Here is an online insurance purchase experience shared by one of my blog reader Vino Varghese. He was looking to purchase ICICI Prudential Life Insurance’s iProtect term policy after comparing multiple such online term insurance products. Though he had a bad experience in this case, I am sure his say has something for all of us to be aware of. Do read through this piece of write up by Vino, which was posted as a comment on my ICICI’s iProtect product review.
I was looking for a term plan and decided to go with ICICI Prulife’s iprotect plan since the premium offer was competitive and could be done online. The nightmare started after paid premium on 01-Nov-10. The company promises about a doorstep document pickup. I was not contacted by anyone for about a week and I called up customer care centre. I was adviced to provide Income proof, ID proof etc. They wanted me to email it to buyonline[@]iciciprulife[.]com When I tried sending, it all bounced back. I called up CCC again and was adviced to walkin to a branch and submit docs. I did the same at ICICI pruLife Thrissur, collected my medical checkup forms, compl eted medical checkups as prescribed by the company.
I called up CCC was told that I was an “Elite Customer” and to be “rest assured as all documentation has been fulfilled”. I was also told that the underwriting could be completed in 3 to 6 working days and policy shall be issued ASAP. But, after waiting for one month, I received letter form their underwriting department asking for more documents like Form 16, bank statement PAN card copy etc. If I had known these documents were required, I could have given them on those on the day I walked into their branch in Thrissur. This time, I walked up to ICICI Pru Life in Edappally, Kochi and submitted all docs and ensured that nothing was pending from my end. This happened on 11-Dec-10.
The worst part of story happens now: A week later I get a call from some number in Pune. He introduces that he is Anshuman Mishra from ICICI PruLife, cites my application ref: no and requests for submission of Form 16 and ID proof. He started the conversation in Hindi. I requested for communication in English as I had challenges in speaking good Hindi. All he said was “pending document bhejiyega”, “pending document bhejiyega” and banged the phone. I called up CC and explained what had happened. I was reassured that all documentation has been completed and policy was pending with the underwriting team.
In another 5 days, I got a call from ICICI PruLife again asking me to send my Form 16 and ID proof to buyonline[@]iciciprulife[.]com and another personal address on ymail[.]com. I did not want t do that and enquired with CCC again and got the same answer. Finally on 30-Dec-10 I come to know through the online tracking system that the policy has been withdrawn and no explanation was provided. I called up CCC and had to hear from that they donot have access to why the policy is withdrawn. She also added that the company may send some “hard copy letter citing the reason” for withdrawal. Until this time, I have not received any letter.
I found an utter lack of coordination and professionalism in the way they dealt with the application. Looks like their departments just toss documents over the wall and never talk to each other. I have been following up with the company to know the reason for withdrawal and they keep extending deadlines committed. All this and the delay of 2 months make me to say, pls opt for some term cover other than ICICI Prudentials product. Or else, be prepared to gift your money to ICICI for 2 months and face the shame of the money being tossed back to you; without any apology or explanation. I believe that there could be a minimum of 1000 similar cases happening at the same time and that gives the opportunity to ICICI to keep an amount equivalent to 1000 annual premium units (roughly INR 80 lakh) under posession without having to pay up any penalty.
If you are aware of ways to take this issue to get proper justice for Vino, do share your thoughts. I am sure the collective awareness on such pointers would be highly beneficial for each of us. Now that the online insurance selling has become more prominent, do share your experience of buying insurance online from any of the insurance provider.
The ICICI Lombard online insurance customer support sitting in each state doesn’t know what to do, they only have a monitor with common server telling people what ever they sees in it , like dumb box this was told by one of the operational incharge from pondichery from their own branch stupid un-professional . I purchased online Motor policy with them on Aug 2014 and for renewal i called them to do renew with mu policy no they are unable to do , since my policy no is not in their records and its obsolete and they didn’t send the renewal notice after quarelling with them and raising grievances they informed me your policy is active after the expiry date , such a ir-responsive
idiots sitting over and complaining about the servers and computers not updated , if not updated why the hell they taken money from customers. So dont go for ICICI logos for any insurance or bankings sectors, they are keen about themselves but customer point of view they are zero but they will show case themselves like blogs and banners in the bank for holding customers
Jojo George says
Wish to share some important information on Life Insurance.
