Insurance agent arrested for providing life cover to dead people

Police say the scam operated alongside the deceased's beneficiaries

Insurance agent arrested for providing life cover to dead people

Insurance News

By Gabriel Olano

An insurance agent in Odisha, India, was arrested for allegedly providing life insurance for four people who were already dead by the time the policies were taken out.

Kabiraj Behera took out 23 policies from Life Insurance Corporation of India (LIC) and placed them in the names of four people who had died between 2013 and 2019, The Hindu reported. The total value of the policies was INR18.1 million (SG$326,000).

Behera had been an agent for LIC since 2003, but is believed to have first committed the offences in 2013. According to the police, Behera would place the insurance in the dead person’s name then wait three to four years before forging a death certificate in order to claim the death benefit.

Investigations revealed that despite the insured persons being dead, the premiums for the policies were being regularly paid. Behera kept the insured amount per policy below INR1 million, which meant that the claim will need to be approved only by LIC’s branch manager without being escalated to the divisional office.

The police believe that the ghost insureds’ beneficiaries were in on the scam. A search of Behera’s residence revealed evidence such as voter identity cards and bank passbooks of the dead individuals, as well as correspondences made by the LIC with the beneficiaries.

“The insurance agent had been smartly operating in such a way that nobody would have any doubt on him,” said Jai Narayan Pankaj, deputy inspector general of Odisha Police. “Our investigators went after him, checked all documents and visited the addresses of the dead persons.”

Pankaj said that the police are also investigating whether any other LIC officials acted as accomplices for the fraudulent operation.

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