also involved in offering life insurance products and have allegedly collected a large amount of money, Irda pointed out.

Other such incidents too have been unearthed during the last eight to ten months. An unknown Delhi-based company was involved in selling policies, pretending to be part of a Belarus-based insurance company. Similarly, Mumbai-based Winner Insurance Benefits was caught issuing certificates of protection for health schemes and collecting money from applicants subscribing to the same.

While the insurance industry in India claims to be clueless about such incidents, persons closely involved in this business are believed to have blown the whistle and brought these facts to Irda’s notice for stringent action.

The regulatory body said that “the above named companies have not been issued any licence/certificate of registration by itself under any of the provisions of the Insurance Act, 1938 and the Irda Act, 1999, for carrying on the said business. It is hereby clarified that carrying on insurance business without obtaining the mandatory licence or certificate of registration from the Irda in terms of provisions of the Insurance Act, 1938 and the Irda Act, 1999 amounts to violation of the said statutes for which appropriate actions, civil or criminal, under the Insurance Act and the Irda Act could be taken up by the regulator against such companies.”

Irda has also asked the public not to deal with or to purchase…

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