I was a customer of various life insurance companies and after facing many wrong selling incidents personally, i decided to become a part time life insurance advisor
when i quit the corporate world to start my own business….
Let me share you the knowledge gained after entering this Life Insurance Industry.
90% People [ Agents / Advisors / Company Employees] working in Life Insurance industry (Goverment or Private companies) indulge in wrong selling or fraud for their
selfish interest. This happens because customers are ignorant and has no proper knowledge….
Please remember following important information while purchasing a new life inusurance policy in future from a Government company or Private company.
1] Application Form should be filled by the customer and not by the agent. Keep a photoccopy with you and take agent’s acknowledgement on it. Another option is to scan
the application form with all supporting doucuments and mail it to agent with a copy to company. By following this method, you are 100% safe as the agent cannot do any
manipulation in the form and there is legal evidence in the form of a mail.
2] Fill the application form with your ball pen and do not use the pen offered by the agent. They use special type of pen where whatever you have mentioned can be
erased for their convenience afterwards. This pen costs about Rs.125.
3] Take a company illustration of policy as per IRDA format… Do not believe the manipulated figures shown in a Microsoft Excel or Word sheet. Ask the agent to mail
the illustration to your email id.. This will be legal proof if any problem happens in future.
4] Take insurance policy under MWP Act. This gives additional protection to our family from Lenders like Bank & Government Institutions like Income Tax Dept., Supreme
Court. There is no additional premium to be paid while taking policy under MWP Act.
5] Mention clearly details of existing insurance policies of other companies in the application form…. If these details are not mentioned, then Death Claim can be
6] Mention all existing diseases / health problems and family medical history clearly.. Health problems of parents & siblings should be clearly mentioned as many
diseases like cancer / diabetes are hereditary. Death claim can be rejected if these information are not disclosed.
7] Also mention clearly all life style habits like smoking, alcohol, tobacco …etc. clearly on the application form. Insurance is issued to people with pre-existing
diseases and bad life style habits also… Insurance company may or may not charge additional premium for such cases. Death claim can be rejected if these information
are not disclosed.
8] Mention clearly your profession or job. Do not give a wrong information. Example : Working as a Worker in a hazardous Chemeical Factory but showing as a Officer
working in the Administrative Department while filling the application form.. Death claim will be rejected if wrong information is filled.
9] The Bonus (Simple Revertionary or Terminal) is not guaranteed… It can be lower or higher than the figure mentioned in the illustration sheet.
10]Take life insurance for protection… Do not take a life insurance policy by looking at the returns or tax saving purpose… Insurance company does not give more
than 4% to 5% return…. There are many better products like PPF which gives better returns and also saves tax.
11] ULIP is the only insurance product which can give you high returns in the range of 8% to 20% per year but it is a high risk product as the returns are depedent on
market returns / stock market performance… The returns are not guaranteed…. If investing in ULIP, then invest for long term (8 to 10 years) to get better
returns…ULIP investment should be be done through monthly SIP mode only to get the benefit of rupee cost averaging.
12] In ULIP, if the fund value goes down below 150% to 200% of 1st Year Premium, then the Life Insurance benefit will stop. Many Agents give a wrong advice that we can
withdraw 80% funds after 3 years or 5 years and still the life insurance policy will continue for life time.
For further genuine, transparent & ethical information on life insurance, you can contact me.
Besides Insurance, I also deal in Tours/Travels/TimeShare/Club Vacations/Flight Ticket/Hotel Booking & Wellness (Weight Loss) / Nutrition products.
Raghuraman k says
This type of total Apathy to Customer’s requirements and problems are widespread wherever such issues are handled by the so called Back office or call center.
I have had very bad experiences with HDFC Cards , ICICI PRU life, HDFC Life, Airtel, Vodafone etc.
No one seems to read / comprehen the complaint / requirement. A cursory look and You receive a standard ,stereotyped apology and idiotic time frames for resolution.
I complained about non availability go 3G signal for a 7 day validity pack and end up with an assurance promising resolution within 8 days!
To worsen, no single person is assigned to deal with a particular complaint. Every time you remind, a different person takes the call . Then you start explaining the entire problem once again.
