How to avoid being a victim of Life Insurance Mis-Selling in India

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Sandip Singh Batta is a businessman based in Jaipur and lives with a joint family with many dependents. He and his brother have built the business from the ground up since their father passed away and Sandip has been very careful with his money. He has maintained a good relationship with bankers. He always trusted and built a large portfolio of fixed deposits and insurance policies through banks.

He always believed that all his fixed deposits and insurances are doing well. One day, he received a call about lapsation of his few policies. He visited the Branch of the Insurance Company, he was shocked to know that each year new policy has been bought through renewal premium.

He realized that he has been victim of insurance mis-selling and fraud. He has been sold insurances with false promises on premium payment term, return and life cover.

Mis-selling in insurance is one of the main diseases which is causing problems in the Industry. Clients need to watch out for mis-selling. Let us see what are some of the red flags that you need to watch out for when buying a life insurance policy.

Get Resolutions for Insurance Complaints
Mis-selling generally means wrongfully canvassing about a product or advising the customer based on false information. It also means mis-guiding or forcing them to buy products that they do not need. Insurance mis-selling means misrepresenting an insurance policy to make a sale. It may include describing the benefits in inflated figures, miscalculations, concealing important information, and lying about the nature of the policy.

When it comes to insurance mis-selling, it occurs more frequently than many customers realize. While some customers complain against it, others decide to keep quiet or even surrender the policy. While the IRDAI has been issuing advisory and setting up procedures to prevent and mis-selling of insurance policies or fraud, there are still many instances where unsuspecting customers may fall prey to such scams. There are several things that IRDAI suggests as best practices for the customers so that they are able to prevent any mis-selling of life insurance policies. Here are the top things to be careful of while buying insurance so that you do not fall prey to mis-selling:

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6 Things to watch out for while Buying Life Insurance Policies

  1. Promising better returns than other pure saving plans: The insurance agent may claim that an insurance policy is providing better returns than many other savings options such as FD or PPF accounts. This is generally not true since the primary purpose of insurance is only to protect the policyholder’s finances against unfortunate events. This is why even the plans that may provide some savings options will not be able to match the returns of conventional saving plans. Even the maturity benefit or bonus amount usually cannot be as high as other options such as mutual funds. Anytime the customer is offered such a plan they must exercise caution and check things carefully before making any decisions. When you give Rs 100 to Insurance company then only Rs 80 is invested in diversified portfolio as per the approved list of IRDA whereas when you pay Rs 1pp to FD /PPF/Mutual fund, your 98% money is invested is same securities as approved by IRDA. So you will always have a lesser return on Insurance. You should always raise a red flag when a product offers more return than 5%.
  2. No clear explanation of policy benefits: Besides return, you are offered benefits which are not part of the Insurance contract. Your contract is made on the basis of your Proposal form and all terms and conditions are given in the Proposal Form. Please read it as soon as you receive the Policy document. Read the terms and conditions then ask the agent to explain. In case of any deviation, you can apply for freelook cancellation. You get free-look period to study and cancel, if you desire, within 15 days of receipt of the Policy pack or within 30 days if you have been sold online.
  3. Insurance is the subject matter of solicitation and a prospect can not be lured or trapped by the undue offer. Bundling insurance with other products is very common and the common person falls into this trap. Insurance payment period is sacrosanct and your need to pay premium. All statements of false premium flexibility are wrong. Insurance has a very specific goal that differs from other financial instruments such as mutual funds, savings accounts, lockers, fixed deposits, etc. This is why insurance should not be clubbed with other instruments and even if they are, the customers must proceed very carefully to evaluate these instruments separately. Only choose the products that you need and let go of the rest. If the insurance agent shows resistance to this you can always do some groundwork and find the necessary product with a different insurer.
  4. Mis-selling is very common and happens daily with offers of Flexi payment term, Policy can be withdrawn after3 years, Free health cover, free monthly income, tower rental, bonus on lapsed policies, return of agent commission.
  5. Given below are the most common mis-selling which you should not fall from
  • Offer of loan against a new insurance
  • Offer of recovering bonus of a lapsed policy
  • Offer of Tower installation and rental
  • Offer of free Health Insurance
  • Offer of generation of Agency code as source of income
  • Offer of Single Premium policy with better returns than fixed deposits
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  1. Understand your rights: Insurance companies would do a verification call. Please ask all questions and clarify your doubts. Do not fall in the trap when the sellers tell you what to answer on verification. If someone guides you for verification then get alarmed.

Get Resolutions for Insurance Complaints

Keep your policy document handy and go through each and every detail when taking a policy. In case you suspect that you have been a victim of insurance mis-selling, you can always use freelook cancellation. If your freelook period is over then you can always come to Insurance Samadhaan with your problem and expect a solution.

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