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(Serious) Words of Wisdom : "The stock market is a giant distraction from the business of investing." ~ John Bogle

Many ways to fix a mis-sold insurance policy

Insurance policy is a long term contract... running into decades. Therefore, if you have been mis-led into a buying a policy that is harmful to your interests, you must take immediate action. Else, the bad policy is going to hurt you for many many years to come.

The best alternative is to close the policy within 15 days of receiving the policy document. The contract would be terminated and the premium refunded, after adjusting for proportionate premium for the number of days covered, the costs incurred on medical examination and the stamp duty.

Another option is to raise a complaint with the insurer. Most insurance companies have a hierarcy for grievance redressal. So if the officials concerned at the lower level are not able to resolve your issues satisfactorily, you can escalate the complaint to higher levels. You would, understandably, encounter lot of resistance and stone-walling. So do not get discouraged. Make sure you fight till the highest levels.

If the problem is not settled at the insurance company level, you can file a complaint with Insurance Regulatory Development Authority (IRDA). IRDA has launched Integrated Grievance Management System to handle customer complaints. 

The next level where you can take your complaint is the insurance ombudsman. Details of the ombudsman for your area are available on IRDA's website.    

Legal recourse, including consumer court, is your next option in case the problem still persists.

Alternatively, instead of following the grievance redressal route, you can also explore the option of either prematurely surrendering your policy or converting it into a partly paid-up policy. The appropriate strategy would depend on various factors such as the type of policy (whether ULIP or traditional), time elapsed, relevant terms and conditions, etc.

In short, there are many ways to remedy a bad situation; inaction and acceptance certainly not being one of them. Each one would, of course, involve spending time, efforts and money. However, it would still be worth doing so rather than staying with the policy and suffering for decades.

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