Call centers must understand that there is more to learn and work on customers services than polite talks and lousy apologies
I was planning to buy a similar one called iTerm from Aegon Religare, unable to choose between ICICI and Aegon. Can you please suggest the pros and cons of these two term insurance policies?
Well i think buy insurance online is very easy and profitable thing..because you can compare any insurance plan and get the exact price quote for any insurance policy.
I had a good experience with same policy.
I uploaded all required document on same day. and left over document through email.
They send policy document through courier in 12 days.
After not getting policy document by 6 days i ask them to send a copy once again. They sent it again, new copy of policy document i received in 2 days.
Over all it was a quick, easy and hassle free experience for me.
I too had THE same experience with Met Life
I had similar experience with HDFC life. But imagine amount of premium you save. Its almost 50% savings in premium if you buy online. Its one time trouble, but peace for entire life.
Best thing to do is to write to irda on their grievances email address available on their website
such instances should be reported without file to bring such errant so called giant companies, to book
I bought an online plan from Aviva and I was in a better situation as they guys out there responded to my queries immediately.
Any one having a similar experience with any private insurers?
Shailendra Agarwal says
I very recently bought an online term policy ICICI PRU iCare RP Option II. The entire process of buying took me 15 minutes. Then I uploaded the required documets. The next day I received a phone call from ICICI PRU, enquiring about the details I had provided. No Medical was asked/required/done. I got my policy bond in 4~5 days. I am sure people who have had problems in buying policies from ICICI had to undergo a lot of mental agony ( or frustration or anger), however, I can tell you that for me it was a good experience.
rajiv nair says
hi there , i am dr rajiv nair , an orthopaedic surgeon who had the same experience with icici iprotect , every other time you sent the document it bounces back , coustomer service is rude at its best , after 3 months of ordeal ,they finally reviced my premium to double the amount siting medical conditions which i was not aware of , all medical tests were normal …. when i enquired what ailment is it that they felt triggered the premium hike , they dint have a clue … they said that their medical board had decided so…in the hind sight i felt that their motive was simple ….attract customers through advertising low premiums .. hike premium at will… irritate the customer … play with their money for a few months … take care … keep away from this monster
icici bank should be taken to consumer court
I am that fighter who applied IProtect 2 times and since Feb’2011 to July’2011 and gave medical two time, consistently visiting Branch Office and calling customer care since last 6 months and till date the result is siffer.It is a worst service in this world and every thing they have outsourced except their branch office.Ask them for any document that you have already submitted last month through email+ at branch office,they even say not received.
Never apply for this product.
Balaji Subbaraman says
I had a positive experience with ICICI Prudential I protect. I purchased it online.The premium was paid online, documents were uploaded online, appointment for medical test fixed over the phone.
The medical test was done at home at my request. They were professional too. Came on dot at the appointed time, did the tests within an hour. In 9-10 days, I got an SMS saying that the policy was issued and got the hard copy by courier in another 4-5 days. Mine may be the exception to the rule, but my own personal experience with ICICI Pru was good.
And oh yes, I took another policy from Aviva online to. The experience there was positive too, although it took slightly longer than ICICI Pru. I didnt go for Aegon religare since their claim to payment ratio was very poor. This could improve over the years, but I was skeptical. So went for Pru and Aviva
Disclaimer: Since I have posted a positive feedback, please do not think that I am related to the above companies or working for them or promoting them in any way. Its your money, your life and your decision. Look at all options before narrowing on any of them
Rajendra Kamble says
I am an old ICICI customer. They had blazed a trial in pvt banking. The blaze has gradually gone phusssss….It’s stinking everywhere – branches, call centres, sales points/agents etc. Now the only thing looking bigger/better in the instution is Chanda Kochar’s salary packet. I urge all to keep away from the bank.
yes, every word is true,
All their priority circles opened with a very big fanfare closed within one year.
Not even 10 persons are seen in our city office.But some 5 year old ulps gave a return of 15 % for that my regards to the fund manager !remainig polices gave a real shock…..
Any how in 2005 every one believed everyone.
Rajendra Kamble says
ICICI Bank blazed the trail in good service… that was when they started off. Can’t say if it was because KV Kamath was there. I am old account holder, so I know. Their service has only got worse. Experience of several of my colleagues just added to my fears & I abandoned all ideas of taking any other product/service from them – insurance, MF, credit card etc. The prospect of calling up their call centre is a nightmare. Trust me.
