Insurance
Reliance Life ULIP mis-selling: Justice served

Reliance Life Insurance had mis-sold ULIPs worth Rs12 lakh. Moneylife had taken up the issue with IRDA and written cover story on it. Justice is served with return of investment along with Rs1.75 lakh interest, which is about 7.5% per annum

Arvind Injamuri, 65, a standard 9th failed, retired railway employee living at Solapur, decided to use his retirement kitty to secure his complicated family’s future. He was fixated on putting money in an insurance policy. Between January-March 2011, Reliance Life’s Colaba branch (in south Mumbai) lured Mr Injamuri to make investments worth Rs12 lakh into the highest NAV (net asset value) ULIP (unit linked insurance plan) by dangling the false carrot of a TVS Scooty Pep available on bringing in policy premiums of Rs7.5 lakh. In the process, the company shared with him the very lucrative “Fantastic Contest” that it was running for its advisors. These schemes that insurers run for their agents and distributors are the biggest incentive for mis-selling with incentives that escalate from Rs150 cash voucher to a Honda City car.
 

All the nine policies had been issued in the names of his family members as Mr Injamuri did not qualify for highest NAV policies. He was seriously, and correctly, worried about inaccurate personal details, wrong or unidentifiable photos, PAN details of sister when she had never applied for one and forged signatures in the policy documents have rendered them worthless, since there are bound to be issues if and when a claim has to be made.
 

Moneylife had taken up the case with the Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority (IRDA) after examining the policy documents. The issue was top in the list of life insurance memorandum submitted to IRDA chairman when he addressed the Moneylife Foundation event on 16 May 2012.
 

The 19 April 2012 cover story gives the details of this incident. Read How you can get ripped off by the staff of insurance company themselves!
 

Mr Injamuri has finally got justice with the return of the Rs12 lakh investment along with Rs1.75 lakh interest, which is about 7.5% per annum. According to a IRDA senior official, “A strong signal needed to be sent to insurance companies. IRDA protects policyholders’ interest and have resolved numerous such cases.”
 

The journey of Mr Injamuri’s struggle to get back his money started in the first week of January 2012. He got to know about Tarun Mitra Mandal (TMM) (www.thetmm.org), a registered NGO set up in 1968. Volunteers of TMM, including Shailesh Gala, an MBA, waded through hundreds of papers and documents and were convinced that Mr Injamuri had been royally duped. They agreed to help him draft a complaint to the insurance ombudsman and to IRDA. However, Mr Gala also decided to hand over the papers to Moneylife in order to help the victim.
 

When Moneylife wrote to Reliance Life Insurance on 16 March 2012, its corporate communications official asked for a week’s time to study the issue and then sent us this reply on 22 March 2012.  “The customer has purchased and cancelled a total of 18 policies in a period of four months. His pattern of buying and cancelling policies in quick succession falls under ‘unusual’ transaction category and is being investigated. As of today, nine policies are active, five have been cancelled under the Free Look period, and the customer issued “stop payment” advice on four applications. The refunds on cancelled policies, paid through cheques, have been en-cashed. With reference to the nine active policies, purchased over a span of few months, the customer has issued all cheques (Moneylife has seen proof of DD payments) and signed everywhere indicating a strong intention to purchase a policy from Reliance Life Insurance. After months of purchase, the customer put in his request to cancel the HNAV Guarantee product. His request for cancellation is much beyond the acceptable Free Look Period, as exercised by him earlier, and does not qualify for a full refund. However, since the customer is claiming that he wanted the policy in his own name and he is not eligible for the policy, we will accept his cancellation request, as an exception. The customer has been communicated accordingly.”
 

The problem was that the Free Look cancellation request form clearly stated that refund will be done at current NAV. It meant that Mr Injamuri will be at a loss based on the equity market’s performance. He does not understand the equity market, but the product mis-selling also involved putting his funds with highest equity exposure. After raising the issue with Reliance Life to seek full return of investment along with interest, Mr Injamuri got back what he truly deserved even though it was after a long delay.

 

Moneylife contacted Reliance Life on 5 February 2013 for its response regarding the refund, but there has been no answer till now. It was indeed a positive end to the two year saga for Mr Injamuri. But, will insurance companies give justice to all mis-selling cases? Probably not...

 

But, Mr Injamuri, being financially illiterate, putting his lifetime savings in dubious life insurance products and the insurance policies riddled with blunders got attention from Moneylife and IRDA. Being a virtual country bumpkin also worked in Mr Injamuri’s favour...

