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No harm in relying on insurance agent, but always verify

Thursday, 29 November 2012 - 8:00am IST | Place: Mumbai | Agency: DNA
Irda has been constantly trying to curb the menace of mis-selling with all kinds of tools at its disposal. The efforts have met with reasonable success though.

The Insurance and Regulatory and Development Authority (Irda) has been constantly trying to curb the menace of mis-selling with all kinds of tools at its disposal. The efforts have met with reasonable success though.

But if the number of complaints that land at Akosha, a forum that deals in consumer complaints and seeks their quick resolution, offers any indication, there is still a long way to go. We give you a lowdown.

The ‘Irda’ scam
People claiming to be Irda ‘representatives’ talk about bonus being allegedly polished off by policy agents. Gullible clients are then asked to deposit some amount with these ‘representatives’ who promise to bring back the bonus to the policy holder. What happens to that the amount is anybody’s guess.

In our experience, the simplest way to address such issues is always to check the credentials and insist on the identity proof of whichever individual the consumer is dealing with.

‘Buy more policies’ scam
These so-called representatives take the money from policy holders and then instead of vanishing with the money, very ‘honestly’ invest it in buying another policy for the consumer, without his consent.  

In most such cases, the fraud is a result of over-dependence on the agent. Read every document you sign and never depend on your agent completely.

Use the free-look period
No corrective action can be entirely successful without awareness and vigilance at the micro level. A minor oversight of not reading through the policy during the free-look period – something which happens way too often – and relying blindly on the agents’ words cost him dearly both in terms of time and money.

The writer is founder of Akosha, a consumer grievance platform




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