Durgesh Salunke says
Actually, i was thinking to buy an online term insurance plan But after hearing n reading such negative n unprofessional matters about it from insurers i m wonder & in dilema & confuse in mind to buy an online term insurance plan. How an online term insurance plan is secure n safe to buy now?
Very Useful Sharing.
Vinay Gohil says
As Dinesh said, I too have taken aegon religares I term Policy. I have been happy with the services offered and the cover I am receiving from them. Even the online purchasing process was very easy. After reading this article and the comments I feel that I have opted for the best term policy offered online.
I suggest all user to go for aegon religares iterm policy.
Good Luck !
its realy usefull.
yes, every word is true.
ICICI priority circle started exclusively for hni/nri clients proved flop.All are closed in one year !
thanks for this service.
Hi Mohan / Vino.
What you people are doing is great. Actually you are teaching us to fish. I am sure one day IT and technology will be so powerfull to make each citizen of our globe awarness about these companies. These companies which depend on their money power will not dare to cheat common people. Simply we will boycot their product i think as a consumer that is biggest weapon we have against these companies. I was thinking i will buy online motor insurance of ICICI now i decided i will not buy anything from ICICI in my future. As said can you please suggest me any other insurance company for motor vechicle.
its about icici online insurance. the experience vino got from their team what they think
whole India speaks Hindi.SAME HAPPENED ME TOO. CHANDA KOCHAR LISTENING??????????
Rajendra Kamble says
Chandra Kochar is busy counting her bloating salary….while ICICI customers can go enjoy their chillar party……..
Rahul Pawar says
Now there are the news, that ICICI is going to sell there insurance biz.
gr8 work Sir…
Thanks Deepak…. Instead of ‘Sir’, Mohan sounds much better 🙂
I am wary of anything online. But the post is an eye-opener.
I have tagged you at [+]
This is not some frivolous tag, but one which will be a vote against corruption. Please pick it up as your network is large and it will help spread the message.
Thanks Zephyr for the tag. I will certainly take it up soon.
I had take Aegon iTerm Plan.
Experience was good. Medical Test and Documents were collected from home after prior scheduled appointments. Missing docs were accepted by emails.
Policy arrived thru Blue Dart courier and info. was sent on email.
Seems they have worked on their logistics.
Good to read through your experience. Hope everyone gets as lucky as you when they buy insurance online.
it’s really helpful..! liked your way to write..!
Very informative. Thanks for sharing!
I still prefer going to my trusted Financial adviser for anything. He has been our agent as long as i can remember. Online buying may have eased up stuff, but you cant deny the personal services an agent can provide. I suggest, its the best way forward
As long as you have a trusted and reliable adviser, everything looks so perfect. But not all are that lucky Hemal.
Raymond Cardoza says
Hey Guys dont trust online transaction untill its secured so
Well, unable to decide which is better the Post itself or the associated comments.
But, finally spent a couple of minutes on this blog, which by itself is a great achievement.
Online buying in India is a relatively new phenomenon, and as usual there are associated pitfalls.
I have had a mixed experience with online insurance. I applied on the same day with 3 insurance companies: Aegon, ICICI and Metlife.
Aegon turned out to be the quickest. They did not hike the premium despite my raised LDL levels (not so good for the company seems to be issuing policies without much considerations and that may have an effect on the settlement ratio).
Metlife has a very bad IT infrastructure. The online payment took ~10 days to reach them. In the end they rejected my application without taking any medical tests and without citing any reasons. They only took some documents from me and a few weeks later the premium amount was refunded by check.
ICICI has been pathetic. All the tests are done. Documentation is complete. And there is no word from them. Being an “Elite Customer” my call is always forwarded to N persons but in the end all they say is that process will take some more time.
Overall, I would say Aegon is very good. Make sure you don’t make any incorrect statements in the application so that there are no issues in case of an unfortunate claim. But keep watching their settlement ratio in the coming 3-5 years.
