consumers beware!
When an insurance agent dupes you

On the basis of a promise that I would get an assured return of 30-35 per cent in a saving plan meant for senior citizens, I bought two policies from a private insurer, with my pension funds. Claiming to be an employee of the insurer, he took the cheques along with unsigned forms and said he would take care of it. I came to know later, when the next premium was due, that he was an agent. At the end of the three-year lock-in period, if I surrendered the policy, I would get only the NAV (Net Asset Value) of the last two premiums and not the entire amount paid by me. What do I do now?

It is obvious that the agent has misrepresented facts and misled you in order to sell the product. This is a clear case of unfair trade practice under the Consumer Protection Act. He has also violated the Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority’s (IRDA’s) ( Protection of Policy Holders’ Interests) Regulations and also the Code of Conduct for agents drawn up by the IRDA under the IRDA (Licensing of Insurance Agents) Regulations, 2000. He has not only misled you about his identity, but also about the product and its benefits.

As per the first regulation that I have mentioned, he is supposed to give you all material information about the policy. As per the second, (Code of Conduct) he has to not only identify himself as an agent, but also disclose the requisite information in respect of the insurance product offered for sale. He also cannot offer rates or advantages or terms and conditions that are not in the policy.

You also say that he took the cheque and unsigned forms from you. If the form is not signed by you, then there cannot be a contract of insurance between you and the insurance company at all. So complain to the insurance regulator on all these violations

I would also suggest that you file a complaint before the consumer court for refund of your money, along with interest and compensation, besides punitive damages. In National Insurance Company vs Sh D.P.Jain,( RP No 186 of 2007) the apex consumer court has made it clear that the insurance company cannot bind you to terms and conditions that are not explained to you, as required under the IRDA regulations. This case law will help you

I took a life policy from a private insurer on the promise that while the first year’s premium was to be paid in one go (Rs 1,44,000), from the subsequent year onwards, I could pay it monthly (Rs 12,000 per month). When the policy document arrived, it mentioned an annual premium every year. When I brought this to the notice of the executive of the company who had sold the policy, he said it was a mistake and he would rectify it. This year, to my surprise, I have received a premium notice for Rs 1,44,000, which I cannot pay and the insurance company is not redressing my grievance. What do I do?

This is a clear case of mis-sale. You have a right to cancel the policy within 15 days of receipt of the policy document. Unfortunately, you have trusted the executive and have not used your right to cancel the policy. This has given the insurer a handle to reject your complaint of mis-sale. I would suggest that you kindly lodge a complaint with the IRDA integrated grievance management site ( Hopefully, it will get sorted out or you will have to file a complaint before the consumer court.