(1) A transfer or assignment of a policy of insurance, wholly or in part, whether with or without consideration, may be made only by an endorsement upon the policy itself or by a separate instrument, signed in either case by the transferor or by the assignor or his duly authorised agent and attested by at least one witness, specifically setting forth the fact of transfer or assignment and the reasons thereof, the antecedents of the assignee and the terms on which the assignment is made
(2) An insurer may, accept the transfer or assignment, or decline to act upon any endorsement made under sub-section (1), where it has sufficient reason to believe that such transfer or assignment is not bona fide or is not in the interest of the policyholder or in public interest or is for the purpose of trading of insurance policy
(3) The insurer shall, before refusing to act upon the endorsement, record in writing the reasons for such refusal and communicate the same to the policyholder not later than thirty days from the date of the policyholder giving notice of such transfer or assignment
(4) Any person aggrieved by the decision of an insurer to decline to act upon such transfer or assignment may within a period of thirty days from the date of receipt of the communication from the insurer containing reasons for such refusal, prefer a claim to the Authority
(5) Subject to the provisions in sub-section (2), the transfer or assignment shall be complete and effectual upon the execution of such endorsement or instrument duly attested but except, where the transfer or assignment is in favour of the insurer, shall not be operative as against an insurer, and shall not confer upon the transferee or assignee, or his legal representative, any right to sue for the amount of such policy or the moneys secured thereby until a notice in writing of the transfer or assignment and either the said endorsement or instrument itself or a copy thereof certified to be correct by both transferor and transferee or their duly authorised agents have been delivered to the insurer: Provided that where the insurer maintains one or more places of business in India, such notice shall be delivered only at the place where the policy is being serviced
(6) The date on which the notice referred to in sub-section (5) is delivered to the insurer shall regulate the priority of all claims under a transfer or assignment as between persons interested in the policy; and where there is more than one instrument of transfer or assignment the priority of the claims under such instruments shall be governed by the order in which the notices referred to in sub-section (5) are delivered: Provided that if any dispute as to priority of payment arises as between assignees, the dispute shall be referred to the Authority
(7) Upon the receipt of the notice referred to in sub-section (5), the insurer shall record the fact of such transfer or assignment together with the date thereof and the name of the transferee or the assignee and shall, on the request of the person by whom the notice was given, or of the transferee or assignee, on payment of such fee as may be specified by the regulations, grant a written acknowledgement of the receipt of such notice; and any such acknowledgement shall be conclusive evidence against the insurer that he has duly received the notice to which such acknowledgement relates
(8) Subject to the terms and conditions of the transfer or assignment, the insurer shall, from the date of the receipt of the notice referred to in sub-section (5), recognise the transferee or assignee named in the notice as the absolute transferee or assignee entitled to benefit under the policy, and such person shall be subject to all liabilities and equities to which the transferor or assignor was subject at the date of the transfer or assignment and may institute any proceedings in relation to the policy, obtain a loan under the policy or surrender the policy without obtaining the consent of the transferor or assignor or making him a party to such proceedings
(9) Any rights and remedies of an assignee or transferee of a policy of life insurance under an assignment or transfer effected prior to the commencement of the Insurance Laws (Amendment) Act, 2015 shall not be affected by the provisions of this section
(10) Notwithstanding any law or custom having the force of law to the contrary, an assignment in favour of a person made upon the condition that
(a) the proceeds under the policy shall become payable to the policyholder or the nominee or nominees in the event of either the assignee or transferee predeceasing the insured; or
(b) the insured surviving the term of the policy, shall be valid: Provided that a conditional assignee shall not be entitled to obtain a loan on the policy or surrender a policy
(11) In the case of the partial assignment or transfer of a policy of insurance under sub-section (1), the liability of the insurer shall be limited to the amount secured by partial assignment or transfer and such policyholder shall not be entitled to further assign or transfer the residual amount payable under the same policy
(1) The holder of a policy of life insurance on his own life may, when effecting the policy or at any time before the policy matures for payment, nominate the person or persons to whom the money secured by the policy shall be paid in the event of his death: Provided that, where any nominee is a minor, it shall be lawful for the policyholder to appoint any person in the manner laid down by the insurer, to receive the money secured by the policy in the event of his death during the minority of the nominee.
(2) Any such nomination in order to be effectual shall, unless it is incorporated in the text of the policy itself, be made by an endorsement on the policy communicated to the insurer and registered by him in the records relating to the policy and any such nomination may at any time before the policy matures for payment be cancelled or changed by an endorsement or a further endorsement or a will, as the case may be, but unless notice in writing of any such cancellation or change has been delivered to the insurer, the insurer shall not be liable for any payment under the policy made bona fide by him to a nominee mentioned in the text of the policy or registered in records of the insurer.
(3) The insurer shall furnish to the policyholder a written acknowledgement of having registered a nomination or a cancellation or change thereof, and may charge such fee as may be specified by regulations for registering such cancellation or change.
(4) A transfer or assignment of a policy made in accordance with section 38 shall automatically cancel a nomination: Provided that the assignment of a policy to the insurer who bears the risk on the policy at the time of the assignment, in consideration of a loan granted by that insurer on the security of the policy within its surrender value, or its reassignment on repayment of the loan shall not cancel a nomination, but shall affect the rights of the nominee only to the extent of the insurer's interest in the policy: Provided further that the transfer or assignment of a policy, whether wholly or in part, in consideration of a loan advanced by the transferee or assignee to the policyholder, shall not cancel the nomination but shall affect the rights of the nominee only to the extent of the interest of the transferee or assignee, as the case may be, in the policy: Provided also that the nomination, which has been automatically cancelled consequent upon the transfer or assignment, the same nomination shall stand automatically revived when the policy is reassigned by the assignee or retransferred by the transferee in favour of the policyholder on repayment of loan other than on a security of policy to the insurer.
