K. Nitya Kalyani
Take the opportunity to review your insurance needs. Do the homework on what you have and what you need. When you identify the gaps, you may even benefit by taking some of the pesky calls.
And ringing a lot, I would guess. SMS messages pour in, and now Whatsapp messages. All exhorting you to buy insurance.
The callers get especially aggressive in the last three months of the financial year, the JFM (January-February-March) quarter, when everyone chases targets.
The other reason here is tax breaks on life and health premium. Insurance being sold on the back of tax incentives might have been warranted in a small way in the past.
But the product, the market, the industry and the customer have all grown way past that. Now, it can be argued, tax incentives confuse the issue and are counter-productive in the long run.
In fact, they may just be the proverbial drop of poison in the entire insurance-buying process. The true value and purpose of the product are camouflaged and in many, many cases, disillusionment sets in leading to letting policies lapse and losing protection.
Now that the calls have started here are three things you can do to take advantage of an annoyance:
- Do a review
Take the opportunity to review your insurance needs. Do the homework on what you have and what you may need. When you identify the gaps, you may even benefit by taking some of those pesky calls. That brings us to point two, which is:
- Pay attention
The calls can lead you to a fund of information on new products, procedures, and of course pricing, especially from competing insurers.
You can call for add-on covers, and exclusions and clear all your doubts about claims and cashless and all the other things that befuddle you. Now that you have information, here is point three:
- Do some research
Don’t make a decision based just on what you are told or offered in these calls. You now know only one or two of many options, and others may suit you better. Consider this information a starting point. And here is a corollary to the three points:
- Don’t rush it!
Don’t get pressurised to make instant decisions. Remember, the callers are highly trained to push you into quick commitments and a premium payment, and this can be very effective especially when their target deadlines and your tax deadlines coincide!
A word of caution, if you can indeed decide on the correct policy within this hyper-marketing quarter, then please buy it. It is better than no coverage!
(The writer is a business journalist specialising in insurance & corporate history)
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