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COMMENTS

navneet

3 years ago

To
Money Life

sub: Request for help against fraud case of Reliance Life Insurance and return of money

In september 2013, I purchased Reliance Life policy 51213544 on getting calls from some Mr. Sameer Chauhan mob no 9289223746 & 9289224184,who claimed to be speaking from reliance life head office at New Delhi and told me some benefits of the policy which exactly were not written in the policy document like taking out all the premiums leaving last one in last year of 5 year premium period. After enquiring about those benefits when i asked him that these benefits are not mentioned in your policy, he told me , as policy is being sold by head office,these are extra and are not mentioned in the document, you will receive mail regarding them after one and half months.
Sometime later when I called back at his no. 9289224184, Some Mr. Rohit Bajaj said, Mr. sameer has left the job and now I am handling your Case. He told me another scheme and said you will get these extra benefits plus extra benefit of 25% cashback on purchase of 2nd policy which after sometime will work as the premium of 2nd term of 1st policy. I purchased that one with policy no. 86702540 too and was told to get these benefits after 1 and half month. After repeatedly calling him, he said that benefits will be transferred to you in february. But that didn't happen. So I complained to Reliance Life about this and Reliance Life said that they will not be able to do anything as you were repeatedly called for confirmation of the policy. Immediately, after complaining, I received calls from Mr. Rohit Bajaj from another no. 9990973355 asking me to have faith on him and deliver a letter regarding satisfaction with policies mailed to Reliance Life so as to get all those benefits. But after mailing, he told me as you have complained to Reliance, all your benefits are cancelled.
If you still want to get your money back from Reliance Life, you need to show that you have invested money somewhere else, you can't continue your policies and your money will be returned back. He called me many times apologising for the previous episode and showed commitment on phone that he is sorry and is dedicated to me for getting my money returned.
I asked for confirmation mail for what he said, but he said once you send cheque of Rs. 14900 in favour of Ethiqs consultancy pvt. ltd. for having one ecircle policy, then he will send me mail, but this time when
I denied this , some Harshdeep said from the above no. that Mr. Bajaj has met an accident for which he is admitted somewhere. Now after such long process of harassment, I complaint to reliance life again and again. but they are just not helping it out and even saying as you signed the policy document, we can't do anything. Even when i have send them my call records they are even denying that the number from which i got calls for confirmation of their policies, they belong to the policy distributors, so you act against them.
Help me to get my money back from reliance


Pankaj Randhir

3 years ago

To
Money life
Subject: Request for help against fraud case of Reliance Life Insurance,
Policy No: 51461380,
Policy Application No: D7362076
Loan Code: RIL-2440525
I am Pankaj Randhir. I have been issued above policy by reliance agent making fraud with me by telling me to give me 0% Interest Free Loan. So, I have taken a Reliance Life Insurance Policy of amount 50000 INR.
In Detail:
I got a call from Mr. Vinod Gupta (08588018164, 08800791905, 08467951529, 08447166159) stating that I am from reliance Life Insurance and asked about loan and I described my requirement, then he told me that you have to take a policy of reliance life for an amount of 500000, so that you get a loan of same amount against your policy without interest (at 0%) but you have to pay an Premium of Rs 50000.00 every year and continuing for 10 years. I enquired that how you can give a loan without interest then he told that reliance life insurance gives this loan on behalf of our Maturity. And on this basis Reliance Life will get Maturity benefits after 15 years. At that time Reliance will get benefit, and you will not get any amount as Reliance will pay you 500000 in advances as loan.
He told me that after some time you will get a call from reliance life once your policy will be issued and don't tell those about the loan other wise 10% amount would be deducted and paid to that agent. So as per his instruction I sent first check to him for application of this policy. I sent him check of SBI and its detail is:
Check No: 1361011
Issued Date: 18/1/2014
This check was on the name of Reliance life Insurance Co. Ltd. He told me to send him this check by courier on following Address.
Reliance Life Insurance Co. Ltd.
715, Vishal Tower, District Center,
Janak Puri, New Delhi -110058
Ph. No- 011-46621601/600
So, I paid a check of Rs 50,000.00 payable at New Delhi. After that he asked me for bank statement of mine and told me to send details on Email ID- rahul.reliance@financier.com. After receiving this check they sent me Policy document.
My policy is certified by Two persons as per my Policy assessment:
Jaspreet Kaur, IRDA Adviser Code-:21798791
Pooja Budeja, SM Code: 70097017
After this policy activation he also told me to take money care value card worth Rs. 25000. After asking by me, He gave reason that we have to create NOC for further Loan Procedure and hence you have to take this money care value card. And hence, I prepared DD of Rs. 25000 on the name of Money Care Value Card. I delivered it on the same address as per his instruction. The two more people named mainly Suresh Tyagi (07827349932) and Rajeev (08586962037), Mohit Gupta (08510010448) are also involved in this fraud. After some days I got a call from Suresh Tyagi, telling himself as Employee of Reliance Life Insurance-Finance Dept., for verification of loan. And he told me that you will get your loan amount in your account within 15 Days i.e. 5/5/2014. But on 4/5/2014, he told me that still your verification is not done properly so you will not get your loan amount. And so I told him as well Vinod Gupta to cancel my Policy.
As per the instruction of Vinod Gupta, I filled the cancelation form of money Care Value card. And he told me to deliver on the same address. So I sent him courier on 1/5/2014. And from that day his all numbers are not Reachable/Switched Off. After searching from internet I found that it could be a fraud Case. And my doubt is cleared by inquiring my nearest Reliance Life Insurance branch at O. P. Road, Vadodara. And it is confirmed to me that this is the fraud case. And Vinod Gupta cheated me by wrongly selling me this Guaranteed Money Back Plan.
Because Vinod Gupta gave me surety that you will get 0% interest free loan of Rs. 500000, once this policy will be activated, I took a risk of Rs. 50000. At that time this huge amount was not in my hand. I have to arrange this. And I took a personal loan of Rs. 50000 from Bajaj Finance Ltd with very high interest rate. I have to pay installment of Rs. 2787 per month to Bajaj Finance Ltd. And I am paying this interest rate from last 5 months. I also arranged Rs. 25000 from some of my friends and Relatives to pay as Money Care Value Card Voucher.
So, here I would hearty request you to help me to get my money back by anyhow of canceling application. As I have taken this policy only for getting the loan benefit. Now after confirmation of this fraud case I have to cancel this policy so that I can repay my Bajaj Finance loan. As of now I am not able to pay this much amount for years to continue with this policy and get benefit of it. As I am an employee of a Private Company and my salary is only Rs. 8000, I could not manage this much amount for years. So there is an only option with me to cancel this policy. So please cancel my Policy and Refund my amount of Rs. 50000.

