I have a couple of insurance policies from LIC of India. All of them were bought with no sense of what they have to offer, returns etc because we weren’t that knowledgeable at the time. Also many of the insurance policies were bought because some friend was an agent.
One such policy that I bought was a single premium policy, Bima Nivesh, way back in 2002. It matured in 2012 and the LIC agent who had sold it to me, tried to get me to convert it into yet another policy and unfortunately I had moved on from insurance policies as an investment option. This gentleman still managed to convince me to part with my policy bond document and I sent the note over to convert it. We were in Bangalore at the time. Since that time, all my calls went unanswered and nothing happened to my policy. From 2015 onwards I started getting calls from LIC saying I have unclaimed amount under this policy. Every time I would assume that it was some prank call because I couldn’t imagine that a government agency would be keen to follow up with its customers !!
In 2016 we went to the Gurgaon branch of LIC and our experience was fantastic – the GM met us and immediately took out the details of this single premium policy and shared the email ID of the GM at the servicing branch in C.P. I wrote to the servicing branch GM and got an instant reply asking me to submit ID proof and a canceled cheque for claiming the maturity amount.
We slept over it for the next 3 years… because inertia is very powerful, especially when backed by the knowledge that your money is safe :):). We got an sms even from LIC of India on March 31st this year about the unclaimed amount … still didn’t work.
We had made a weak resolve last year to go to the servicing branch and collect the money and as with weak resolves, never made it. We would go to Jayanth’s office which is a street away and still not go over – serious inertia.
Last week on Aug 20th I told Krishnan that TODAY, we will go to the LIC servicing branch and have lunch at Saravana Bhavan. We didn’t allow any other interruption and made good on our resolve. Took the file and went to LIC. We were in for a pleasant surprise – the lady in charge of unclaimed policies, Veena ji, was on top of everything. She collected the canceled cheque, asked me to give a request for claiming the maturity amount and checked everything to say, its all done. We got an acknowledgement slip at the reception and off we were in 10 minutes. Veena Ji had told us the maturity amount plus interest will be in our account within 48 hours. But before that could happen, we got a call from her the next day saying, she had to have the discharge papers and the policy bond. She had assumed that we had already given the discharge papers and the policy bond in 2012 because we had told her that the maturity cheque sent to our earlier address in 2012 had not reached us.
Veena Ji responded on whatsapp to all my queries and confirmed if the forms that I was filling were correct. We decided to go on Monday anyway and get the indemnity and discharge form filled in right there. We got the forms from Veena Ji, but the challenge was to find a gazetted officer to sign for the indemnity. Finally Jayanth came to our rescue as there are notaries sitting right below his building. We got all the papers signed printed on a stamp paper and we went back to Veena Ji and submitted it by 2 pm. She and her colleague checked it a couple of times to be sure that we didn’t have to come back for anything. Veena Ji was eager to get the claim settled and she said that they followup rigorously with customers like us who have loads of inertia.
She wished us well and again told us, the amount will be credited within two working days. That’s where she misjudged the speed of her organization…. the claim amount got credited the NEXT DAY !! Mind you, this is a government organization that we are dealing with and we were the sluggish ones. Totally bowled over by their speed. Gone are those days of government officials taking their own sweet time to get things rolling. We have a similar experience with SBI – the giant State Bank of India. So the private enterprises have to buck up. Will speak of the challenges we have been having with a private bank in a separate blog.
Thank you Veena Ji for encouraging us to overcome our inertia and submit all the documents – we have managed to get our maturity amount after 7 years (because of us) but within a few hours (because of LIC) !