In its bid to cut expenses, the Insurance Council has started appointing retired staffers at ombudsman centres to replace its existing workforce comprising officials on deputation.
The council, that facilitates functioning of 17 insurance ombudsman centres and employs 120 people, has already appointed 23 retired officials from state-owned non-life insurance companies.Now, it will begin appointing staff from life insurance sector as well as it seeks to almost halve its establishment costs over the next two-three years.
A decision to this effect was taken by the council during a recent meeting held here.
“Our establishment cost currently stands at around Rs 27 crore per annum. In case our plan to appoint retired insurance officials at the ombudsman centres is implemented successfully, then this cost is all set to come down by almost half,” the council’s Secretary General Ramma Bhasin told PTI.
“At present, we are paying Rs 1 lakh per month on an average to those who have come to work with us on deputation from their parent organisations.
“But in the case of contractual employees, we need to pay between Rs 25,000 and Rs 40,000 a month only,” she said, adding “we want to use more and more money on investor awareness programmes”.
The council has approved the appointment of retired officials to work at the ombudsman centres as professional experts for a period of one year, extendable by another year.
At a meeting on March 8 chaired by LIC Chairman S K Roy, who is also the chairman of the council, it also approved appointment of retired LIC officials to work as professional experts at the ombudsman centres, she said.
“We are planning to recruit 25-30 retired LIC officials as professional experts within next couple of months,” she said, adding the council is open to retired officials from private sector life insurance companies too.
“Last year, we spent Rs 1 crore on customer awareness programmes. But we want to double the expenditure on such programmes over the next two-three years,” Bhasin said.
At present, there are no ombudsmen in Guwahati, Ahmedabad and Chandigarh and the process is on to fill up the posts, she added.
The council received around 26,000 complaints in 2015 through 17 insurance ombudsman centres last year, an increase of 6% over 2014.
The disposal rate also rose to 82.5% in 2015 from 60% in 2014.