So please guide me further and help me to get refund from Reliance Life Insurance. I have gone through article of one customer on your website and found some information same as my case. So thank you for, making this type of efforts for customers like me.

Thanks & Regards,
Pankaj Randhir
Mail ID: Pankaj6885@gmail.com

RAJESH B SHAH

4 years ago

You are doing a commendable job of helping a common man. We are taken for granted by public and private sector undertakings. Most unfortunately we do not have access to honest and sincere financial advisors. You can start such service even if you have to charge something for it.

REPLY

Suiketu Shah

In Reply to RAJESH B SHAH 4 years ago

Good morning Rajesh.It is good for people who donot have advise of "wealth management experts"(they give this title to their own selves!) who only specialise in legalised swindling and defrauding in every which way.

Suiketu Shah

4 years ago

Wonderful piece Mr Pradhan.HDFC Bank Ltd Wealth management top executive(in Lower Parel) Rishabh Patni tried very hard to force an insurance policy in Nov 2010(when sensex was at its peak) to me.When I refused the same,he came down heavily on me on my lack of knowledge of investments then(for refusing his ridiculous insurance policy) as if he owned my money!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

This is the class of people who work in HDFC Bank Wealth Mangement division at their head office in Lower Parel.Reliance has strong competition shd I say!

Dr V S Prasana Rajan

4 years ago

Thanks to Money Life for helping the common man!

Dr V S Prasana Rajan

4 years ago

Thanks to Money Life for helping the common man!

jaideep shirali

4 years ago

I am happy that the investor recovered his money, with a rap to Reliance Life as well. Firstly, we must understand that such products are investment products with their own risks. Secondly, investors should not be greedy, asking for pass-back of commission, because agents will give you products with high commissions, suitability of the product for your needs is irrelevant.

Pradeep Dhankhar

4 years ago

that gives some confidence in the SYSTEM..congrats

Krishnan

4 years ago

well done. please carry on this type of noble service.

Vinay Joshi

4 years ago

Further to my post at comment 10, inadvertently a typo, please read the sentence as under --

According to Goldman Sachs report profits from lapsed policies didn't only wipe out losses but SHOWED aggregate profits in certain co's. ----------

Regards,

REPLY

Vinay Joshi

In Reply to Vinay Joshi 4 years ago

Dear Mr.Raj Pradhan, I expected your answer to my post of 7th, i do understand your priority work & busy schedule. Pointing out here & there is of no use. Of course ML, you, MLDT deserves the credit, unquestionable. ML & you should have come out with a 'white paper' on the industry!? I do understand Ms.Sucheta & Mr.Debashis foundation limitations. They can't be doing everything, every sphere apart from their core goal. Pvt. Life Insurance co's are unable to retain the business over the years. The 'persistency ratio' is evident where it has lost half the biz it got since 06/07. The loss primarily due to lapsation. Regards,

Vinay Joshi

4 years ago

Insurance mis-selling has cost investors at least INR 1.5 trn, total loss to the gullible.