I had a better(relatively) experience with Aegon-Religare. While paying the premium online, I had to schedule two appointments – one for medical checkup and another for document pickup(both at my residence). I must mention that the amount insured was 60 lacs so I might have received better treatment. The medical checkup was scheduled around 8-9 in the morning. When no one arrived for the checkup, I called customer care and after 10 minutes I received a call from a medical check-up team in Pune asking for landmarks(which I had already provided onine). Now I am a resident of Ahmedabad and clarified this. They said customer care will contact me. I called customer care after half an hour of waiting and they asked me to reschedule it to some other day and go to a nearby medical centre(it was past ten and I was still on fast). I didn’t want to postpone this and asked them to give me the address of a nearby diagnosis centre with whom they have a tie up. After 20 minutes the same lady called back and gave me an address of a lab 5 minutes from my home. I promptly went there with my PAN card and the lab staff did their job professionally. Note that I got this option being in a large city like Ahmedabad and don’t know if everyone can expect something similar. Two days later, no one turned up at the scheduled time for document pickup. I informed customer care and someone collected it 3-4 days later from Religare(an Indian financial services company). Note that Aegon, one of the largest insurance companies in the world has a JV with Religare in Aegon-Religare. I was not at home, but had given the documents(duly signed) to my mother who handed them over to the Religare employee who said it was all Greek and Latin to me. Thankfully I had read and reread all their instructions and it was all accepted.
In spite of this, I would advise people to opt for Aegon-Religare iTerm plan, especially cheap for younger persons. Why compromise on the amount of insurance by paying hefty insurance to non-transparent insurers?
Rithesh Kumar Jain says
I had exactly the same experience as you as far as the medical checkup was concerned. They made me wait upto 10 o’ clock (under fasting), then called up, apologised and scheduled it for the next day. After I went to the diagnostic centre the next day, they made me wait for more than an hour, and then finally, the only test done was an ECG and then general medical checkup by a doctor. Then, after about 7 days, I received a shock- they said that after the medical checkup, my premium has been re-assessed from the previous 7,900 to 13,100. When I called up and asked the reason for the increase, they refused to give details stating that it was confidential. I then asked them to cancel my policy and refund the amount. After that, immediately i got a call from them that if required, they would give me the details of the medical checkup and reasons for the increase in premium. Now, I am a 36 year old non-smoker, with the only health condition being a bit over-weight. After hearing from these people, i got really scared and got a complete health checkup done and found no problems. Hope this experience helps others to understand how these online insurance people try to cheat people!
mohan ji, good that you have shared it. its an eyeopener and your readers would be saved at least.
Such incidents are increasing now a days. I think the online system of policy is in a initial stage and all the companies will take 2-3 years more to adjust everything. It’s not only ICICI. I’ll share my experience with Bajaj Allianz after some time. Waiting for my money back from them.
The solution is abolition of IRDA, which are not willing to take action against such complaints. Some string governing body should replace them.
Geeta Singh says
This is unbelievable ! How easily these ppl can cheat us! Really eye opening.
Sourav shah says
Hi, You can opt for iTerm from Aegon Religare, since we are the pioneers in online insurance and have more than 10,000 happy customers like mr. Pratik Hiwale.
You can log on to http://www.buyonline.aegonreligare.com to buy iTerm and be assured of excellent service.
Vino Varghese says
Thanks for your view. I remember having asked you a question over Mouthshut.com. You never bothered to answer that. Eventually, I deleted my question. I’m surprised to see your comment right now.
Seems, get a chance to ask Sr. Manager of Aegon Religare.
I got a call from Aegon religare twice in last 1 week. I asked the same question to both of them and got 2 different answers. I simply asked that as per IRDA report, why did Aegon Religare did not settle any claim in 2009. The claim settlement ratio was 0%?
The first person said “we got only 1 claim in Dec 2009 and we settled the claim in March 2010.” My immediate question was “Why the company took 3 months to settle the genuine claim”. He has no answer.
The second person said “We got 6-7 claims in 2009 and none of them were genuine. So we rejected all the claims.”
Can such statements allow any one to think of term insurance with your company? After all, it’s not for us, it’s for our family members.
