10 Jun, 2020 | Opinion

Insurance? What the shak?

Mahavir Chopra
By Mahavir Chopra
Founder, Beshak.org.
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What’s the immediate thought you get if I said this blog post is about The Top 10 reasons why XYZ Parivar Suraksha is the best term plan ever?

Um. Let me guess…You rush to your favorite corner in your house, get some coffee, and get ready to binge the content? You bookmark this post to read it at leisure? No? The higher probability is that you may actually go duh, and ruthlessly swipe yourself out from this page.

A question for you.

If you forget all your prejudices for a moment and take look with a fresh perspective, Insurance was a noble idea.

People exposed to a financial risk get together to form a group or a community. They contribute funds into a pool. The pool now takes care of the financial risk for each community member.

Isn’t it still the same? The insurance industry pays millions of claims that aggregate to multi-billions of dollars every year, saving families and businesses from getting into a financial soup.

People argue that products are complicated. But there is no dearth of information. There are hundreds of websites with tons of information, technology-powered aggregator portals that personalize your quote, compare each benefit, condition in the policy contract.

Then why does Insurance still make us nervous as users? or put us off?

As per consumer research conducted by LexisNexis in 2017

  • 37% do not trust Insurance companies and agents and
  • 29% consider policies difficult to understand

Here’s my story

I have now weathered a good 15 years (!) in the insurance industry, but when I was younger, every marriage, a social function was about distant family members losing attention as soon as they knew I was from the insurance industry. Got those weird, nervous looks, as if I was going to ask them for a loan, worth half their net worth. I understood what social distancing is way before you guys 🙂

I was envious of my doctor friends. People of all ages had a glint in their eyes wanting to be friendly with them, get advice (free), sharing their health problems.

For the clarification – I wasn’t interested in selling, but I could have very well solved a problem or two, instead of killing time staring at my mobile screen?

What was the difference?

As someone who’s been in this industry for a good time here’s why I feel insurance turns many of us off?

  • You have been forced to buy a policy you didn’t need.
  • You have heard only bad things about insurance with people, in the news. Big deductions. Claims rejected, etc.
  • You get a picture of a pesky salesman annoying you to buy a policy.

What else? I would love to hear your views in the comments section below.

Photo by Caleb Woods on Unsplash

Mahavir Chopra
Written by,
Mahavir Chopra, Founder, Beshak.org.

Mahavir is the Founder at Beshak.org. Since 2005, Mahavir has been building tech-based startups that compare and advise insurance products to individual buyers. In his last role, he was the Chief Business Officer at Coverfox. Mahavir is a recognized professional in the personal insurance field. He has contributed to leading business publications, including The Economic Times, Business Standard, Mint, DNA, and Moneycontrol

2 Comments
MEMBER
09 Aug, 2020
by: pva aditya

I am 32 years old and not until recently i got to know about term insurance....ulips are sold so much that pure term insurance which is the most beneficial often is kept hidden from the buyer.

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EXPERT
10 Aug, 2020
by: Mahavir Chopra

That's true. In 2004, I had to find the table number of the policy from the LIC manual, and convince the agent to allow me to buy the LIC Term Insurance policy. He kept pushing "moneyback". Things haven't changed much in 16 years!



MEMBER
12 Jul, 2020
by: Shravan Gulla

Hi sir. Could you tell your opinion on gov vs private insurers service quality from Shravan

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EXPERT
13 Jul, 2020
by: Mahavir Chopra

That's a good question that has a complex answer. Many private insurance companies have a more structured standardized service quality, but often it is not personalized - everything is system driven. Services with Govt insurance companies are decentralized, less structured/standardized, dependent on who is running the show in the divisional office. In my experience, the benefit with govt is that once you are able to reach the right person (which is possible if you have a good agent/distributor) the response can be more human and personalized. The best can be a) Structured/standardized services backed with strong systems and a well trained, humanized customer service (Not available currently) b) A policy with a Govt. insurance company with a strong agent/distributor who is able to consolidate and extract services from them. (Rare)


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