What effect do they leave in a country like India where the majority is 'quality illiterate' is not a big deal to know.
Volumes of documents written in ultra-small sized fonts and an equally vague language coupled with misleading or ill-informed insurance agents make for a nagging deterrent even for well-read ones and most go for the insurance agent's words while taking a policy.
They come to realize about the problems only when they face problems in settlement in case of exigencies. There are agents who openly ask for commission to settle such cases. The scale of commission increases with the complexity of the exigency.
Death and how it happened is probably the most complex of the settlement categories in a life insurance policy settlement. And when a death is caused by murder, the legal definitions and their vagueness come as yet another severe blow to the victim family.
In one such case of murder (and certainly, in numerous other similar cases), the insurance company withheld the second installment of the claim amount saying the company needed the final verdict by the court to see if the murder could be placed in the category of 'accident'. Though, on the policy paper and anywhere else on the public platform, the compnay had nowhere furnished the related information.
A murder is always an accident.
And RTI query was sent to insurance compnay to know if the company had any written guidelines to follow in such cases. The questions posed were:
- How does the LIC of India define the term ‘accidental death’? Please provide the documentary support from the official LIC of India literature.
- What are the defined criteria by the LIC of India to treat a murder as an accidental death? Please provide the documentary support from the official LIC of India literature.
- When a murder is not considered an accidental death by the LIC of India? Please give the reasons of not considering a murder as an accidental in each case. Please provide the documentary support from the official LIC of India literature.