Back in 2007, Bajaj Allianz announced a new life insurance policy which at that time was worth every bit. The scheme was a single premium policy which they would be investing in the stock market for ten years. Once the policy is matured, the current market value of the premium paid would be returned. The maximum sum insured is Rs. 2.5 Lacs for a single premium of Rs. 25,000.
Considering the market situation at that time, which indeed was in full flow, my dad purchased the policy in the name of my sister. We were introduced to this policy by one of the affiliated banks with Bajaj Allianz, and so, we decided to go ahead with the policy via the bank to help promote its marketing statistics. We paid Rs. 25,000 to the agent present at the bank, completed the initial formalities and thought we’d made a nice deal.
Bajaj Allianz then issued the policy which reached us after 15 days of the date-of-issue due to some delay by the courier service. To our surprise, the maximum sum insured in the policy was just Rs. 50,000. My dad, at that moment did not smell any foul play on the part of Bajaj Allianz. He contacted the agent at the bank about the sum insured and he suggested us to go for a Free Look Cancellation and ask for a new policy.
Here started the problem. According to the norms of Bajaj Allianz, Free Look Cancellation can be availed only 15 days from the date-of-issue and because of the initial delay, we could not avail that. Now, we were left with no option but to keep the policy and live with it.
Now, which fool would pay a single premium of Rs 25,000 for an insured sum of Rs 50,000 for over a period of ten years? Keeping it in an Fixed Deposit would become 4 times in the same period. Moreover, my sister was just 23 at that time and most eligible to get the full sum insured of Rs. 2.5 lacs. My dad then thought something had gone wrong.
My dad asked for the application submitted at the bank. When closely observed, the Bajaj Allianz staff had modified the insured sum of Rs. 2.5 Lacs as Rs. 50,000 and had actually submitted it. Anybody with his naked eye could see that in the 2,50,000 what we had written, a whitener was used over the initial ‘2’ and the signature was forged. Note that there was no column in the application to write the sum in words. Cunning Bajaj Allianz.
When the bank was contacted on this matter, they chose to ignore it and said it was upto Bajaj Allianz to handle it. When the topic of forgery was raised, Bajaj Allianz people refused it right away and maintained that the correction was made by us. No person in his right mind would leave the first box empty and start writing from the second box. It was clearly visible that a whitener was used.
My dad was never going to give this up. He then wrote a letter to a higher official in Bajaj Allianz and the subordinates got a whip on their ass. They then offered us a Free Look Cancellation and close the matter, provided we paid Rs. 10,000 as their processing charges. We were given an option to pay for no fault of ours.
Since this was a matter of fraud and forgery, Bajaj Allianz then came up with a proposal that they could insure a sum of 5 times the premium ie Rs. 1.25 Lacs. This was because by the time all this happened, the market had gone down and recession had hit. We were in no mood to accept anything less than what was in the initial brochure.
All this pain, agony and discussion went for over 18 months and Bajaj Allianz had no signs of a compromise without even fearing their credibility of this matter became public. Finally, my Dad contacted a very senior official of the bank and reported the matter to him. The official then took personal interest and discussed the matter with the subordinate-to-CEO of Bajaj Allianz. The application was then sent to forensic laboratory for handwriting verification.
Bingo! The forensic lab gave a report in our favor. Handwriting verification report proved that the signature was forged and Bajaj Allianz had to surrender. Finally, a few days back we received a policy for the full sum insured of Rs. 2.5 Lacs and an email from Bajaj Allianz with the subject “Suspected Scam”. 😀
This is a lesson for the future for us and everyone who would like have a deal with Bajaj Allianz. At-last truth prevailed.