The beneficial owner of a life insurance policy holder is entitled to receive the proceeds of a life insurance claim in the event of the death of the policy holder. However, the nominee must be a member of the immediate family – a parent, spouse or child. In that case, the legal heir has no claim to the money.
Legal heirs can also not seek information about the insurance policy, unless it is mentioned as a candidate, the Central Information Commission (CIC) said.
The CIC order came in favor of the appellant in filing an appeal under the Right to Information Act, 2005 before the Chief Public Information Officer (CPIO), Life Information Corporation of India (LIC) ), Chhattisgarh.
The appellant asked for information on candidates and policies held by his late father, The Financial Express reported.
The request, however, was later dismissed by the CPIO and the appellant filed a first appeal (FAA), seeking information on November 18, 2020. However, the CPIO’s order was upheld. Dissatisfied with the order, the man filed a second appeal, which was passed last month, the report added.
The LIC CPIO, in an order dated September 21, 2022, said that disclosure of policy details to the appellant would affect the commercial interest of third parties. The order stated that such disclosure was prohibited under section 8 (1) (d) of the RTI Act, 2005.
The CIC said that the benefits of the policies can only be passed on to the policyholder or the beneficiary (nominee) specified in the policy.
“The Commission observes that the fact that the appellant is the legal heir of his deceased father does not give him the right to receive the information requested. Therefore, the legal heirs have no right to receive information related to the policies,” the order said.
Concluding that the legislature did not grant the appellant the right to receive the request for information, the order held that the commission was justified in denying the request.