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Mr. Nitin Balchandani, Hard core Operations Management In Insurance Companies

It was all going fine until morning of 30th Apr’12 when the bug of becoming an entrepreneur hit me. I was working as Customer Service Manager with ICICI Prudential Life and was pretty satisfied with my role. However that afternoon a widow in her late forties walked up to my desk, I noticed a sense of helplessness combined with some fear and anger in her eyes. I asked her to sit and before she could speak anything, offered her a glass of water. She had a sip and tears started flowing down her cheek. She started speaking with pain and anger in her eyes.

Some sales manager with our company had mis sold her a regular premium plan which she was not aware of and instead was under the impression that she has purchased a fixed deposit where her money would be doubled in five years. Today Life Insurance mis-selling is rampant. According to a MINT research a loss of Rs. 1.5 trillion is estimated to the investors from FY05 to FY12. The bancassurance channel has been added to the already crowded list of sources of mis-selling. While it can’t be denied that product structure, which until a couple of years ago favoured the insurer, is one of the main reasons why mis-selling has continued unabated, lack of accountability and incentive structure have also contributed equally. “The insurance regulator is extremely weak in penalizing the industry. Owing to a weak regulator and the legal system there is a sense in the industry that they can get away.

Coming back to the widow’s case, already the free look period for the policy was over 2 months back and there was nothing much I could do to help her. However as I did not had the courage to refuse help to her upfront, I asked her to place a written complaint and that we will take suitable action. I approached my seniors and told them that the lady has been duped of her life time savings of Rupees Twenty lacs and that we should help her recover the money. All my line managers agreed but the sales team was not ready to approve refund as that would mean a dent in their target achievement for previous month and an additional burden in targets of the current month.

Nobody denied the fact that wrong has been committed with the lady but still solution could not be provided to her and company denied her allegations mentioning the free look period clause.

This was when I decided that enough is enough and I need to do something about resolving issues for such clients. This was how the concept of Insurance Angels was born.

Mis-selling includes non-suitable product selling, false promise, document tampering, signature forgery and last but not the least is untold selling (selling ULIP even when client applied for Fixed Deposit) and people from rural background are main victims of the same.

How Insurance Angels work?

Insurance Angels as the name suggests is working as an angel for victims of Life Insurance mis-selling activities.

First we research client’s documents and listen calmly to what he applied for and what he got. After thoroughly studying papers we decide the process to be followed. The uniqueness of our process is solving client’s issues without litigation and utilizing the power of social media. We start the process by making a short video of the victim and uploading on our Face book page and website; using forensic science in cases of document tampering and signature forgery and mailing the details with reports to related Insurance Company.

Till today we have handled several cases with 100% success ratio, in all these cases either client’s money was refunded by the company or the company converted the insurance plan to a more suitable plan as per the liking and need of client. The story of Mis-selling is more heart wrenching in rural areas. And all types of mis-selling is rampant in rural areas.