Free Press Journal

‘National Insurance policy-holders suffering due to system problem’


Chennai: “System down, come tomorrow” is one common refrain that policy-holders here of the public-sector National Insurance Company Ltd hear, complain employees, agents and policy-holders.

At a time when competition is severe in the 26-player general insurance sector, the government-owned National Insurance Company has been turning away its existing policy-holders who want to renew their policies. The reason? System problems.

Last week, the computer system was down for a couple of days continuously and policy-holders were left in suspense as to their risk-coverage.

A number of employees, speaking on the condition of anonymity, told IANS that they were facing the problems ever since the company implemented the core insurance solutions.

“It is really frustrating to sit before the computer terminal endlessly waiting for a page to load. In our earlier software, renewal policies used to take just 30 seconds whereas now it takes not less than 15 minutes,” an employee told IANS.

“In the case of a new policy it takes at least 30 minutes to feed in the details,” he added.

According to employees, National Insurance Company had implemented a core insurance solution called EASI.

“Though it is called EASI it makes ours as well as the policy-holder’s life tough,” the employee said.

Senior officials of National Insurance Company were not available for comment.

To a query about why policy-holders are turned away instead of accepting their premium and issuing a receipt, an employee said: “To issue a manual receipt, one should know to calculate the premium. Ever since computers came in, employees have lost the ability to calculate the premium.”

Further, the days of issuing manual receipts have gone.

“Many a time, a premium is booked couple of days after the receipt of a cheque. If, for some reason, the cheque bounces, then there is the risk of the policy-holder being without any risk cover,” a woman employee told IANS.

“Varoom Aanna Varadhu’ (would come but would not come) is the standard dialogue in our office referring to their core insurance solution and net connectivity,” she added.

“We don’t get a clear answer as to why the system is slow — whether it is due to the problem of the core insurance solution or with the net connectivity speed or with the low computer capacity is not known,” an old timer in the company told IANS.

“The top management, though aware of the issue, is not taking any corrective action. The core insurance solution was first implemented in one office in Chennai in 2011. Now it is 2015, still the solution has not been rolled out across the company,” he said.