Hyderabad: The Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority (IRDA) has restricted sale of high-value unit-linked insurance products (Ulips) and variable insurance products over phone to curb mis-selling.

According to the new guidelines issued by the insurance watchdog, insurers shall not solicit ULIPs of non-single premium type for annualised premiums exceeding Rs 50,000 over telephonic mode (voice as well as SMS). Also, single premium ULIPs shall not be solicited for a premium of more than Rs 1, 00,000 over telephonic mode. 

The new guidelines on telemarketing and distance mode marketing shall come into force from October 1.

IRDA also banned selling or soliciting variable insurance products over distance marketing mode.

The records pertaining to every call made and SMS sent by a telemarketer/Corporate Agent/ Broker that materialises into a policy shall be transferred to the insurer’s location within 30 days of conclusion of sale. In case of telephone calls, the records transferred shall be the recordings of the entire conversation.

Insurers/brokers shall monitor the calls live by arranging for listening to at least 1 per cent of the calls as they happen.

Insurers shall verify at least 3 per cent of calls leading to sales for compliance with guidelines by engaging a team of dedicated employees to listen to the call recordings.

Besides, the tele-callers of insurance products should be trained according to the syllabus prescribed by IRDA and they should inform clients that the call is being recorded and that the client is entitled to a voice copy, said the IRDA order.