(5) Where the policy matures for payment during the lifetime of the person whose life is insured or where the nominee or, if there are more nominees than one, all the nominees die before the policy matures for payment, the amount secured by the policy shall be payable to the policyholder or his heirs or legal representatives or the holder of a succession certificate, as the case may be.
(6) Where the nominee or if there are more nominees than one, a nominee or nominees survive the person whose life is insured, the amount secured by the policy shall be payable to such survivor or survivors.
(7) Subject to the other provisions of this section, where the holder of a policy of insurance on his own life nominates his parents, or his spouse, or his children, or his spouse and children, or any of them, the nominee or nominees shall be beneficially entitled to the amount payable by the insurer to him or them under sub-section
(6) unless it is proved that the holder of the policy, having regard to the nature of his title to the policy, could not have conferred any such beneficial title on the nominee.
(8) Subject as aforesaid, where the nominee, or if there are more nominees than one, a nominee or nominees, to whom subsection
(7) applies, die after the person whose life is insured but before the amount secured by the policy is paid, the amount secured by the policy, or so much of the amount secured by the policy as represents the share of the nominee or nominees so dying (as the case may be), shall be payable to the heirs or legal representatives of the nominee or nominees or the holder of a succession certificate, as the case may be, and they shall be beneficially entitled to such amount.
(9) Nothing in sub-sections (7) and (8) shall operate to destroy or impede the right of any creditor to be paid out of the proceeds of any policy of life insurance.
(10) The provisions of sub-sections (7) and (8) shall apply to all policies of life insurance maturing for payment after the commencement of the Insurance Laws (Amendment) Act, 2015.
(11) Where a policyholder dies after the maturity of the policy but the proceeds and benefit of his policy has not been made to him because of his death, in such a case, his nominee shall be entitled to the proceeds and benefit of his policy.
(12) The provisions of this section shall not apply to any policy of life insurance to which section 6 of the Married Women's Property Act, 1874, applies or has at any time applied: Provided that where a nomination made whether before or after the commencement of the Insurance Laws (Amendment) Act, 2015, in favour of the wife of the person who has insured his life or of his wife and children or any of them is expressed, whether or not on the face of the policy, as being made under this section, the said section 6 shall be deemed not to apply or not to have applied to the policy.
(1) No person shall allow or offer to allow, either directly or indirectly, as an inducement to any person to take or renew or continue an insurance in respect of any kind of risk relating to lives or property in India, any rebate of the whole or part of the commission payable or any rebate of the premium shown on the policy, nor shall any person taking out or renewing or continuing a policy accept any rebate, except such rebate as may be allowed in accordance with the published prospectus or tables of the insurer. Provided that acceptance by an insurance agent of commission in connection with a policy of life insurance taken out by himself on his own life shall not be deemed to be acceptance of a rebate of premium within the meaning of this subsection if at the time of such acceptance the insurance agent satisfies the prescribed conditions establishing that he is a bonafide insurance agent employed by the insurer.
(2) Any person making default in complying with the provisions of this section shall be liable for a penalty which may extend to ten lakh rupees
(1) No policy of life insurance shall be called in question on any ground whatsoever after the expiry of three years from the date of the policy, i.e., from the date of issuance of the policy or the date of commencement of risk or the date of revival of the policy or the date of the rider to the policy, whichever is later.
(2) A policy of life insurance may be called in question at any time within three years from the date of issuance of the policy or the date of commencement of risk or the date of revival, of the policy or the date of the rider to the policy, whichever is later, on the ground of fraud: Provided that the insurer shall have to communicate in writing to the insured or the legal representatives or nominees or assignees of the insured the grounds and materials on which such decision is based.
(3) Notwithstanding anything contained in subsection (2), no insurer shall repudiate a life insurance policy on the ground of fraud if the insured can prove that the mis-statement of or suppression of a material fact was true to the best of his knowledge and belief or that there was no deliberate intention to suppress the fact or that such mis-statement of or suppression of a material fact are within the knowledge of the insurer: Provided that in case of fraud, the onus of disproving lies upon the beneficiaries, in case the policyholder is not alive.
(4) A policy of life insurance may be called in question at any time within three years from the date of issuance of the policy or the date of commencement of risk or the date of revival of the policy or the date of the rider to the policy, whichever is later, on the ground that any statement of or suppression of a fact material to the expectancy of the life of the insured was incorrectly made in the proposal or other document on the basis of which the policy was issued or revived or rider issued: Provided that the insurer shall have to communicate in writing to the insured or the legal representatives or nominees or assignees of the insured the grounds and materials on which such decision to repudiate the policy of life insurance is based: Provided further that in case of repudiation of the policy on the ground of mis-statement or suppression of a material fact, and not on the ground of fraud, the premiums collected on the policy till the date of repudiation shall be paid to the insured or the legal representatives or nominees or assignees of the insured within a period of ninety days from the date of such repudiation.
(5) Nothing in this section shall prevent the insurer from calling for proof of age at any time if he is entitled to do so, and no policy shall be deemed to be called in question merely because the terms of the policy are adjusted on subsequent proof that the age of the life insured was incorrectly stated in the proposal.
Disclaimer: This is not a comprehensive list of amendments of the Insurance Laws (Amendment) Act, 2015 and only a simplified version prepared for general information. Policyholders/customers are advised to refer to Original Act Gazette Notification dated March 23, 2015 for complete and accurate details.