Tuesday, 24 March 2015

NEED A POLICY?

A man, having been chased by an insurance agent for months together, slapped him so hard that the agent fell on ground. The man got worried and rushed to help him get up. The agent got up, dusted off his cloths and came smiling to the man, saying,” mazaak chhodiye sahib! Ab to insurance karwa leejiye! (No more kidding sir! It’s time you got your insurance done!)”

I had read the above joke during my school days, but was able to understand it in its true sense only when I started with my job. Elders say if you work hard, you would get success, money, fame etc.; what they don’t tell you is that there is one more thing which comes free with a decent job, the ever-chasing insurance agents!

After marriage, boasting about my financial knowledge which I had acquired through financial columns in newspapers cost me a lot, as it made my husband believe that I would be the right person to face the insurance agents (or maybe he pretended so, to get rid of this ever chasing species)

Boasting about my half cooked knowledge backfired, as every now and then, I would receive a call from my husband,” Mr. X/Y/Z wants to explain something about an insurance policy. I am sending him to you. You know, I don’t understand much about these matters!”

The agent would come and start describing policy after policy. You reject one policy and he would be ready with another. Though I used to try my best to outsmart these agents by asking questions after questions, sometimes it seemed easier to buy the policy than to tolerate the agent anymore. We are still holding two such policies giving miniscule coverage and returns with huge premium (probably because of the high incentive to the agents); bought only to get rid of these agents.

But with experience (or the mistakes which are given the name of experience) I realized that it is not wise to part with your hard earned money just because you are not able to ask a persisting gentleman to leave. So I resolved not to let any insurance agent enter my home or office.


But I could not keep my resolution, as with the expansion of insurance business, the agents started entering homes in the disguise of friends and acquaintances.

One fine Sunday morning, we were surprised to see a gentleman on our door. On racking my mind, I remembered meeting him once or twice before but didn’t remember if we had ever talked to him anything other than the normal haal chaal. He told us that he had come to the city and thought of saying hello to us.

 As we could not be so discourteous to ask a person why he decided to say hello to us after so many years, we were forced to entertain him. The gentleman appeared in no hurry to leave even after breakfast, so he had to be offered lunch also. But after lunch, it appeared difficult to tolerate him, as it would mean spoiling the precious Sunday afternoon sleep.

After my husband repeated 10-20 times, “aur kya haal chaal hain?” and “aur baki sab theek thaak hai?”, the gentleman also realized our apathy and finally gathered the courage to reveal the noble cause behind his visit: a lucrative policy which would give us return higher than any other financial instrument in the market (and of course a great incentive or probably promotion to him)!

But by this time we had mastered the art of dealing with insurance agents like saying that we already held four insurance policies and the EMIs of home loan barely left us with any investible surplus etc. etc.

So now when we get a call from an old acquaintance that we have not seen for many years, we become suspicious and start brushing up our skills to lie to save ourselves from some newly launched insurance policy by a newly launched insurance company.

When my nephew was born, I visited my sister with my one and a half year old daughter. Tired from the overnight train journey, I went to sleep straight upon reaching there, leaving my daughter to be looked after by my poor sister. At the same time an insurance agent also arrived to convince my sister to take a policy for her new born son. This agent fell into the category of agents disguised as friends and relatives. My sister asked him to take care of my daughter, probably hoping that the agent would quit the idea of selling the policy and leave rather than chase the little girl running around the house, in the garden, jumping from the stairs and running up and down the ramp. But an insurance agent in true spirit, he set another example of perseverance by running behind my daughter for many hours until he succeeded in his goal of selling the policy.

Even if you don’t allow the insurance agents to meet you in person, with the boom of call centres, you cannot escape the offers of policies even on the phone. One day I got one such call and upon telling the caller that I don’t need insurance, he asked me in an enthusiastic tone,” madam! Aap ko apni zindagi se pyaar nahi hai kya(don’t you love your life) ?” I replied before disconnecting,” hai na! lekin agar zindagi nahi rahi to paise ka kya karoongi?  main chahti nahi hoon ki mere marne ke baad mere husband ko kuchh mile(of course I do! But what would I do with the money if there is no life? That’s why I don’t want my husband to get anything after I die)!”

So friends! Like me, you should also accept that with the boons of success, fame, a good job etc., you also get a bane of ever chasing insurance agents. To get rid of them, simply practice a monologue: before they start speaking, you start stating that you are already insured for itne-itne crore rupees, half of your salary goes into paying the EMIs etc. etc. Be persistent, but don’t even think of slapping him, otherwise he would come back to you saying,” mazaak chhodiye sahib! Ab to insurance karwa leejiye!”


4 comments:

  1. Insurance is the biggest fraud in the current industry. Unfortunately so. When insurance should have been a service, it has become a mere profit-seeking business. Our present govt is supporting that too.

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  2. I agree. The agents I have discussed above are only interested in selling a policy which gives them a huge commission, irrespective of the person taking the policy getting adequate coverage or return.

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