Damaged or lost? Steps to get a duplicate insurance policy

Read on to know what you need to do to prevent yourself from a financial loss in case you have lost or misplaced insurance policy

December 28, 2012 12:53 IST | India Infoline News Service
The prime objective of buying a life insurance policy is to provide ‘financial protection to your dependents’ in case anything unfortunate happens to you. One of the main requirements for filing any life insurance claim is the submission of the original policy contract with the insurer. Hence it is important that the policy document is safely maintained by the insured through the term of the policy. 

An insurance policy is a legal document issued by the insurance company and outlines the terms and conditions of the insurance contract. If it is misplaced, lost or damaged, wholly or partially, an application has to be filed for the issuance of a duplicate policy document by following the prescribed procedure, which may vary across insurers.

Submit an application
Write an application to the insurance company. The application must include the policyholder’s full name, policy number, type of cover, date of issuance, and whether or not the policy was assigned. You also need to mention the circumstances under which the policy document was lost. If the insurance policy is held jointly, the application needs to be made jointly by all the insured persons.

Insurance companies usually charge a nominal fee for the issuance of a duplicate policy document. This needs to be paid at the time of submitting the application.

Publish an advertisement
In case of loss of policy, some insurers insist that the policyholder should publish an advertisement in English daily in the state where the loss is reported to have occurred. This must be sent to the insurance company a month after its appearance. The cost of the publication of ad is normally borne by the policyholder. 

Indemnity bond
You need to sign an indemnity bond. The indemnity bond is usually executed on non-judicial stamp paper of appropriate value for duplicate policy. The indemnity bond should include the policyholder’s full name and policy number. To add credibility, this indemnity bond should be signed by two witnesses—who are not the family members of policyholders. Some insurance companies also ask the policyholder of sound financial status to submit surety bond for certain policies.

If all the documents are in place, the duplicate policy is generally issued by the insurer in one week. The word ‘DUPLICATE’ will be stamped in bold letters on the face of the life insurance policy issued. All the terms and conditions, policy details and nomination will remain the same as in case of original policy, Anil Agarwal, managing director, Agarwal & Associates—Mumbai-based insurance & investment consultant firm, said.

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