Neither IRDA nor Life Insurance Council will vouch for this.
Painstaking research by a financial analyst team puts up this score & possibly can be in multiple of this.

Said Mr.Chidambaran in a public speech on Monday 4th, [quote]
'in my view, the reason why insurance is stumbling in India is because of mis-selling of products & complex products'. [unquote]

In this investor traps, life insurance co's were complicit, benefiting due to high surrender charge. In the last seven years [04/05-11/12] agency commission itself was mind boggling INR 1.13trn!?

According to Goldman Sachs report profits from lapsed policies didn't only wipe out losses but aggregate profits in certain co's.

HDFC Life has the highest lapsed profit of 188.3% [% of PAT - FY12.]

What UTI ULIP was there was skewed by pvt sector ULIP introduction in 2002.

Sachin

4 years ago

IRDA should also put hefty fine on Reliance insurance for not doing such act in future to other customers. I think IRDA gave favor to Reliance by dictating only to return one persons policy full amount + 7.5% interest to customer and closing this issue. Such companies should be put with hefty files going into crores wiping their full one/two/three years revenue. Then only they will not do such act in future.

Sahu

4 years ago

Super article. I am a victim one of mis-selling policy.

GOVIND GOPAL SHANBHAG

4 years ago

Pradhan Jee - I have gone through the case from beginning and congratulations to all those involved - ML team and TMM. Leave aside illiterates investing in the fund even educated have fallen prey blindly believing Advisors. I am holding a Kotak Mahindra ULIP policy for Rs.1,75,000/-, am required to pay Rs.16750/- per year for twenty years and will get Rs.1.75 lacs. I would like to visit your office one of these days with full details and seek your advice to discontinue it or continue it. The agony is the moment premium is paid, first thing they do is recover their administrative charges and then invest the rest.

Anil Agashe

4 years ago

Congratulations on great work done by you. I hope this story will bring forward many other similar cases. ULIP was always a bad product and was mis-sold. Know of many people who are suffering losses due to this.
However financial illiteracy only helps in misselling. The person who bought the policy must also be blamed to an extent for his sufferings!

Royal Bank of Scotland fined $610 million by UK, US regulators

The probes revealed ‘wrongdoing’ by 21 employees, mainly related to the setting of the bank’s yen and Swiss franc Libor submissions between October 2006 and November 2010

Royal Bank of Scotland, in which the British government has an 81% stake, agreed to pay fines amounting to $612 million to US and British regulators to settle allegations of Libor (London Interbank Offered Rate) interest rate rigging. RBS is the third bank to admit its role in the Libor affair after Barclays and UBS.

 

The probes revealed ‘wrongdoing’ by 21 employees, mainly related to the setting of the bank’s yen and Swiss franc Libor submissions between October 2006 and November 2010, the bank said.

 

Also read: Short-changing by international banks: Lessons for the banking fraternity and regulators

 

RBS added it had been fined $325 million by the US Commodity Futures Trading Commission, $150 million by the US Department of Justice (DoJ) and 87.5 million pounds by Britain’s Financial Services Authority.

 

The bank has also entered into a deferred prosecution agreement with the DoJ, in relation to one count of wire fraud relating to Swiss franc Libor and one count for an anti-trust violation relating to yen Libor.

 

RBS Securities Japan, an arm of the British bank, has agreed to enter a plea of guilty to one count of wire-fraud relating to Yen Libor, it added in the statement.

 

Japan’s Financial Services Agency said the Securities and Exchange Surveillance Commission has been investigating the local arm since mid-November for involvement in Libor manipulation.

 

Libor is a flagship instrument used all over the world, affecting what banks, businesses and individuals pay to borrow money. Euribor is the Eurozone equivalent.

 

British finance minister George Osborne condemned the “totally unacceptable” behaviour at the bailed-out bank and insisted the taxpayer would not pick up the bill.

 

The Edinburgh-based lender, which was rescued by the UK government at the height of the global financial crisis, said that it would recoup about 300 million pounds from its staff bonus pool and by clawing back previous pay awards.

 

John Hourican, chief executive of the bank’s Markets and International Banking division, is expected to quit RBS and will forfeit his 2012 bonus and long-term incentive shares.

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