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Person or procedure- who takes precedence?

I wanted to surrender an insurance policy taken years ago. I took it on a whim as soon as I began my first job and never really understood the benefits, if at all. Over the years, especially after changing cities, it became a pain to service it as the online payment rarely worked. To add to it, I no longer have a steady flow of income, so it didn't really make sense maintaining the policy. So, I decided to surrender it. Simple enough, right? Wrong! When you buy something, you don't need to move a finger, just work them enough to dole out the required cash and lo, behold, the world is placed at your feet. But when you want to get rid of the product, you are made to feel miserable in many ways.

Firstly, I realized that I had misplaced the policy bond. My fault. Totally, I agree. But, the procedure to get a duplicate one is like sentencing a person to life imprisonment and then hanging him at the end of it. That's not all. When you go to the office, you realize that complimentary punishments like a name correction, signature change and address correction are involved too. Producing the correct proofs is no cake walk either. Even after complying with all the necessary and unnecessary documentation, attestation and copies of various proofs, I hit a roadblock because the name on proof D does not match my current name. This, despite giving multiple proofs of documents bearing my current name. Proof D was simply given as an ID proof.

So, you have proof A, with current name and address, proof B to corroborate the name change and Proof C to corroborate address change, proof D is simply an ID proof but unfortunately the ID proof contains old name. Any one with good eyesight and plain logic will have no issues validating that the person on all the documents is the same. But, not our geniuses, who have developed the rigid procedures. It is like saying, "I know you are alive but the computer shows you are dead, so I have to believe that you are dead!" Finally, I was let off with a self-declaration letter that stated the obvious.

And, know what, I was under the wrong impression that recent bank transaction meant anywhere between last three months. I was wrong here too. Recent meant as recent as the current month. Only, because I cannot produce a government bill like the gas or electricity bill under my name, in which case, any time period is acceptable. Tell me, when scores of working professionals keep changing cities every two years, most live in rented apartments, where the heck will we get an government authorized proof of the address?

What gets my goat is that despite such multiple (and redundant) layers of locks, unscrupulous activities flourish and only the honest get more and more enmeshed in the quick sand of red tapism. I am assuming, all the documents are in place and there are no more surprises in store. I hope to find the money in my account shortly. Fingers crossed until then.

ETA: I got my refund and quite quickly too. Thought this needs a special mention since I crib so much, the good part gets marginalized many times.

Comments

  1. I feel you're in Uma. I've not had a proper address proof for the last so many years . The passport, driving license, and other imp docs all have different addresses! This year I feel let me get something like a vote id or aadhaar card to ensure that I exist in the bureaucratic sphere! Good luck for the refund:)

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  2. The first line should read - I feel your pain Uma:)

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    1. I actually thought about you, Aparna when I was doling out proofs :-)
      I hope to get the money too, thanks!

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  3. My parents are facing this problem..with no permanent address..gah! these guys really make our life so much more difficult..big big hugs

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    1. I know..systems are made to help us but here it seems like they are out to get us..how pathetic!

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  4. So true, when we are moving around so much, how the hell can we have a proper address proof. Only way to resolve this is nationalize things. By nationalize, I mean everything. That is the only solution. I know it is one heck of a work, but when implemented it is one heck of a solution that will keep people happy.

    Copying the USA in culture is not a big deal, copying them in such spick and span state of implementing things is the needed one.

    Until later,
    Keirthana :)

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    1. haah..that seems like a far fetched dream, I say..till then we go through the grind.

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  5. Is it with a public sector insurance company?I am not surprised.
    I took a loan of two lakhs years back from a nationalised bank to avail some tax benefits for expanding my apartment.The aprtment was hypthecated to bank and original doccts given to them after an getting from the banks' nominated valuer the value of propery and from bank's lawyer that the propery is free from encumbrances,a collateral guarantee of rs 5 lakhs deposit with FDR given to bank and to top it all he wanted my daughter to be a co surety.
    After all that was done,I asked him with so much diligence and care taken to ensure the safety of advance of just two lakhs, how come banks have thousands of crores of unsecured and no good loans going under the name of NPAs?He sheepishly smiled and had no answer.They harass the good clients with their rules while the same rules are flouted for others for reasons generally known.

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    1. oh they are quite blase about all the misappropriation that just happens..for the common man of course the rules are all different.

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  6. Damn! After reading all these I don't think I will ever think about having any policy. Rather I will get a piggy bank and store my money in it and label it with "Retirement policy". Lol! So simple.:) Dumb me! :)

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    1. the piggy bank does seem like a better option suddenly! :-)

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  7. Oh! I just don't know whether these policies are for our benefit or to harass us.

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    1. The exact thing I wonder about too!

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  8. So true Uma. Same happens with credit cards. They take the life out of you if you are trying to cancel one. But if you want to get one, it will arrive at your doorstep the next day itself!!

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    1. Shouldn't it be the other way round- more checks to ensure that the credit cards go to only those who can service them???

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  9. It is certainly hopeless - all these paper proofs. There is a strong need for a centralised system for identifying records, but seems like Aadhar scheme has not had great success. And many people also fear the misuse of personal data, with the current Govt. and the spate of scams, I wouldn't be surprised by anything. Till then, we will need to live with multiple documents for various requirements. Good luck with your policy!

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    1. hah..centralized system is quite a tall hope for India..the aadhar card was introduced half-heartedly to ensure something of that kind..

      anyway, the good news is that I got the money!!! so perhaps things are not yet that bad :-)))

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  10. I have a similar insurance policy and I really don't know where I have kept the bond ! Hmm !

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    1. LOL, jayashree..best of luck! but guess what, I got the refund, so maybe all hope is not lost yet :-)))

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  11. My profession happens to be one where I have to insist on procedure being followed. But sometimes even I feel bad to enforce process discipline on an extremely hasseled and pressurised project team :(

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    1. Hmm..sad state of affairs, indeed! But, I must say, I got my money pretty promptly..I should probably mention in the post too.

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  12. Eeks that sounds scary all right! I have persisted with my policy somehow or the other just hoping to finish it off, and now after reading your blog I am glad I didn't try anything else!!

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    1. hahaha..but I did get my money, so if you want to try, you can :-)

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  13. Having worked in the financial services since past 8 years I can very well understand what you are talking about....and **sigh** things are still the same they were when they began

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    1. Change is needed. Process and procedure need to become more centralized and involve less of paper-work.

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