By M.C. Linthoingambee
Are we really insured, that is the question? I came across a few case files while interning at a firm and the `Terms and Conditions` of an Insurance Policy seems to hold a monopoly rather than serve as an assurance. The Insurance and Regulatory Development Authority (IRDA) serves the highest ranking guide for all Insurance Agencies in and around India. With due guidance from the above, the Insurance Companies register themselves under the provisions of the Insurance Act.
The matters related to Insurances are dealt mostly in the Consumer Courts placed in the Districts, States and the National levels in and around the region of India. Yes, an Insurance Policy holder comes under the definition of a “Consumer” as defined under the provisions of the Consumer Protection Act. And wherein, a Consumer Dispute so arises than a case comes into its entirety in the said Court.
There are an innumerable number of cases going in and out in the stroke of light in the Honorable Court Room of the Consumer Dispute Redressal Forums all around India. So, upon working at a firm representing deal of Insurance Company, it sometimes makes me wonder, are Insurance Policies really playing their role? For a person to be an Insurance holder he has to promulgate a series of medical evidences and several other required materials. One does not necessarily get easily insured if one is diagnosed with a terminal illness or if one happens to have contracted HIV/AIDS. We really have no one to blame for such backlashes of an over conniving wit because it is just the way Insurance Policies are made as we often hear them say “Mutual Fund Investment are subjected to Market Risk, Please read your offer documents carefully before investing”. We are easily human beings and feel a little too lazy to go through the policy documents thereby going about asking for trouble later on.
But who is to say that both the Insurers (i.e. proposer of an Insurance Policy) and the Policy holder (i.e. those persons who have signed up for an Insurance Policy) are both at no fault. There is truly spectacular number of Insurance Related Financial Issues rising up the case rack to form a mountainous track of case files in relation at an exclamatory speed. A depiction of an Insurance Company going ashtray is depicted perfectly in a recent Indian Cinema called “OH MY GOD”, where the main cast conquered heights of sanity and even filed for a case against God for claiming his Insurance because the Insurance Companies went on to state that they shall not be liable to pay any policy holder money for any loss resulting from the acts of god.
There are certain numbers of unique stories at the end of a non-fulfillment of a term which concur with a huge amount of loss. Some lose their mortgaged property, some lose their most valuable assets, some lose their hard earned money, and the conditions clearly vary for many of us. There was a case of an old man dragged into signing up an Insurance Policy for his grandson by two Insurance Agents who promised that the grandson would be liable to received all premium amounts with due interest after his death. The grandfather made all the necessary and required payments regularly until he passed away suddenly. Unable to pay the required premium at the right time, the company refused to pay any amount in return for the payments made before so. The grandson through his father then filed a case against the Insurance Company relying very much on the quantum that he shall receive due justice from the doors of a court room.
The next time you go out to buy an Insurance Policy, remember the following points:
a) Choose an Insurance Company registered under the required provisions of the Insurance Act.
b) Choose an Agent wisely, let he/she be a trusted person known to the family otherwise.
c) Choose an Insurance Policy where you can get the maximum rate of return after the maturity of that certain term.
d) Read and go through each line of the Terms and Conditions or consult a lawyer to help you with the same.
e) Sign the papers and documents only when you know it is right.
f) Please read your offer documents carefully before investing.
The list given above is not exhaustive but they are mere personal advices from a common viewpoint. There are also results of Insurance advisors or agents claiming for money of their claimant under false and forged documents. Sometimes they even manage to stage a death so that the conniving agent may receive the returns of the policy holder.
But we must also remember that all the blame cannot be completely be held at the door of Insurance Companies as sometimes if further looked into, the Customers also end up heralding a mistake. They either forget to read through the full terms and conditions and the probability of them agreeing to an unnecessary contract without overlooking that a reasonable loss may arise with the probability of 90 to 100. That’s about the number of people who remains lazy to even go through anything before they put their initials on a certain piece of paper which seems to hold very intense value. The parties do their best in order to guarantee our individual rights as per a certain contract and they see to it that we receive full benefits from our subjected investments.
Even after millions of offered advices, as a result of our blank intention on a piece of paper or being that we did not abide by the proper Terms and Conditions is when we do often come across a series of momentary upheaval. There are a great number of Insurances in existence pertaining to areas of Health Insurance, Education Insurance, Accident Insurance, Medical Insurance and several others whose list goes on being non-exhaustive. Thereby, it is in your best interest that we as citizens thereby affirm ourselves of such benefits and go on securing a proper future for our future generations provided that the proper terms and conditions are read, singed, agreed, locked and paid in time.