Government mulls SFIO-like agency to investigate insurance frauds

The government is considering creating a Serious Fraud Investigation Office (SFIO)-like independent agency for the insurance sector to probe cases of fraud. For the purpose, work is in progress to bring a Bill to amend the Insurance Act, 1938, officials said. The Serious Fraud Investigation Office probes corporate fraud cases and comes under the Ministry of Corporate Affairs.

The proposed agency, which could be named Insurance Fraud Investigation Agency, has been recommended by a working group — constituted by the Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India (IRDAI) and insurance councils – comprising both the regulator and the industry, the officials said.

They said by setting up such an agency, India would help in controlling and preventing fraud in the insurance sector. Such organisations were operating in many countries, including the National Insurance Crime Bureau in the US, the Canadian National Insurance Crime Services and the Insurance Fraud Bureau and the Insurance Fraud Enforcement Department in the United Kingdom.

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