How careful inspection can help you avoid falling for these age-old insurance traps

How careful inspection can help you avoid falling for these age-old insurance traps  27th February 2023

Insurance policies, including non-general and general insurance plans, have gained popularity among Indians. While the increased penetration rate is a welcome change, protecting policyholders against potential fraud becomes essential. Insurance companies are taking adequate measures to spread awareness and educate potential policy buyers about possible crimes that involve fake policies, fraudulent insurance agents, mis-sold policies, etc.

This blog informs you about insurance traps you might be prone to and helps you elude them.

1. False alerts: reviving expired policies –
One of the many ways scammers trap innocent people is by calling them about policies that lapsed a while back due to payment failure. These dormant policies are then illegally accessed by telemarketers, who call up policyholders, informing them of good news. According to them, policyholders can now get a bonus on their policy, but you can only access it with a fee. They may also try to sell new policies. You can easily avoid this trap by being vigilant and reading the fine print of your policy.
To prevent scams and fraud, IRDAI is also regulating the insurance sector by digitalising it. An e-Insurance Account is a digital portfolio of all your non-general and general insurance plans, which helps keep track of policy tenures, switch, or buy policies at a single click without any hassle.

2. A guaranteed return providing investment sans market volatility –
The lack of financial literacy is mainly to blame for this misconception. As the uninformed public continues to hear of the short-term successes of a small section of well-informed investors who do due diligence before making their financial decisions, they crave similar results without putting in as much effort.
Taking advantage of the situation, insurance agents often pitch general insurance plans as alternatives to conservative investments like a fixed deposit and promise high returns. While the money put towards any insurance policy is a better investment than letting it sit idle, such claims are not backed by proof and must be avoided.

3. Getting pitched insurance policies as a tax-saving investment –
Tax planning is usually seen as a dreadful task that most individuals undertake only when essential. Therefore, some folks jump at it when the most effective sales pitch comes in, saying that an additional insurance policy would give you tax cuts (because of 80C) and would be a suitable investment. The tax-saving months before March are when these fraudulent pitches are made, and people need to determine whether the investment is necessary in the first place.

As the insurance sector evolves, insurers must make policyholders aware of the role of general insurance plans as a protective cover rather than a mode of investment to minimise your tax burden.

Your overall financial and tax planning for the following period should be done at the beginning of the current financial year. It is crucial to consider all factors, including your current investments, non-general and general insurance plans you might have taken, your kid’s school fees, and other expenses. Start early, and you won’t be in a hurry to reach the deadline, so you can read the fine print on all the documents and do apt research before signing on anything.

Click HERE to learn more about general insurance plans.

Disclaimer: The information provided above is for illustrative purposes only. To get more details, please refer to policy wordings and prospectus before purchasing a policy.