Q1. I have been receiving frequent calls from salespeople selling life insurance policies. I am interested in buying one, however, I am concerned about phone fraud. How do I confirm that the caller is a genuine representative of an insurance company and not a conman?
Phone frauds are one of the most common forms of fraud, where scammers pose as representatives of a life insurance company and mislead customers into paying a certain sum of money as premium, bonus, or even processing fees. As a consumer, you must refrain from entertaining such callers without verifying their credibility. Do not share any personal, sensitive information such as passwords, OTP, credit/debit card details, etc. with anyone over the phone.
I suggest you request for a physical meeting with the company salesperson or agent or visit the nearest branch of the life insurance company. Alternatively, you can log in to the company’s website or contact the call centre to ensure that you interact with verified representatives of the life insurance company.
Q2. How do I ensure that the insurance policy suggested by an insurance consultant is suitable for my needs? How does one avoid mis-selling?
It is important to identify your life goals before buying a life insurance plan. There are various online tools and calculators that can help you assess your insurance needs such as a child's education, purchasing a home, repaying loans, saving for retirement, etc. Moreover, the insurance consultant is required to do a need based analysis (other than for a pure life cover and health policies) before recommending an insurance product.
While buying an insurance policy, you must read the detailed product information and benefit illustrations carefully to ensure that the policy is best suited for your needs. Additionally, there is a 15-day free-look period from the date of issuance of the policy, during which you can decide whether to continue or terminate it.
Q3. I am a 29-year-old working professional. My father passed away last month and an insurance company representative contacted me. He informed me that I am a nominee for my father’s term insurance policy and to make the claim, I was asked to pay a processing fee of Rs. 40,000 online. Is this the usual process for making claims? How do I confirm if this is not a fraudster?
Firstly, my deepest condolences to you and your family for the irreparable loss. Even in such a sensitive situation, it was wise of you not to trust this ‘insurance consultant’ since he is clearly a fraud. No insurance company will charge any money towards a claim.
Life insurance is a bond of trust between a policyholder, their family and the insurance company. In case of the unfortunate death of the policyholder, it is the insurer’s responsibility to deliver the rightful claim to the nominee. You would be required to submit specific documents such as the original policy certificate, death certificate, KYC documents, etc. to verify the death claim and receive the payout.
Q4. I want to buy an insurance policy for myself; however, my parents have advised me against buying an insurance policy online. How do I avoid fraud while buying a policy from online platforms?
You have made the right decision of buying an insurance policy for yourself. Every individual must have a life insurance policy since it acts as a financial safety net for your loved ones in your absence. It is safe to purchase a life insurance policy online, provided you are accessing only the authorised website of the insurer or a partner / distributor. Please avoid clicking on any links provided by unsolicited sources via email or SMS, as they may capture your sensitive information and defraud you of your hard-earned money.
Anil PM, President – Legal, Compliance and Fraud Prevention Unit, Bajaj Allianz Life Insurance