Would you like to ‘port’ your insurance policy?

It was reported earlier this week in this newspaper that the insurance regulator is considering allowing portability in life insurance products. You can read the story here. I’m going to unpack what this means and whether it is possible to ‘port’ an insurance product. First, what is portability? When we think of a telecom service, then switching service providers from say, Airtel to Jio, is portability. Your number and basic services remain the same, but you switch your service provider. S.S. Mudra, deputy governor at the Reserve Bank of India (RBI), had suggested last year that bank account numbers become fully portable. You can read the story here. While bank account number portability is yet to happen, the logic is clear—our phone numbers and bank accounts are linked to multiple services we use. Often we stay with the service providers or banks out of inertia.

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Markets are rising. Be alert to hard sales

Has your mutual fund agent, adviser, wealth manager, or whatever he calls himself, asked you to ‘switch’ from one scheme to another? A friend recently WhatsApped me, asking if it was okay to ‘switch’ schemes in the same fund house. Her mutual fund agent advised her to move from an under-performing fund to an out-performing one. He also told her that he does not earn any commission on the ‘switch’. He then moved her from a large-cap fund of the fund house to a similar scheme of the same fund house. I asked her to check with him again: did he earn any commission on the ‘switch’? Ask for a commission statement. She called back furious. Yes, he does earn from the ‘switch’ and no, he had not shown the statement before she insisted that he disclose it. She was surprised to see what he was earning.

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From Valentine’s Day to Women’s Day

I wanted some stuff and so dropped by the nearby mall a few weeks back. I like walking in a mall. It is clean, safe, there are loos unlike in most market places in India and you don’t really need to buy anything—the buzz of happy people all around is free. Buy guys, we need to grow at 8% GDP!

On this day, I’m surprised to see all the well-dressed women. Then I notice that many are wearing red. It takes ecstatic couples taking pictures around a Taj Mahal replica made fully of roses, and it clicks into place. Ah! Valentine’s’ day! So many happy people! While people have fun on this day, there is another day that I actually want to talk about.

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