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38. Assignment and transfer of insurance policies.- (1) A transfer or assignment of a policy of life insurance, 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.
(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 if 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 in s[India] mentioned in the policy for the purpose or at his principal place of business in India.
(3) The date on which the notice referred to in sub section (2) 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 then 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 (2) are delivered.
(4) Upon the receipt of the notice referred to in sub section (2), 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 a fee not exceeding one rupee, grant a written acknowledgment of the receipt of such notice; and any such acknowledgment shall be conclusive evidence against the insurer that he has duly received the notice to which such acknowledgment relates.
(5) 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 subsection (2), recognise the transferee or assignee named in the notice as the only person entitled to benefit under the policy, and such person shall 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 without obtaining the consent of the transferor or assignor or making him a party to such proceedings.
(6) Any rights and remedies of an assignee or transferee of a policy of life insurance under an assignment or transfer affected prior to the commencement of this Act shall not be affected by the provisions of this section.
(7) Notwithstanding any law or custom having the force of law to the contrary, and assignment in favour of a person made with the condition that it shall be inoperative or that the interest shall pass to some other person on the happening of a specified event during the lifetime of the person whose life is insured, and an assignment in favour of the survivor or survivors of a number of persons shall be valid.
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