Rithesh Kumar Jain says
Seeing your comment over here, I would like you to read my experience with Aegon Religare and explain why the incident happened and how can you increase the premium after a simple basic medical checkup by more than 80% and then refuse to give the details and reasons for the increase in premium
Vino Varghese says
Thanks for your views. Update on my case is as follows:
After writing on different forums and blogs, a sincere individual put me forth to the PR Agency (Ad factors PR) that handles PR for ICICI Pru Life. This happened on 14th Jan, 2010. But I haven’t heard back from them yet. No body even bothered to understand my case, maybe beacuse they have had similar cases in excess…..!!!
After numerous calls and escalations to the ICICI pru Lufe Customer Care centre, I finally got to know that the reason for withdrawal was due to internal miscommunication. Medical reports uploaded by the hospital had been reviewed and printed by the elevant team @ ICICI Pru Life. They in turn sent these documents to the Underwriting team; which never acknowledged the receipt of documents. And now the POLICY IS WITHDRAWN DUE TO NON RECEIPT OF MEDICAL RECORD AT THE UNDERWRITING DEPARTMENT.
I spoke with the Hospital Administrator responsible for uploading medical reports and got a confirmation that my reports were uploaded on 11-Dec-10. He also reconfirmed that they never got any follow up request for a reload of documents.
I was told by the “Escalations manager Ms. Lakshmi that even though its an internal mishandling of records, I’m unable to confirm if the policy will be considered for reissual. Pls provide 48 hours so that I can get back to you”.
I yelled at the lady and got my call transferred to Mr. Vaadiraj, a Sr, Manager with ICICI pru life, Mumbai. He has requested one day to resolve the case and I’m waitng to see if something comes through.
Now this leaves me and thousands of other customers who are waiting for policy issual with a very relevant question:
How On Earth Should We Trust Such An Irresponsible Company (ICICI Prudential Life Insurance company) To Handle Life Insurance Process for Us?????
With this being a company is so unprofessional and casual on approach, My sincere advice to people who have taken this policy is to be prepared for a showdown with the Insurance provider at a point in time (sooner OR later). Pls don’t count on ICICI Pru Life to settle your claims should a claim happen.
If you’re on a FREE LOOK UP PERIOD, you have a chance to surrender the policy and get the money back.
I will keep you all updated on any further events.
thanks for sharing
Truly an eyeopener. Your blog is doing good service by keeping people informed that
smooth ads and sweet talk to urge you to get a good bargain/scheme is only a method to draw customers and the problems start when you complete the payment process. Total casual approach surfaces. I recently approached ICICI Direct regarding NPS scheme which they said can be done through them. Inspite of two visits nobody in Pune office at MG road or Model colony could give any clue about their scheme. You really have to study the scheme and fine print before you part with your hard earned money.
Pratik Hiwale says
last year i’ve purchase Aeogon Religare Iterm plan with ease of process .and to my surprise they have issued the policy just before my birth date .(policy from 8 july 10 and my B’date was 9 july),otherwise my premium was more .
you should google(+) for the CEO/MD for insurance dept of ICICI and put all combinations email addresses and throw a mail CC in Insurance Ombudsman and IRDA .
keep repeating the mail wih Subject Remider 1…2….3….4 etc
hope someone will know their inefficiency .
Elaya Kumar S says
This is highly irresponsible on the part of ICICI Prudential people to treat Mr. Vino Varghese in such a fashion.
It surely shows that there is no semblance of coordination at their end. Mr. Vino can take up this issue by filing a complaint with the Insurance Ombudsman (address available on the website of IRDA) and ask for damages.
Vino Varghese says
I tried registering a complaint with IRDA call centre. They refused to register the cpomplaint as the policy was withdrawn and money refunded. It looks like any Insurance company in India can take money from csutomers and keep it with them at their will and later return it without any explanations.
When I tried to ask the executive about acts/ law pertaining to the same, she said she have no information on that and gave me ICICI Grievances office contact details……..
God save us……!!!!!
ICICI is totally unprofessional when it comes to answering queries. I had a similar bad experience when they sent my debit card to the wrong address (their own mistake) and it took me multiple calls and shoutings to get it after 2 weeks. I feel they are totally careless and not at all “hamare saath” as they say as per their logo. And this is only one of the issues I have had with ICICI bank.
Samrat Sil says
Sir, i am an icici advisor . I am here to say sorry for all kind of bad experience you face with us . But i can promise its only fault of a advisor. If you want you can call me . I promise i surely help you .