Visit your banker and soon they would lure you to buy a scheme which works like fixed deposit but offers better tax-free returns . You sign on dotted lines without realizing that you are buying an insurance where you have to pay the same premium every year for next 10 year.
You receive a phone call from some number who claims to be official from some government body. They have all information about you and your previous insurance data . They promise you extra bonus if you another policy from them as per the process of government . You are given such convincing documents that you get conned and agree to put your hard earned money .
These fraudsters are present every where in office space , in cyber space and in referral space. They make you believe and greed takes over. IRDA had been doing public campaigns for last three years but frauds are occurring at the same speed .
In such market place , the surprising element is the apathy shown by insurance companies . They are well aware about the fraud practice , corporate agents involved . Inspite of such knowledge of recurring complaints , these companies are actively involved for past many years . It is shocking such companies keep doing the business by changing their name and office .
As per IRDA guidelines , Insurance companies do take precautions by doing initial screening and calling , but today such preventive measures are being used as evidences against the customer rather the practitioners . One customer complain then Insurance companies give evidence that calling was done and agreement was done . Mostly customers take very casual approach during calling and they agree without listening the questions . The conversation is so mundane and investigative that customer leave interest . Then there is a provision of freelook from the date of receipt of policy document . Customers consider Insurance as simple product and avoid reading the contract which they should not do . Should they be penalized for not reading the contract and approaching the Insurance Company ?
Insurance business is fiduciary in nature and need to protect interest of policy holders . They need to build a healthy portfolio which ensures persistency and popularity of insurance concept . This can be done only through proactive steps by Insurance Companies in resolving Customer grievances . They need to run Financial Literacy campaigns through mass media . IRDA must begin Financial Literacy programmes in Schools , colleges . IRDA must also blacklist distributors who source business through call centers using fraud promises . IRDA need to issue guidelines to banks for taking extra care in checking on awareness that policy has not been sold as Single Premium in lieu of fixed deposit . Surprisingly the victim of fixed deposits are old persons loosing their savings to insurance policies and later realizing that their money is lost because of not utilization of freelook period .
Insurance Samadhan is a forum to take up such cases and represent the plight to Insurance Companies , IRDA , consumer forums and Ombudsman with a hope that resolution will be provided .